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Houston Voice, No. 1172, April 11, 2003
File 009
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Houston Voice, No. 1172, April 11, 2003 - File 009. 2003-04-11. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/811/show/790.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-04-11). Houston Voice, No. 1172, April 11, 2003 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/811/show/790

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1172, April 11, 2003 - File 009, 2003-04-11, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/811/show/790.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1172, April 11, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date April 11, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript -h 8 APRIL 11, 2003 www.houston voice.com HOUSTON VOICE local news TX House vote on DOMA could come any day TX DOMA. continued from Page 1 Daniel Graney of San Antonio took offense to the bill. He said he and his partner of 29 years pay taxes and their bills, vote and live like any married couple, even though they can't get married. "Now the Texas state Legislature wants to pass a law that tells me that my 29-year relationship with the one I love has no value whatsoever and I find that deeply offensive and hurtful." Graney said. Ellis urged lawmakers to vote against the legislation, saying Texas law already prohibits gays and lesbians from obtaining a marriage license in Texas. Ellis said he believed the legislation reinforces "the fact that gay and lesbian Texans are regarded as second class. "We must stand up to state sponsored discrimination," he said. "Gays and lesbians are denied hundreds of rights and privileges that heterosexuals enjoy. Tax exemptions, legal protections, the right to make medical decisions for our partner — there are literally hundreds and hundreds of rights and benefits that we do not have. "If we try to protect ourselves with legal documents, it can cost thousands of dollars," Ellis added. "The second-class status that has been cast upon gays and lesbians must come to an end." Wentworth said the bill does not diminish "my feeling of respect and even love for friends and acquaintances and people that I know who are gay I have great respect for those people," he said. "This bill has nothing to do with that." The bill passed on a 7-1 vote. Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, voted against the bill. "The Senate has decided to fuel the fires of discrimination," Ellis said. "This bill does nothing more than create a hostile environment toward lesbian and gay Texans. We have a budget crisis, an insurance crisis and a school finance crisis. Texas would be better served by our legislators making policy that supports Texas families." On Monday, the House Committee on State Affairs approved legislation that would ban the state from recognizing same-sex civil unions — a House version of a state DOMA. That proposal now moves to the full House for a vote. In the House, the act is known as House Bill 38 and is sponsored by Rep. Warren Chisum. R-Pamp'a. The bill passed committee 6-2, with Reps. Glenn Lewis, D-Fort Worth, and Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, casting the "no" votes. Ellis said the Texas Legislature, led by a Republican majority, now is particularly unfriendly to gays, as evidenced by bills like these. "It's not the same as it was the past 10 years." Ellis said. "We can no longer 'skate' in that we [no longer] have friends in high places anymore. "Garnet Coleman and Jessica Farrar cannot carry the weight of the GLBT community on their shoulders," he added. "I really hope that this serves as a wake-up call." Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, was the only member of the Senate Committee on State Affairs to vote against the anti-gay Senate Bill 7 last week, known as a Defense of Marriage Act. Gay activists call state DOMA slap in the face' Gay activists including the LGRL's Ellis have called the state DOMA proposals "redundant" and "a slap in the face" to gay Texans, pointing out that federal legislation already allows states to refuse to honor same-sex unions. Congress approved and President Bill Clinton signed the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 to prohibit federal recognition of gay marriages. DOMA also purports to grant states the right not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The federal law also creates a definition of marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." Vermont is the only state that recognizes same-sex civil unions. Since Vermont approved its bill in 2000, lawmakers in five states — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Washington — have introduced civil union legislation, according to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. On the other hand, 36 states across the country have enacted laws in recent years that limit legal recognition of civil marriages to heterosexual couples. Dozens of legislators have signed onto the Texas House DOMA proposal. Lawmakers who have signed as joint authors to the bill are Charlie Geren (R- River Oaks), Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin), Scott Campbell (R-San Angelo) and Chuck Hopson (D-Jacksonville). Among the Texas House members who signed as co-authors to the Chisum DOMA bill are several Harris County lawmakers: District 132 Rep. Bill Callegari (R- Houston), District 127 Rep. Joe Crabb (R- Kingwood), District 129 Rep. John Davis (R- Houston). District 133 Rep. Joe Nixon (R- Houston), and District 128 Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown). Sen. Jeff Wentwortti, R-San Antonio, said his DOMA bill is designed to 'encourage and protect' traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Last session, a Texas Defense of Marriage Act was passed out of the Senate, but failed to make it out of committee in the House, LGRL officials noted. Lobbyists contend that the shift in the balance of power in the House after the November elections increases the possibility of this session's bill passing both chambers of the Legislature. Number of gay-focused bills are on Legislature's agenda A number of measures related to gay Texans have been filed before the current legislature, in its 78tn session. In addition to the House and Senate DOMA measures, those bills include: • H.B. 194, filed on Nov. 15 by Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena). This bill would disqualify gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in Texas from serving as foster parents. H.B. 194 was referred on Feb. 6 to the Juvenile Justice & Family Affairs Committee. Chair of that panel is Harold V. Dutton Jr. of Houston, a Democrat. Rep. Chisum and Rep. Fred Hill. R- Richardson, signed on as co-authors to Talton's bill as of March 6. . • H.B. 574, filed on Jan. 27 by Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston). This measure would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The pro-gay H.B. 574 was referred to the Business & Industry Committee on Feb. 11. Chair of that committee is Rep. Helen Giddings of DeSoto, a Democrat. A public hearing was held on March 25 on the bill, which remains pending in committee. At the public hearing, Farrar explained that the measure is not revolutionary "Currently, 13 states and the District of Columbia offers similar protections to their citizens," Farrar said. "More than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies have policies in place that protect workers against discrimination in the work place. It is good public policy, good for business and good for Texas." State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D- Houston) signed on as a joint author to Farrar's bill. • H.B. 862, filed by Coleman on Feb. 11. This measure, also known as the Dignity for All Students Act, would protect Texas students from discrimination based on characteristics including race, religion and sexual orientation. H.B. 862 was referred to the Public Education Committee on Feb. 18. Chair of that committee is Rep. Kent Grusendorf of Arlington, a Republican. Members of the panel include Rep. Scott Hochberg of Houston, a Democrat. Farrar signed on as a joint author to the Dignity for All Students Act about a week after it was filed. • H.B. 916, filed on Feb. 12 by state Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville). He calls the bill the Defense of Families Act; it would prevent two people of the same sex from filing a joint petition for adoption of a child. H.B. 916 was referred to the Juvenile Justice & Family Affairs Committee, just as Talton's H.B. 194 was sent to that panel. To date, no other lawmakers have signed on as sponsors, co-authors or joint authors to Miller's proposal. • H.B. 1136, filed on Feb. 20 and referred to the State Affairs Committee on Feb. 26, was proposed by Democrat Villarreal. The legislation that would ban discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. It defines sexual orientation as "having a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality: having a history of such a preference; or being identified as having such a preference." It also states: "This Act may not be construed to mean that this state condones homosexuality, bisexuality, or any equivalent lifestyle." If passed, the legislation would prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against anyone based on sexual orientation. The bill also would make it illegal to refuse to sell or rent property based on sexual orientation. The sexual orientation legislation proposal also lays out rules for hotel and motel operators, realtors, labor unions, employment agencies and advertising publishers. • H.B. 1911, filed by Talton, would prevent unmarried Texans from serving as foster parents. It was referred to the State Affairs Committee on March 12 and has no other legislators signed on as coauthors to date. The Associated Priiss-OTiWhrW to this story. ft MORE INFO Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas P0 Box 2340 Austin, TX 78768 512-474-5475 www.lgrl.org
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