Blink and You Might Miss It

It’s hard to believe that January is almost over in our new year. If you blink you might miss some of the amazing work our area volunteers and members are doing.

Our Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service was a great success! On January 15, about 20 HRC volunteers helped out at the Family Place Resale Shop.  

The Family Place empowers victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling and skills that create independence while building community engagement and advocating for social change to stop family violence. The Family Place Resale Shop serves a vital role for their clients who often give up everything to flee for safety. Clients are provided with vouchers to purchase what they need at the Resale Shop so that they can start new lives. Our volunteers helped the staff at the Resale Shop with accepting donations, sorting merchandise, and displaying items for sale. Thank you to Pio, Tarun, Sam, Kim, Monica, Barry, Roland & so many others that took the time to support the Family Place.

For six nights over the last two weekends, a number of HRC volunteers, including Tarun Kapoor & Sam Tornabene assisted in the "See Us Now 2018" survey of homeless youth. Volunteers fanned out around Dallas County to ask questions about the conditions that homeless youth are facing and the services they need. We’ll share the report that is due out in April. 

The Youth First program at Resource Center launched its series of LGBTQ History discussions on January 24. HRC’s Sam Tornabene was the inaugural speaker.  Sam talked about the origins of the modern LGBT Civil Rights movement and the story behind Stonewall and the first Gay Pride celebration.  The LGBTQ History discussions will take place monthly. We’ll share upcoming topics and dates.

In case you missed it...

Our January mixer was a "chilly" blast! Pun intended. We had a great turnout at our first mixer hosted by Woody's.

Photos can be found on our Facebook Page. Thank you to Paul Jentz for capturing a great night!

And welcome to our new Federal Club Members - Pamela, Jonathan, David & Mace.

In political news, the Texas Primary election is coming up fast and we need you to get out and vote. Here are important dates to remember:

Remember, EVERY VOTE MATTERS! Get registered, get educated about the candidates, and get out and vote. And tell your friends to do the same!

On Feb 16 - 18, the HRC Foundation in partnership with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association will host Time To THRIVE, the annual national conference  in Orlando, FL to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth. Did you know young LGBTQ people in America still face dramatically heightened rates of discrimination in school, at home and within their community. The impact of family rejection, bullying and the messages they hear about being LGBTQ weigh heavily on our youth. By engaging a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches and youth development staff (Boys and Girls Club, YMCAs, scout leaders, etc.), we can create spaces in which LGBTQ youth are affirmed, supported and have the ability to thrive. If you’re interested in learning more about Time to Thrive, visit

Mark your calendar: Friday, February 16 is Chinese New Year and what better way to celebrate our next mixer than at one of our local favorite spots: Chino Chinatown. We hope to see you there.

Details below:

Chino Chinatown @ Trinity Groves
Friday, 2/16  6pm - 8pm
3011 Gulden Ln #110
Dallas, TX 75212
Google Map

Thank you for your continued support!

New Year--Same Mission

Happy New Year to all Dallas/Fort Worth Federal Club members. As we embark on a new year, we still have the same mission — to move us towards Full LGBTQ Equality.

On Saturday, January 6, 40 area volunteers met for our 2018 planning retreat. 30 Federal Club members attended including 9 Board of  Governors and 1 Board of Director. HRC’s Regional Field Director Criss Ruiz from Dallas and Federal Club Deputy Director, Casey Reever Whiting from Washington DC, were also in attendance. There was much enthusiasm in the room as we planned for a very busy year. 


Collectively, HRC DFW Steering Committee and the Federal Club manages and/or participates in approximately 50 events per year. From Federal Club monthly mixers and quarterly luncheons to our new monthly HRC Mondays, and annual fundraising events like Fairway to Equality and HerHRC, we have a very vibrant and active community. In addition to metro area Pride events, we also support pride events in Longview, San Angelo and Oklahoma. The planning session helped us align and set our goals for 2018. Thank you to everyone that participated. If you would like to learn more about getting involved, please reach out to

On January 10, HRC published their annual State Equality Index (SEI) Report, a comprehensive state-by-state report detailing statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families and placing states in one of four categories based on their pro- and anti-LGBTQ state laws. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality”. Unfortunately, Texas is among Twenty-Seven states in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality.” You can read more about Texas here. 

On a national front, HRC has begun recruiting 45 full-time political, field, grassroots organizing and volunteer engagement staff for “HRC Rising,” a bold, proactive grassroots campaign to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

As you can see, there is a lot of work to do. Thank you for your continued support that helps HRC do the vital work necessary to move us towards full equality.

To kick off our 2018 events, this Friday is our first monthly mixer at Woody's Dallas. We hope to see you there. Details below:

Friday, 1/19 6pm - 8pm
4011 Cedar Springs Rd
Dallas, TX 95219

Google Map
Yours in Equality,
Linda Reyes-Hart and Nancy Caldwell

My HRC Story

My name is Linda Reyes-Hart and this is my story.

Mary Hart and I met in 1990 when she was serving in the Army National Guard. Back then it was not okay for homosexuals to serve openly in the Armed Services. In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." DADT defined homosexuality as "an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." The military was not allowed to ask if she was gay. So she didn't tell. We lived the majority of our first 20 years together in the closet.

During those years, Mary was deployed twice: in 2000 she served in Bosnia and in 2005 in Iraq. I always felt that I had it easier than she did during those deployments. I was at home, safe with family and friends. She was serving our country in the closet. She had no one to talk to about her feelings; about how much she loved and missed me. She had to keep it all to herself.  But it was something she had to do. She took an oath to serve our country and I 'secretly' took an oath to stand by her side.

Fast forward to 2009. Mary was asked to deploy once again, for the third time. This time her destination was Afghanistan. This time I was frightened more than ever.  Iraq was no cake walk but Afghanistan was going to be much harder. When Mary went to Afghanistan for a 3-week reconnaissance mission that year, I was more worried and scared for her safety than I was during the previous deployments. I knew it would be difficult for both of us. Then while training for that deployment she fell and tore her ACL. She was done. No more training. No more deployment. I thought "Yes! [fist pump], she doesn't have to go to Afghanistan.”

A short time later, near the end of 2010 with efforts led by President Barack Obama, DADT was repealed. We could finally live openly as a couple. Things were starting to take a turn for the better. That next year, Mary retired as a Lt. Colonel after serving 22 years in the US Army National Guard.

This is not where our story ends, but rather where our story really begins.

Since Mary retired from the military, we no longer had to worry about her career being jeopardized. We decided it was time to start fighting openly for our civil rights -- not just the right to marry but other rights we could be denied because we were gay. And it wasn't just about us. We wanted to help others. We couldn't sit by idly and watch others be discriminated against just because they were gay.

We decided to get involved and joined the Human Rights Campaign. We became members of the Federal Club and joined the DFW Governing Committee. Since joining, we've met some inspiring women and men who continue to fight for LGBTQ rights.

Today we have marriage equality. Now what?

Across our country, in some states there are nondiscrimination bills that would provide comprehensive protections for LGTBQ Americans. But in other states there are harmful anti-LGBT bills, religious exemption bills, bills pre-empting local protections, anti-transgender bills and other anti-LGBT bills.

The Human Rights Campaign, along with tens of thousands of advocates, works around the clock to lobby members of Congress on critical legislation that would greatly affect the lives of LGBTQ Americans. The Equality Act, introduced last year establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In essence, it would amend the Civil Rights act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

How can you help? I'm asking you to join me and Mary as we continue to fight for equal rights for all Americans. By joining the Federal Club for as little as $100 per month (only $3.29 per day), your ongoing pledge is a cost-effective way to contribute to HRC and ensures HRC has the resources for its legislative and advocacy work.

If you have questions about becoming a Federal Club member, please contact any of our local HRC leaders: Steve Wiscaver, Liz Rodriquez, Jaime Duggan or Barry Robertson or send an email to Member Services. I appreciate your support as we all fight for our Equal Rights!


Linda Reyes-Hart


TCC Honors DFW Federal Club

DFW Federal Club is extremely honored to share with you Turtle Creek Chorale's upcoming concert series, Heroes.

We salute the heroes in our lives and our communities - those that have always been there, those that have changed the world and those that make a difference. For the first half, TCC will present musical “awards” to the people and organizations that have made our community what it is today. For the second half of the concert, we’ll present “Tyler’s Suite” honoring the legacy of Tyler Clementi.

Join us as Turtle Creek Chorale honors Federal Club as Heroes in our community!

HEROES presented by Turtle Creek Chorale
March 31-April 2 at 7:30 PM
Dallas City Performance Hall
Tickets available here or by calling 214-526-3214

When purchasing tickets use the promo code DFWFC and $5 of each ticket with be donated to our organization. 

We hope to see you all there!

Liz Rodriguez & Steve Wiscaver


Volunteers for the 2016 FC Governing Committee

DFW Federal Club continues to lead the nation as one of the largest, most active and healthy HRC chapters. And we want you to help keep this success going by serving on our Governing Committee (GC). Here are some of the areas where we could use your talents:

EVENT COORDINATORS -- Help with our Luncheons, Holiday Party, Mixers, Women's Events, and many other events throughout the year

WRITERS/EDITORS -- Use your skills to help communicate with our members and other audiences about what FC is up to.

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS -- Design for the Web and for print materials

WEB SITE MASTERS-- Keep our on line communications up-to-date

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITERS -- Bring new members into DFW Federal Club

SPONSORSHIP SOLICITORS -- Help get sponsors for our events and activities


We encourage each of you to seriously consider applying.  The application is not lengthy but it is critical.  We will then do one-on-one interviews to match open positions with applicants.  Interviews will take place during the month of November. Our goal is to have the committee set by the time we approach the holiday party and holiday season — so we are ready for the New Year. 

There is a lot of work that goes into being a member of the GC. But, we can tell you that it is one of most rewarding experiences you'll have ever had. And you will gain the satisfaction of knowing that you took another step and gave even more in the fight for equality that inspires us all. 

You can find the 2016 GC Application here. Please complete it and email it to by November 6, 2015.

New Co-Chair Elected to Serve Federal Club for 2016-2017

Steve Wiscaver -- 2016-2017 FC Co-Chair

Steve Wiscaver -- 2016-2017 FC Co-Chair

At the September FC Governing Committee meeting, Steve Wiscaver was elected as the new co-chair for DFW Federal Club for 2016-2017. He will replace Chris Lindsey as co-chair. DFW has a long line of outstanding leaders, and Steve is already known nationally for his work for the Human Rights Campaign.  

Steve has served on the Governing Committee for four years, beginning on the member services team setting up the monthly mixers. From there, he moved to co-chair of the Member Services Committee where he began a host of innovative programs to regularly reach out to new members, departing members and continuing members. Steve also led the Recruiting Committee prior to returning to Member Services this year.  
Last year, Steve served as one of the Holiday Party Chairs. He built a team that not only planned an outstanding event for last December at Arlington Hall, but had already chosen a venue for 2015 by the time we began our celebrations! He has already recruited the leaders who will be taking over the work he began as he starts his new role on January 1. Steve will serve a 2-year term; first with our current co-chair, Liz Rodriguez, followed by a new co-chair to be elected next fall.  
We know you all have met Steve at some point, but you can expect to see his face and name far more in the coming months. The local members of the National Board of Governors and Board of Directors have full faith in the future of DFW HRC, and the continued strong and vibrant leadership of Federal Club is a large part of that confidence. Next time you see Steve, congratulate him on being selected to be the next FC Co-Chair! 

Sign Up NOW to be a Sponsor for this Year's FC Holiday Party!

We want to make this year's FC Holiday party an affair to remember! As we reflect on all that has happened this year and the historic achievements realized by your hard work and generous support, we would really like to make the Holiday Party as amazing as the year was successful!.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available!  There are many levels and types of sponsorship that are available.  We would love to work with you on making your sponsorship and show of support for DFW Federal Club reflect your personal dedication to our work.

As always, we remain dedicated to being excellent stewards of your money. This is why we ask for sponsorship commitments early in our planning to be able to create our party responsibly. Depending on your level of sponsorship, you will receive recognition on printed materials and signage at the event as well as other perks. There will be an official sponsorship letter that will be mailed within the next couple of weeks providing further details. And you can find more information here

If you have any questions regarding sponsorships or volunteer opportunities, please contact John Golden at your earliest convenience.  He can be reached at (214) 984-8108 or by email at  

We look forward to seeing you and your guests as we celebrate the fire within us the evening of December 4th!

Our Fall Luncheon Will Celebrate All Y'All!!

Make plans now to join us for the FC Fall Luncheon on Saturday September 12. This luncheon will focus on Texas and all of the progress that we have been making in moving Texas toward equality for everyone! "Cuz in Texas, Y'All means ALL!

You'll get to hear from JoDee Winterhof, SVP for Policy and Political Affairs for HRC. JoDee leads HRC's  federal, state and local legislative, field and legal teams, while overseeing management of HRC’s political action committees and electoral engagement.The dress code for this luncheons "Business Casual -- Texas". So get your boots on and plan to join us at the Tower Club on September 12!

FC Fall Luncheon
Saturday September 12th 10:30 -- 12:30
Tower Club
Thanksgiving Tower | 48th Floor
1601 Elm St | Dallas 75201

Let's Show Houston that DFW Supports Equality!

Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which includes protects for the LGBT community, is under attack and will be on the ballot in November. HRC is fighting to make sure that we preserve equality for ALL Houstonians! 

HRC is proudly standing alongside other organizations in Texas to launch Houston Unites, a broad and diverse coalition of advocacy groups, civil rights organizations and others working together to defend the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).  This is going to be a tough campaign, and, as LGBT and Allied Texans, we need to join in the fight and show Houston that we support equality for ALL.

Houston needs our help! As the election gets closer, we will be letting you know about opportunities to help! You may want to join a phone bank to call voters in Houston, or spend some time there canvassing or just call your friends who live there and encourage them and their friends to vote!

Learn more here. And find out how HRC is supporting equality in Houston here.

The Equality Act and What it Means for Texas

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow same-sex marriage nationwide, LGBT Americans still lack explicit protections in federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Here in Texas, LGBT couples can now legally marry. But they are still at risk of being fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes or denied services because of whom they love. At the same time, Transgender Texans confront severe and pervasive discrimination that affects their daily lives.

We can’t expect any action at the state level any time soon -- the Texas State Legislature doesn’t even meet again until January 2017!  But federal level protections can and should be put in place that would ensure that individuals couldn’t be fired, denied housing, or refused service based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Last week, the Equality Act was introduced in both houses of the US Congress. This legislation would extend Federal-level civil rights protections to include LGBT people.  And HRC is fighting to pass the Equality Act.

This legislation has a strong foundation. In addition to being the right thing to do, it also has the support of the American people. A survey of likely 2016 voters showed that 67% support a federal non-discrimination law. That support transcends party lines with 51% of Republicans, 72% of Independents and 80% of Democrats expressing their support.

It is time for comprehensive legislation that provides full equality for all LGBT Americans. We must continue to fight at the state and local levels to end anti-LGBT discrimination. Everyone in this country should have a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

With your continued support and dedication, we will someday celebrate full federal equality in the country from coast to coast. And even here in Texas!

Volunteers Needed!

FC Co-Chairs Liz Rodriguez and Chris Lindsey with speaker Jeydon Loredo at the FC Summer Luncheon  

FC Co-Chairs Liz Rodriguez and Chris Lindsey with speaker Jeydon Loredo at the FC Summer Luncheon

Are you interested in becoming a little more involved with DFW Federal Club? Do you have some time to volunteer to help with some of Federal Club's activities? If so, we would like to talk with you!

DFW Federal Club is the premiere HRC Federal Club in the nation, and we are proud that we can provide our members with so many opportunities to be a part of the movement for equality! And DFW Federal Club is very busy!  We host Monthly Mixers, Quarterly Luncheons, Special Events like Fairway to Equality and the Holiday Party, and much more.  

You may not realize this, but everything that Federal Club does is done by volunteers.  People who give their time, as well as their financial support, to make DFW Federal Club run as smoothly as it does. And it takes a lot of people to make it work.

That's why we are reaching out to you.  Here are some of the areas where we need your time and talents. 

Events -- Help us plan and stage events like the Monthly Mixers and the Quarterly Luncheons

Communications --  If you have Web design, social media or great writing skills, we could use your help in putting together the many communication pieces that we have.

Ambassadors -- The best spokespeople for Federal Club are you all, its members! Help us to engage potential new members and get them to join in supporting the work of HRC. We'll show you how!

What's in it for you? Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the success of HRC, while working with and getting to know a great group of people. You may even find that you want to become part of the Federal Club Governing Committee!
Let us know you specific areas of interest in volunteering and we will see if we have a match! Contact us at! We really appreciate your interest and hope to hear from you soon!

Have You Considered Serving on a Dallas City Board or Commission?

Do you live in Dallas? Are you looking for a way to become more involved in helping your neighbors, serving your neighborhood, and improving your city? Are you looking for a way to take a leadership role in the LGBT community while helping to increase diversity in City government to make sure LGBT voices are heard? Have you considered volunteering to serve on a city board or commission?
Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance will sponsor an informational session and training on Saturday, July 25 at the Resource Center Dallas, 2701 Reagan Street, Dallas.  This informational session will include an orientation in which a representative of the City Secretary's office will discuss the roles and responsibilities of the various boards and commissions as well as the application process.  This will be followed by a panel discussion by community leaders who have been city councilmembers, board members, commissioners, and activists who have worked with issues before boards and commissions.
Anyone is welcome to attend.  To RSVP please email davedoug99@yahoo.comPlease RSVP as soon as possible and include your interest and your address so that your information can be forwarded to your councilmember.  With the new council already sworn in and the new boards and commissions taking office in September councilmembers are looking now for people who are willing to serve.

Historic Marriage Ruling Generates Momentum for New Non-Discrimination Law

From the HRC Blog

In the week since the historic Supreme Court decision that established nationwide marriage equality, LGBT advocates across the country have spoken in unison about the need for federal non-discrimination legislation. The reason is clear: despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, LGBT Americans lack explicit protections in federal law that prohibit discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

“Even after this 50 state marriage victory at the Supreme Court, in most states in this country, a couple who gets married at 10 a.m. remain at risk of being fired from their jobs by noon and evicted from their home by 2 p.m. simply for posting their wedding photos on Facebook,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Transgender Americans remain disproportionately at-risk of facing discrimination--and even violence--in their daily lives. No one in our community should be at risk of being fired, evicted from their home, or denied services because of who they are or whom they love. There is an unacceptable patchwork of state-level protections for LGBT people, and more than half of LGBT Americans live in a state that lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination laws. The time has come in this country for full, federal equality, and nothing less. A federal non-discrimination bill will help finally ensure that all employees are hired, fired or promoted based on their performance. All LGBT Americans deserve a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families.” (Continue reading)

An Evening to Remember!

Congratulations to Federal Club Co-Chair Chris Lindsey and his husband, Scott Lindsey, on their not-to-be-believed wedding ceremony.  Not only is their marriage recognized by the State of Texas and the U.S. Government, it also got an extra stamp of approval from Jennifer Hudson! The ceremony took place at the W Hotel -- Victory and was part of HRC and W Hotel's "Turn it up for Change" program supporting marriage equality.  More here.

Celebrate Marriage Equality with Jim Obergefell and Chad Griffin!

Come to the Round Up Saloon on Cedar Springs on Monday June 29 at 6:00pm to celebrate with Jim and Chad.

Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in Obergefell v Hodges

Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in Obergefell v Hodges

Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case that brought Marriage Equality to all fifty states, and HRC's President, Chad Griffin, will be here in Dallas to help us celebrate today's Supreme Court decision! Join us at the Round Up on Monday and meet the people who have made LGBT history! And you'll also hear about what's next for our movement

Today’s ruling makes perfectly clear that there is no legal or moral justification for standing in the path of marriage equality. State officials across the country must act swiftly to ensure that every obstacle to obtaining a marriage license is removed. To do anything less is a shameful attempt to cement their state on the wrong side of history.
But what’s also clear today is that our work isn’t done until every discriminatory law in this nation is wiped away.  The time has come in this country for comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. We now have to work harder than ever before to pass a federal law to ensure that LGBT Americans are no longer at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services simply on the basis of the marriage license that they fought so hard to achieve.
We need to harness our momentum. Starting in this session of Congress, the Human Rights Campaign and our partners will lead the fight for a sweeping federal non-discrimination bill—legislation that seeks to protect LGBT people and their families from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, federal funding, education and jury service.
Our work is far from complete. As we saw in Indiana and Arkansas earlier this year, the opponents of equality will stop at nothing to enshrine discrimination into law, and we don’t believe for one second that this fight is over. Even with today’s ruling, tonight, somewhere in this country an LGBT young person will spend many sleepless hours feeling helpless and hopeless because of discrimination they face at school, in church, even around their own dinner table.
And we have been reminded once again over the past weeks that discrimination and the scourge of hate still live in this country. Progress for some is not progress for all, and we are even more committed than ever to ensuring that all citizens are equal. That all Americans receive justice. That we are all united.

Our job now is to guarantee that they can have true and lasting hope at last—and that they are fully protected from discrimination at the federal level and in the state that they call home.

Join us for the Summer Luncheon on June 27


We are very excited about our speaker for the FC Summer Luncheon! Jeydon Loredo will join us to talk about his journey as a trans youth and some of the issues that face LGBT youth every day.

In the Fall of Jeydon’s senior year in High School, he wanted to be able to wear a tuxedo for his yearbook picture. School officials demanded that Jeydon wear a blouse or a drape if his portrait was to appear in the yearbook, despite protections in place against discrimination based on gender expression.  These demands prompted HRC to launch an on-line petition with the goal of convincing the school to live up to its own non-discrimination policies.

Often, issues facing LGBT youth take a back seat.  But self-esteem issues, bullying, not having an adult they can trust or having parents who openly express anti-LGBT sentiments are extremely harmful to young people. Rates of drug and alcohol use are higher among LGBT youth. And worries about safety and acceptance often crowd out their ability to focus on getting an education and living up to their true potential.

We will also be holding a food drive to benefit the Resource Center Food Pantry. Please bring your non-perishable food items to the luncheon to donate to the Food Pantry.  You can also make a financial donation to assist the Resource Center to help those in need. 

RSVP here! See you on Saturday!


Our Top Ten List for LGBT Pride Month!

There's a lot to be proud of! Here's our take on some things worth celebrating this month!

by Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 Federal Club Co-Chairs

by Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 Federal Club Co-Chairs

Here’s our Top Ten list of “Reasons to be Proud” for this year’s LGBT Pride Month. Our community has accomplished so much that it’s hard to narrow it down to just ten things. But here goes! 

10) HRC National -- HRC continues to step up their efforts to support equality across the country and, especially, here in Texas! They keep showing us results that remind us of how important it is for us to support them.

9) Pride is Busting Out All Over -- There are now dozens of Pride Celebrations all over North Texas. From Fort Worth and Dallas to McKinney and Longview, LGBT communities are coming out to mark the occasion! We are out and proud everywhere!

8) DFW Federal Club continues to lead the nation. We were so honored to receive so many awards at the HRC Spring Equality Convention! And being named “BEST Federal Club Committee of the Year” was a real privilege! 

7) Businesses across Texas have come out to support our community and to oppose discrimination. Companies including American Airlines, Whole Foods, Apple, SXSW and many others have all pledged to fight discrimination against LGBT people. 

6) We defeated more than 20 bad bills in this session of the Texas Legislature. Despite every effort by a majority of legislators to move harmful bills, we succeeded in turning them away.

5) Dallas and Fort Worth both scored great in HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, at 91 and 83, respectively. The places many of us call home are increasingly welcoming to LGBT people. 

4) Transgender issues are, more and more, coming out in the open. The unique needs of the transgender community are increasingly being addressed and the heightened visibility of our transgender siblings is something to be truly proud of!

3) Marriage Equality may be just around the corner.  It’s all in the hands of the U. S. Supreme Court, but we are optimistic. And nervous. But, mostly, optimistic!

2) Our community.  The DFW LGBT Community continues to be amazing. Our ability to come together to support the work that needs to be done for equality is awesome! And we usually have a good time doing it!

And, our number one source of Pride is . . . 

1) YOU! Every one of YOU! Each of you is unique and special and deserves to be celebrated.  And we hope you are as proud of yourselves as we are of you! Pride month is a time to celebrate each other, to remember all of the sacrifices we have made and to commit ourselves to continuing to make progress! We all have a lot to celebrate!

As always, thanks for your support! And Happy LGBT Pride Month!

Great News from Austin!

Texas Legislative Session ends with NO anti-LGBT bills being passed

By Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 FC Co-Chairs

By Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 FC Co-Chairs

When the 2015 Texas Legislative Session began, we were all prepared for the worst.  More than 20 blatantly anti-LGBT pieces of legislation were introduced that would have done harm to marriage equality, transgender health and well-being, same-sex couples’ adoption rights, and much more. With the most conservative state legislature Texas has seen in a long time in place, we were concerned that something very damaging to the LGBT communities could easily happen.
Well, the 84th Legislative session ended yesterday, and we are very happy and relieved to report that NOT ONE of the 20+ bad bills passed!  Every one of them was defeated! The worst that the Texas State Senate could do was to pass a non-binding resolution that stated the opposition to marriage equality by a group of fewer than two dozen Senators.
HRC is proud to have played a leading role in defeating these bills. Our actions in Austin and across the state to mobilize opposition to these bills were critical to their defeat. These great results are also the product of a lot of hard work and investment by a number of our partners including Texas Freedom Network, the ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas and Freedom to Marry, among many others. 
This session, we saw unprecedented support for LGBT rights from the business community. When hundreds of businesses, large and small, tell legislators that discrimination is not a Texas value, they listen.  And, not only did they listen, but they also acted to make sure that laws that would permit discrimination did not pass.
As we enter Pride Month, we have a lot to celebrate. Let’s take pride in ourselves and all that we have accomplished together so far! But, while we were able to stop a lot of bad legislation, we were not able to pass any of the good legislation that our communities need.
Did you know that there are still no statewide protections for LGBT people in employment, housing or public accommodation? Did you know that Texas still has a law on the books that criminalizes sodomy (It’s unconstitutional, but it’s still there!) Did you know that same-sex couples in Texas are not permitted to have BOTH parent’s names on a birth certificate? And the list goes on!
We all worked hard this session and are encouraged by the results. Later this month, we hope that the Supreme Court decides in favor of marriage equality nationwide. But there is still so much work to be done. Let’s celebrate our victories, but please keep up your support of HRC and all the work we are doing here in Texas and across the country to achieve equality for everyone!

HRC. Fighting for You in Austin.

We still have a long way to go!

By chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 Federal Club Co-Chairs

By chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 Federal Club Co-Chairs

We made some progress last week in Austin. Last Thursday was the deadline for bills to come out of the Texas House and our opponents failed to move the most harmful legislation that had been introduced. That included more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation, from bills that would permit discrimination based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” to legislation that would allow the state to ignore a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Texas Freedom Network, ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas and HRC have been fighting back from the moment these bills were introduced earlier this year.  Because of the hard work of our team on the ground and thousands of members and supporters, H.B. 4105 - a profoundly discriminatory bill that would have barred county officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, no matter what the Supreme Court decides - failed to proceed as a stand-alone bill, along with multiple other bills that would limit the freedoms of LGBT people across the state.

This moment comes in part because of the tireless work of HRC staff and volunteer leaders who have stood up for equality. In our campaign against this legislation, we generated over 50,000 emails and thousands of calls to Texas legislators from our members, supporters and allies across the state in just the past week and a half. Our press shop has sent a dozen releases to reporters across the state sounding the alarm about the discriminatory nature of these bills; and online, we launched an aggressive social campaign directly targeting legislators at the Capitol.

But while we’ve passed an important procedural deadline, we’re not out of the woods yet. Another shameful anti-LGBT bill—one targeting LGBT parents seeking to adopt and foster children—may be heard as an amendment by the Texas legislature today, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that opponents of equality don’t give up easily. That’s why HRC is back at the Statehouse today, working to ensure that no more bad bills are heard. And we’ll stay focused until the Texas session ends on June 1st.

The fight for full equality in Texas is a battle we’re determined to win. HRC’s 1.5 million members and supporters and countless allies across the country are standing together to support pro-equality legislation and ensure that every American can live, work, learn and love free from discrimination. And more and more Americans - including here in Texas - are standing on the right side of history.

The battle is far from over, and there’s no time to celebrate any victory. But we’ve shown that together, we can beat impossible odds. And we’re not going to stop until we win.

5 Facts about the Changing Marriage Equality Landscape

Things you should know while we await the Supreme Court decision

by chris lindsey & liz rodriguez | 2015 FC co-chairs

by chris lindsey & liz rodriguez | 2015 FC co-chairs

Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could be decisive in establishing marriage equality in all 50 states. The pace of progress on the issue has been incredible and we thought it might be a good time to take a look at just how far we have come.

Just two years after first time a marriage equality case hit the Supreme Court, here’s where we stand:

1) Prior to the Windsor and Perry rulings in 2013, same-sex couples could legally marriage in 10 states, plus the District of Columbia. Today, same-sex couples can marry in 37 states.

2) There are already 60,000 married same-sex couples in the 13 states still waiting for marriage equality to be the law.

3) Currently, 195 million Americans support marriage equality.

4) According to a 2013 NBC/WSJ poll, 79 percent of Americans say they know someone who is gay or lesbian – that’s a 17 point increase in less than 10 years. 

5) Despite what the opposition may say, only three percent of marriage equality opponents would “protest a Supreme Court decision overturning marriage” nationwide, according to according to a June 2014 HRC poll.

Marriage equality may soon be a reality across the country!  And that is because of all the dedication and support that so many of you have given over the years. Our struggle is far from over, but last week in Washington DC, we took a huge step forward!

We will find out in June what the court decides.  Until then, we can take a lot of comfort in seeing just how far we have come!