by Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez, 2015 DFW Federal Club Co-Chairs
Recent court action on Marriage Equality makes us optimistic!
Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take up a number of cases that may be the definitive action in realizing marriage equality in all states – including Texas! This comes a week after the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas trying to reverse court decisions that judged state bans on marriage equality unconstitutional. The bottom line in all this is that court decisions in these cases could mean that marriage equality will soon be a reality in every state in the country.
Our very own Federal Club members, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, are two of the plaintiffs in the case against the ban in Texas. They have represented us well, putting up with the yearlong wait for court action, and living under a microscope -- all to be among the brave couples who push us forward. We are so proud of both of them, and of Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman, the couple from Austin who are also plaintiffs in the case. Their efforts and struggles stand to benefit us all, and we owe them our gratitude!
Your Federal Club level pledge goes to the heart of this matter. The support you show for HRC’s actions to fight for LGBT equality benefits us all and has been critical in moving marriage equality forward. But, if we do, in fact, win and marriage equality comes to Texas, this will just be the START of a whole new battle.
While legal protections are essential, we still need to win enough hearts and minds that politicians in Austin will be clear that they should not fight further. Already, a bill has been introduced in the Texas legislature that would bar government employees from recognizing, granting or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses. Any government employee who violates the provision would be barred from collecting “a salary, pension, or other employee benefit.” And that’s just the start.
Let’s cheer on the Courts, but also let’s rally for the fight that continues! Thank you for your support to bring equality to all Texans -- us, you and all those who don’t even know we are here fighting for them!