Gay Primary Source

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Houston Mayor Comments on Equal Rights Ordnance Saga

“As I stated in my State of the City Address earlier this month, the Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally and allows full participation by everyone in civic and business life. We don’t care where you come from, the color of your skin, your age, gender, what physical limitations you may have or who you choose to love. It’s time the laws on our books reflect this.” April 21, 2014.

 "I am very pleased with the jury’s verdict, and I expect the court will apply the law to the verdict and issue a final judgment confirming that the petition failed. The City of Houston has had in place for over 100 years the same rules and legal requirements governing the referendum process to ensure fairness and avoid fraud, and the jury’s verdict confirms that the petitions did not meet the legal requirements. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal any outcome that is not in their favor. That would be unfortunate for the City. I believe that the majority of Houston wants this divisive fight to be over so that we are able to provide equal rights protections for all of our residents. The City is confident it will prevail." February 13, 2015.

“This is a great victory in the courts, and a great day for civil rights in Houston, Texas. The jury found for the City, and now the judge has found in favor of the City too.  I am gratified that the judge signed a final judgment rejecting the plaintiffs’ claims and confirming that their pro-discrimination referendum petition failed.  We will be prepared if the plaintiffs decide to appeal.” Donna Edmundson, City Attorney, April 17, 2015.

"Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this eleventh hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens. Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue. At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions. Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is similar to measures passed by every other major city in the country and by most local corporations. No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally. To do otherwise, hurts Houston’s well-known image as a city that is tolerant, accepting, inclusive and embracing of its diversity. Our citizens fully support and understand this and I have never been afraid to take it to the voters. We will win!" July 24, 2015.

 "The ballot language we chose came directly from the petition the pastors submitted to the City. It asks voters whether they want to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. If you want to repeal HERO you should vote yes. It is a very easy question to understand. It complies with the City Charter and a 1997 Texas Supreme Court ruling granting the City authority to select the ballot language for a referendum. This lawsuit isn't about whether the ballot language is easy to understand or complies with the law. The pastors group is opposed to a Houston free of discrimination for all and will do anything they can to try to confuse the voters." August 7, 2015.

 "Despite the continued backdoor legal maneuvers and manipulation by a small group that is out of touch, I am confident that Houstonians will vote to keep the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance in November.  We are a city that believes everyone deserves to be treated equally no matter his or her race, age, gender, physical limitations, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Discrimination simply isn’t a Houston value. With all due respect to the Texas Supreme Court, it is clear that politics is driving the law in this case.  We will rewrite the ballot language, but I strongly disagree with the decision and find it to be contrary to the court’s established law regarding previous ballot initiatives. August 19, 2015.

Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker (except where noted).


New York Fire Department Releases It Gets Better Video

" As Firefighters, Paramedics and EMTs in the most diverse city in the world, FDNY members have the tremendous opportunity to inspire young people through their brave work every single day. Through this video, they deliver an important message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world - it absolutely does get better. "

City of New York Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, October 11, 2015; on the occasion of the release of "its first ever It Gets Better video, in support of the It Gets Better Project. The Project's mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world that life gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to improve quality of life for them. In the FDNY-produced video, twelve active FDNY Firefighters, Paramedics, and EMTs discuss the challenges they faced throughout their lives and the success they have found both as adults, and as members of New York's Bravest."

     Click here to watch the video on a non-primary source


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

US Govt. Report Supports End to Conversion Therapy

" The conclusions in this report are based on professional consensus statements arrived at by experts in the field. Specifically, conversion therapy - efforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression - is a practice that is not supported by credible evidence and has been disavowed by behavioral health experts and associations. Conversion therapy perpetuates outdated views of gender roles and identities as well as the negative stereotype that being a sexual or gender minority or identifying as LGBTQ is an abnormal aspect of human development. Most importantly, it may put young people at risk of serious harm."

Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth, a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, October 15, 2015.

     Click here to read the entire report