Roberto Alonzo files insurance nondiscrimination measure; no anti-gay legislation reported yet

Rep. Roberto Alonzo

State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, has filed one of the earliest pro-equality bills of the 2011 legislative session — and he didn’t even wait outside the clerk’s office for two days to do it.

Alonzo’s HB208, filed Monday, would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the nondiscrimination provisions of the Texas Insurance Code, according to Equality Texas.

Chuck Smith, deputy director of Equality Texas, said Wednesday morning that while there’s been a flood of legislation related to immigration and abortion, no anti-gay bills have been logged since the pre-filing period began Monday.

Some feel there is a danger of anti-gay attacks in the biennial session that begins in January, now that Republicans have a nearly two-thirds majority in the House, but Smith reiterated what he told us last week.

“It is untrue to assume that all Republicans are wingnut homophobes,” Smith said. “Some of them are, but I don’t know that there is a will certainly at the leadership level to gay-bash. I think their own polling numbers probably tell them what we see as well, which is that it doesn’t necessarily play well.”

—  John Wright

Man suspected of hate crime outside Neb. gay bar

Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. — A 22-year-old man has been accused of a hate crime following an altercation outside a Lincoln gay bar.

Lincoln police spokeswoman Katie Flood told the Lincoln Journal Star that an officer saw Luke Stevens punch a 32-year-old man outside Club Q around 1:40 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3. The victim reported that Stevens used a derogatory term to refer to the victim’s sexual orientation just before the assault.

Stevens was being held Friday in the Lancaster County jail on suspicion of third-degree assault, resisting arrest and failure to comply.

—  John Wright