Hearing today on bill aimed at preventing transgender people in Texas from marrying

dead firefighter's transgender wife
Nikki Araguz

A bill that would prevent some transgender people in Texas from obtaining marriage licenses will be heard by a Senate committee this afternoon.

The bill is an apparent response to the case of Nikki Araguz, the transgender widow from Wharton County. Araguz was sued by the family of her husband, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty, to prevent her from obtaining death benefits.

Senate Bill 723, by Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, would remove a court order of sex change from the list of identifitying documents that can be presented to obtain marriage licenses in Texas.

The Transgender Education Network of Texas sent out an alert this morning asking people to call the members of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence and urge them to kill the bill in committee. The committee members can be reached at 512-463-4630. The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. and can be viewed live here. Here are instructions for calling from TENT:

IDENTIFY: yourself by name, any organization you represent, and town from which you are calling
EXPLAIN: “I am calling to oppose Senate Bill: SB 723 as it is an injustice to trans identified people in the state of Texas” Be polite and concise, concentrate on 1 or 2 talking points you wish to make.
REQUEST: A written response to your phone call.
THANK: the person who took the phone call for their time and consideration.
Repeat for each member of the committee
In the Austin area: Go by the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence meeting on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm room 2E.20 (Betty King Cmte. Rm.) of the Capitol and submit a testimony card AGAINST SB 723.

 

—  John Wright

Wisconsin’s got bigger nuts than Texas

Rebecca Kleefisch

Wisconsin is generally considered a liberal state. Milwaukee is the only city in the country that ever elected a socialist city government. Their senior senator, Russ Feingold, is one of the most liberal members of the Senate.

But like in New York, this election year has brought out Wisconsin’s right-wing crazies.

Here’s some current news on Wisconsin Republican candidates, proving — yet again — that Texas Republicans are downright mainstream and boring.

Rebecca Kleefisch didn’t mean to sound insensitive when she compared same-sex marriage to marrying a table.

The former local TV news anchor (surprisingly for ABC, not Fox) is running on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin.

She said was talking about the state’s domestic partnership law that offers same-sex couples hospital visitation rights and estate planning rights.

She said the state can’t afford to just hand out money to anyone.

She didn’t explain how visiting someone in the hospital and helping to care for that person costs the state money. Or how probating a will that is not contested in court costs more than a legal fight between a partner and a family that won’t recognize the relationship. Seems like it’s her way that costs the state big bucks.

Well, she’s sorry. She’s still against marriage equality, not that Wisconsin offers marriage equality. Please vote for her.

Jennifer London is running for Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. Her solution to the Social Security problem is to back all of the trust fund’s savings with gold.

The Great Lakes are her environmental concern. To save them, she would close the St. Lawrence Seaway. No word on how she’d do that beyond her proposed legislation since the St. Lawrence is in Canada. War?

Then there’s Apostle David King, founder of the Milwaukee God Squad and Republican candidate for Wisconsin Secretary of State.

Charlette Harris filed a civil lawsuit today against King.

Harris, a lesbian, is accusing King of getting her drunk and getting her pregnant. She says they had lunch on Aug. 26. After he got her drunk, he took her to his home where she was too drunk to consent to sex, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The paper reports King first suggested Harris get an abortion and then suggested his wife go with her for her ultrasound. I may not know much about heterosexual relationships, but even if this wasn’t rape, isn’t it odd for the adulterer to get his wife involved?

For the record, no apostles are on the ballot in Texas. No proposals to shut down the Rio Grande to deal with immigration or the environment. No real nutjobs to really make us proud. With all the crazies out there, I’m a little jealous that we don’t have our share.

—  David Taffet