What’s Brewing: Houston schools add LGBT protections; marriage vote still pending in NY

Asher Brown
Asher Brown

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The Houston school board on Thursday night unanimously approved a new policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, according to a report from Meghan Stabler, a board member for the Human Rights Campaign. Houston ISD is the seventh-largest district in the nation, and the new policy protects both students and employees, Stabler reports. It comes eight months after the suicide of gay youth Asher Brown, who took his own life in response to anti-gay bullying in the nearby Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, which has not yet updated its policies to protect LGBT youth.

2. Despite rumors of an all-night session that would finally include a vote on marriage equality, the New York Senate abruptly shut down at 11 p.m. local time on Thursday and will reconvene this morning. Towleroad has a summary of where things stand.

3. As the wait continued in Albany, President Barack Obama addressed an LGBT fundraiser Thursday night in Manhattan, where he said he believes that “gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country” but added that marriage should be left up to the states. Watch video of Obama’s remarks and the protest outside below.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: New York marriage vote could come tonight or early Thursday

Jon Huntsman

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The New York State Senate’s vote on a marriage equality bill is now likely to come late today or early Thursday, as talks continue over protections for religious groups, the Associated Press reports. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he remains “cautiously optimistic” the bill will pass.

2. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman entered the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, and his campaign is making a pitch to gay donors based on his support for civil unions. But Huntsman took a step back this morning when he called marriage equality “impossible.”

3. Britney Spears new video for “I Wanna Go” premiered Tuesday night. Watch it below. Spears’ Femme Fatale tour comes to Dallas on July 12.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Gov. Perry’s camp prepared to address gay rumors if he runs for president

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Gov. Rick Perry’s team is prepared to address longstanding rumors that he’s gay if he jumps into the Republican presidential race, according to Politico. The story doesn’t specifically say how Perry’s team plans to address the rumors, and the fact that they’re still around after seven years — and that Politico is writing about them — would seem to indicate that their efforts haven’t been overly effective to this point. Then again, how do you prove you’re not gay, especially if you are? Perry’s top political strategist, Dave Carney, told Politico that the rumors must be false because the governor has survived several well-funded political challenges in Texas. But needless to say, there’s a monumental difference between running for governor of Texas and running for president. Dallas Voice was contacted by a reporter from the Huffington Post on Monday about the Perry gay rumors, so clearly the national media is starting to pick up on them. And Perry hasn’t even declared his candidacy yet. (Yes, that sound you hear is us licking our chops.)

2. A vote by the New York State Senate on marriage equality legislation could come at any time, as negotiations continue over language related to religious exemptions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s marriage equality bill has already passed the state Assembly but remains one vote short of the majority needed to pass the Senate.

3. Harry Potter star Emma Watson was spotted at the Round-Up Saloon in Dallas last Thursday, according to the Round-Up’s Facebook page and now TMZ. Oddly, the TMZ report doesn’t mention the fact that the Round-Up is a gay bar. Watson, who plays Hermione Granger, reportedly is the world’s highest-paid actress.

Emma Watson dances at the Round-Up last Thursday. (Via Facebook)

 

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: LGBT leaders meet with SBC president; Weiner tells friends he’ll resign

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. All eyes remain on the New York State Senate, which is still one vote short of the majority needed to legalize same-sex marriage in the nation’s third-largest state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s marriage equality bill cleared the Assembly on Wednesday night but must pass the Senate before the session ends next week. The Williams Institute reports that the bill would affect more than 42,000 same-sex couples.

2. After hand-delivering  a petition calling on the Southern Baptist Convention to apologize for its anti-gay positions, LGBT leaders met for more than 30 minutes Wednesday with SBC President Bryant Wright. From the Baptist Press: The remarkable meeting — cordial the entire time — took place between the morning and afternoon sessions of the SBC in Wright’s annual meeting office at the Phoenix Convention Center. The nine-person coalition included representatives of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Faith in America and Truth Wins Out. They protested outside the convention hall and requested to deliver petitions to Wright, who decided to turn the event into a dialogue. Several members of the media also attended.

3. Congressman Anthony Weiner has told friends he plans to resign. From the New York Times: The news comes as Democratic leaders prepared to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss whether to strip the 46-year-old Congressman of his committee assignments, a blow which would severely damage his effectiveness. Mr. Weiner, a Democrat, came to the conclusion that he could no longer serve after having long discussions with his wife,  Huma Abedin, when she returned home on Tuesday after traveling abroad with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

—  John Wright