UPDATE: Rangers may film ‘It Gets Better’ video

We just received an email from John Blake, executive vice president of communications for the Texas Rangers, responding to our inquiry Wednesday about the possibility of the team recording an “It Gets Better” video. FYI, the petition at Change.org calling for the Rangers to do so is now up to 2,394 signatures.

“The Rangers have received the correspondence and we are currently considering our options and the timing on any initiatives,” Blake said in his email.

We called Blake to try to get more out of him.

“It’s late in the season and everything, and it’s just a matter of timing and that kind of thing,” Blake said, adding that the team is in the midst of a pennant race. “We’ve received the correspondence [emailed petitions] and we’re just considering the best way to add the whole bullying initiative. We’ve discussed it internally and that’s where we’re at. I think it’s fair to say we’re seriously looking at our options.”

Asked whether the organization has set any kind of a timeframe for a decision, Blake said: “I think it will be sooner rather than later.”

In other words, keep those signatures coming!

—  John Wright

Thanks to our gay district clerk, you can now access Dallas County court files online

Gary Fitzsimmons

Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons sends word that public access to court records is now available online.

“Until now, only docket information has been available to the public on the Dallas County website,” said Fitzsimmons. “Now, pending documents in seven District Civil courts, eight Felony courts, all Family court documents from 2003 to present, and one County Court at Law can be viewed. Documents from the remaining courts will be available by the end of the year.”

“We now have now one digital County Court at Law,” said County Clerk John Warren.

Fitzsimmons has made technological innovation a priority in his administration. He began by implementing an e-filing system that delivers original petitions, motions and other court documents electronically.

He said his office ensured that sensitive information, especially documents involving children, remains secure.

“Other types of information may also be limited through the use of a redaction request form consistent with the law we have provided on our website,” Fitzsimmons said.

—  David Taffet

Supreme Court rules on the side of LGBT rights in Washington state case

Clarence Thomas
Justice Clarence Thomas

As the Supreme Court session comes to a close, a number of decisions have been handed down this week. With little fanfare, the court ruled for LGBT rights groups in an 8-1 decision. Only Clarence Thomas voted against, according to the Washington Post.

The Supreme Court ruled that people who sign petitions calling for public votes do not have a right to have their names shielded.

The case involved a Washington state petition to repeal an LGBT domestic partnership law. The anti-marriage group Protect Marriage Washington sued to keep the names of people who signed their petitions secret fearing harassment.

What was surprising about the ruling against the right-wing organization is that the ruling and supporting opinions came from the Court’s own right wing.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion. He said disclosure of names is necessary to ensure their authenticity.

The group argued that petitioners have a right to free speech without fear of harassment. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that laws are in place to prevent reprisals.

The Supreme Court blocked the release of names until their decision. Names are unlikely to be released until the case goes back to lower courts for review.

In the election, Protect Marriage Washington lost by a vote of 53 percent to 46 percent. Same-sex domestic partnerships are the equivalent of marriage in Washington state law.

Fewer than half of states allow citizens to put initiatives on the ballot through petitions. Texas is not one of them.

—  David Taffet