Texas won’t issue driver’s license to gay man because he’s married

Screen shot 2014-12-08 at 1.11.38 PMAccording to a report in the Des Moines Register, an Iowa gay couple who moved to an Austin suburb can’t get Texas drivers license because of their marriage.

Michael Miller Gribble changed his name on all legal documents after he and his husband married. When they moved to Texas, he brought his marriage license and birth certificate to apply for his new driver’s license. He was turned away because Texas won’t recognize a marriage license from a same-sex couple as proof of a name change.

He was told he could either get a divorce or a legal name change. Opposite-sex couples do not need a court-order to change last names. A marriage license is proof of the change.

The newspaper reports that couples from Iowa have had similar problems in Nebraska, Florida and South Dakota. Iowa has been a marriage-equality state since 2009.

Gribble applied for a passport that will reflect his new name. He can use that as proof of who he is rather than a marriage license and birth certificate.

He pointed out the extra cost and inconvenience involved and pointed out the unfair financial penalties of being gay or lesbian that goes against the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

This isn’t the first time that the state of Texas has refused to issue a driver’s license because of a same-sex-marriage-related name change. It happened earlier this year to a lesbian who legally married her female partner in California and then moved with her wife to Texas. And in October, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced on Twitter that the state refused to give her 16-year-old daughter a driver’s license because the girl’s birth certificate listed two moms.

—  David Taffet

Libby Willis campaign election night watch party

Posted on 06 Nov 2014 at 1:37pm
Democrat Libby Willis faced an uphill climb against Republican Sen.-elect Konni Burton in the race to succeed Democrat Wendy Davis of Fort Worth. But that did not stop a devoted group of supporters from attending her watch party at Mamma Mia, 3124 E Belknap, in Fort Worth. At 10:30 p.m., Willis conceded.

UPDATE: Texas statewide races

In Texas statewide races, Republicans are holding comfortable leads, in general.

In the big three races, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn leads Democratic challenger David Alameel, 60 percent to 37 percent.

Republican Greg Abbott is ahead of Democrat Wendy Davis, 58 percent to 40 percent, in the race for governor, and with just 4 percent of the precincts statewide reporting, pundits are already calling the race for Abbott.

And in the contest for lieutenant governor, Republican Dan Patrick leads Democrat Letitcia Van de Putte, 57 percent to 40percent.

—  Tammye Nash

Where’s your fucking polling place?

vote-buttonIf you missed early voting, today’s your last chance to vote. Don’t know where to vote? YourFuckingPollingPlace.com will tell you where to go.

Just enter one simple piece of information. In the red box, enter “Your fucking address here.”

I put in my address and got the answer, “Esperanza Fucking Medrano Elem School, 2221 Lucas Dr., Dallas TX 75219.”

Exactly fucking right.

However, if the information’s wrong or you need to look up another address, you can try again.

“Look for your fucking polling place again? I apparently have nothing better to do than help your ass all fucking day,” the site politely tells you.

Just some helpful and fun advice from your friends at Dallas Voice. And despite what the moron Kimberly Guilfoyle on Fox News advised, get out and fucking vote.

—  David Taffet

Back to school: Tax-free weekend is upon us

taxholidayhres1_11571106Every year, the state of Texas does at least one thing right: it gives Texas shoppers a break from local and state sales taxes in preparation for the upcoming school year. Granted this means malls are packed, your two-year-old gives new meaning the “terrible twos” and single, childless folks like me quiver at thought of even stepping out into the world. But hey, were I not that guy I sure would take advantage of it.

So here’s the skinny:

According to State Comptroller Susan Combs’ webpage, there are two categories of items exempt from sales and use taxes: most school supplies and then other items like clothing. For the ladder category, think, “Could my kid wear this to school?” If in doubt, check out the list provided by Combs’ office here. If an Internet business is engaged in business in Texas, purchases meeting the state’s standards apply.

For every $100 purchase, shoppers save between $8-$10. Keep in mind that there’s some fine print you can’t ignore though. Items need to be below $100, but there is no limit on overall purchases. Read the fine print here.

Happy shopping, y’all.

—  James Russell

Abbott a no-show at petition drop

AG delivery2Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for Texas governor, was a no-show Monday when Equality Texas dropped off nearly 5,200 petitions demanding Gov. Rick Perry and Abbott drop their defense of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

“Despite the plans prearranged last week in which a staff member would meet us in the lobby and take possession of the petitions, the Attorney General’s office said they would only accept the petitions if they were mailed via an acceptable ground carrier,” wrote Chuck Smith in an e-mail.

Instead of giving up, the group headed to the nearby UPS store and mailed them. They’re expected to arrive today.

The action comes after the Feb.26 ruling earlier this year finding Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Despite growing support for same-sex marriage both in Texas and nationwide, Abbott and Perry appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit of Appeals.

Abbott filed that appeal Monday, arguing that Texas was within its constitutional right to ban same-sex marriage.”Because same-sex relationships do not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does,” the brief reads. “That is enough to supply a rational basis for Texas’s marriage laws.”

Birds of a feather stick together.

—  James Russell

New report calls marriage equality in Texas a “gold mine”

domareact_0627met001A report released by the LGBT think tank Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law estimates that legalized same-sex marriage in Texas would give new meaning to the phrase “Texas Miracle.”

According to the report, if same-sex marriage was legalized today, wedding planning would bring jobs, tourists and lots of cash.

Of the state’s 46,000 same-sex couples, 23,200 would marry over the next three years, the report estimates. That means:

• Total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $181.6 million to the state and local economy of Texas over the course of three years, with a $116.2 million boost in the first year alone.”

• This economic boost would add $14.8 million in sales tax revenue to state and local coffers.

• Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations would generate 523 to 1,570 full- and part-time jobs in the state

The study follows a federal ruling in February striking down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage.

You can read the full report here.

—  James Russell

Vulture.com: Before visiting Texas, read this book

borderlands_la_frontera_anzaldua_book

If you’ve ever wondered what to read before visiting a state, Vulture.com, the online entertainment portal owned by New York Magazine, just made the list for you. In choosing 50 nonfiction books to read about 50 states, the website includes both national treasures like James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Alabama), Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on the Road (Florida) as well as some kitschier choices like Vice President Joe Biden’s Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics (Delaware).

Before even scrolling down, I assumed their choice would be kitschier, if not dismissive. (Think Rick Perry’s presidential manifesto Fed Up.)

Nope.

If you want to learn about Texas, Vulture.com suggests the groundbreaking Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by the late Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, a well-known Chicana lesbian activist and writer born in the Rio Grande Valley. Released in 1987, the semi-autobiographical book challenges and explores, through poems and prose, concepts like borders and identity.

If you’re interested, the book is available at Amazon.com and if you’re lucky, your neighborhood library.

—  James Russell

Tarrant County lesbian couple files for divorce

FWdivorce

A lot has happened this week in Texas regarding same-sex marriage and divorce.

A Tarrant County couple came out as straight friends hoping to help win the marriage equality fight in the state. And a judge prevented Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott from interfering a San Antonio couple’s divorce proceedings.

Now a Tarrant County couple has filed for divorce. Brooke Powell and Cori Jo Long married in New Hampshire four years ago. Powell’s attorney filed a petition to declare the marriage void, like it never happened. But the couple wants a divorce.

Under Texas law, same-sex divorce is illegal just as much as same-sex marriage or recognizing same-sex unions. However, back in February, a U.S. district judge declared Texas marriage law unconstitutional. The Texas Supreme Court heard arguments in two same-sex divorce cases in November. A ruling is expected by summer.

“I feel like since I was legally married, then I should be entitled to a divorce,” Long told Fox 4 News.

Watch Fox 4’s report below.

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

—  Dallasvoice

Springtown man indicted on federal hate crime charges for gay man’s assault

Brice-Johnson

Brice Johnson

A Springtown man who allegedly lured a gay man to his home through a social media app has been indicted on federal hate crime charges for the man’s assault.

Brice Johnson, 19, was indicted Wednesday on charges of kidnapping and “willfully causing bodily injury to a person because of the actual or perceived sexual orientation of that person,” according to a news release from U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas.

Johnson started chatting with Arron Keahey on the MeetMe app over Labor Day weekend. The two discussed sex and Johnson invited him over. When he arrived, Keahey was brutally beaten.

A criminal complaint back in February when Johnson was brought up on federal charges explains that Johnson put him in the back of a car and drove him to a friend’s house. Johnson’s friends later convinced him to take Keahey to the hospital, where he spent 10 days recovering from brain trauma and broken bones.

Johnson initially told Springtown police he found Keahey outside his house and took him to the hospital. He later told police he assaulted him after blacking out.

Johnson was originally charged with a state felony for aggravated assault.

In a recorded jail conversation to family, Johnson, who had Keahey listed in his cell phone as “fagg bagg,” said he invited Keahey over and it was “basically a joke that went too far and too wrong. I invited him over because he was a fag or whatever.”

The trial is set to begin June 20. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

—  Dallasvoice