Year in Review: Month by month

Posted on 26 Dec 2014 at 8:00am

January

• Celia Israel becomes second openly lesbian member of the Texas House.

• Lone Star Ride fighting AIDS shuts down.

 

February

• Federal Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio declares Texas’ same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

• Openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns announces he is resigning to attend Harvard.

• Judge Carl Ginsberg marries two lesbian couples, each with one trans partner.

• Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins creates an LGBT task force in his office.

 

March

• Dallas City Council passes a resolution supporting equality and ordering all city departments and agencies to offer equalize all rights and benefits.

• Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fails to get two same-sex marriage cases thrown out of court.

• LGBT activist Omar Narvaez joins the Dallas County School Board.

 

April

• Dallas City Council extends FMLA benefits to include LGBT employees’ families.

• SMU students once again vote against adding an LGBT seat to the Student Senate, then votes the same way two weeks later, amid a deluge of homophobic posts on social media sites.

 

May

• Transwoman Jodielynn Wiley files a complaint  with the city of Dallas against the Salvation Army for gender discrimination at the shelter.

• Tarrant County same-sex marriage case plaintiffs Sven Stricker and Chris McNosky come out as straight men.

• Sara Martinez wins the Democratic Primary in the race for Dallas County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5. With no Republican on the ballot in the general election, Martinez becomes the first openly gay justice of the peace in Dallas County.

 

June

• Waco city manager adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s nondiscrimination policy through a procedural move.

• Texas GOP again excludes gays, and at the state convention adds a call for reparative therapy for LGBT people to the state party platform. LGBTs get a warm welcome at the Democrats’ state convention.

• Texas Department of State Health Services puts the Dallas County Health Department on probation for falsifying STD records.

 

July

• Ann Zadeh is sworn in as the District 9 representative on the Fort Worth City Council.

• Russian-backed separatists in the Ukraine shoot down Maylasian Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 people on board, including six scientists and activists on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Sydney, Australia.

• Black Tie Dinner organizers name Mike Anglin as the 2014 Kuchling Humanitarian Award.

• President Barack Obama signs two executive orders banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity among employers who have contracts with the federal government.

• Anti-gay groups launch a challenge of Houston’s new equal rights ordinance (HERO).

 

August

• The Rev. Carol West and Rafael McDonnell are named as the 2014 grand marshals of the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. Allan Gould, Tori Van Fleet and Sharon Herrera are named as grand marshals of the 2014 Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade.

• Opponents of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance sue the city after their petitions calling for a referendum on the ordinance are rejected.

• Robin Williams commits suicide.

• Black Tie Dinner organizers announce Dale Hansen will be a guest speaker and Media Award recipient at the 2014 dinner.

 

September

• Dallas County Schools board votes unanimously to add LGBT rights to its nondiscrimination policy.

• Michael Sam, first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, signs with the Dallas Cowboys.

• The United Nation’s Human Rights Council votes to support LGBT rights.

• The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission files for the first time federal lawsuits on behalf of transgender workers fired by employers because of the gender identity/gender expression.

 

October

• Eric Thomas Duncan, who came to Dallas from Liberia, becomes the first person in the U.S. diagnosed with Ebola. Duncan dies of the virus, but two Presbyterian nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who contracted Ebola through contact with Duncan, survive.

• The U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeals on seven marriage equality cases from five states, leaving in place appellate decisions from the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuit Courts striking down bans.

• Dallas Fire and Police Pension Board members again postpone voting on pension benefits for same-sex partners.

• Michael Sam is waived by the Dallas Cowboys.

 

November

• The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds marriage discrimination in cases affecting Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky, creating a split in decisions at the circuit court level that ultimately must be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

• Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead announces he is leaving the police department.

• Texas plaintiffs in same-sex cases ask federal judge to lift the stay in the state’s same-sex marriage case.

 

December

• Plano City Council passes a nondiscrimination ordinance but not without criticism for its broad exclusions and problematic language regarding transgender people.

• The Senate confirms Robert Pitman to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, making him the first openly gay federal district court judge in Texas.

• Judge Orlando Garcia declines to lift a stay of his ruling that would allow Texas same-sex couples to marry before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals can rule on the case.

• State Rep. Rafael Anchia and state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, both Democrats, file companion bills allowing adopted children in Texas to have the names of both parents listed on their supplemental birth certificates, regardless of the parents’ gender.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 26, 2014.

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