Today, Houston voters went to the polls and rejected the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), defeating a citywide ordinance that would have prohibited discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of race, age, gender, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or military status.
Lambda Legal client Deborah Leliaert today confirmed that she has been able to enroll her wife, Paula Woolworth, in the spousal health insurance plan administered by the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) for state employees.
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal Fair Housing Act prohibits not only intentional housing discrimination, but those housing decisions that have a “disparate impact” on a vulnerable population.
On Thursday, June 11th, Lambda Legal learned that the Department of Justice had accepted a new letter from Texas Governor Gregory Abbott certifying that Texas would take a more serious approach to implementing the standards of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Lambda Legal today filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) for violating the U.S. Constitution by denying spousal health insurance coverage for the same-sex spouse of a University of North Texas administrator.
We are profoundly disappointed that Gov. Abbott has neglected to make a meaningful commitment to meet the Prison Rape Elimination Act standards set by the DOJ, and we applaud the Justice Department for demanding real commitment from Texas to use grant funds to actually enforce these standards.
Tomorrow, the Texas state House of Representatives will consider HB 4105, a bill which would bar local and state officials from granting, enforcing or recognizing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples, and further prohibit public funds from being used to do so. The bill puts Texas in a precarious place by inviting Indiana-style backlash, and if passed, would enshrine discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Texas state law.
With exactly two weeks remaining until the U.S. Justice Department’s May 15 deadline for the governors of all 50 states to confirm that their state is in compliance with the national standards set by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Lambda Legal urges Texas Governor Greg Abbott to adopt the PREA standards unconditionally and acknowledge that rape and sexual assault can no longer be accepted as part of the sentence served for any crime.