LGBT history in Texas

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20th century[edit]


In 1975, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, the oldest southern LGBT rights organization is founded. In 1979, Houston Gay Pride Parade was first held in Neartown, Houston. The Texas Democratic Party added certain LGBT rights to the party's platform in 1980.[1]

The 1984 federal Supreme Court decision in Gay Student Services v. Texas A&M University upheld the requirement for public universities to uphold the First Amendment rights of students.

In 1986, Baker v. Wade resulted in a short-lived blow against Texas' sodomy law. This was ultimately overturned in the same year by Bowers v. Hardwick, a Georgia federal case which criminalized sodomy as a non-private act, and SCOTUS refused to hear appeal regarding Baker v Wade.

In 1997, the Texas legislature prohibited the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[2] The 1999 state Supreme Court case Littleton v. Prange annulled transsexual marriages in the state.

21st century[edit]

In 2001, Governor Rick Perry signed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which criminalized violent or coercive action against other Texas residents on various immutable traits, including sexual orientation. Gender identity was not included in this legislation.

The 2003 landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Lawrence v. Texas nullified all remaining sodomy laws in the United States. However, Texas Penal Code § 21.06 is retained without legal effect. Perry criticized the decision and called the sodomy law "appropriate".

In 2003, the legislature enacted a statute that made void in Texas any same-sex marriage or civil union.[3] This statute also prohibits the state or any agency or political subdivision of the state from giving effect to same-sex marriages or civil unions performed in other jurisdictions.[4]

On November 8, 2005, Texas voters approved a proposition that amended the state constitution to define marriage as consisting "only of the union of one man and one woman" and prohibiting the state or any political subdivision of the state from creating or recognizing "any legal status identical or similar to marriage."[5]

In the 2006 election, independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman becomes one of the first candidates for the office to indicate same-sex marriage rights in Texas, saying "I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.[6] "

In 2009, Houston City Comptroller Annise Parker was elected the first openly lesbian mayor of a major city in Texas.

On October 2, 2009, a Texas district court judge in the case of In Re Marriage of J.B. and H.B. granted a divorce to two men married in Massachusetts, ruling unconstitutional the state's same-sex marriage ban.[7] On August 31, 2010, the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed the lower court, ruling, among other things, that the same-sex marriage ban does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[8][9]

On January 7, 2011, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin in the case of State of Texas v. Angelique S. Naylor and Sabina Daly rejected, on procedural grounds, the Texas attorney general's appeal of a divorce granted by a lower court to a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts.[10] Both cases are pending before the Texas Supreme Court.[11][12][13]

In 2012, after Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage, the Texas Democratic Party became the first southern Democratic state party to include support of same-sex marriage in its platform.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Texas Democrats OK Gay Rights Plank". EBSCOhost Connection. November 13, 1980. Retrieved January 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Texas Family Code sec. 2.001(b)". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  3. ^ "Texas Family Code sec. 6.204". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  4. ^ "Texas Family Code sec. 6.204(c)". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  5. ^ Article I, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution states: "(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. (b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
  6. ^ "Kinky Friedman Turns To Politics". CBS News. August 19, 2005. 
  7. ^ "Texas Battle on Gay Marriage Looms", The New York Times, reported by James C. McKinley Jr., October 2, 2009
  8. ^ "''In re Marriage of J.B. and H.B.'', 326 S.W.3d 654 (Tex. App. - Dallas (5th Dist.) 2010)". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  9. ^ Appleton, Roy (September 1, 2010). "Dallas judge's ruling saying gay couple could divorce in Texas rejected on appeal". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kreytak, Steven (January 7, 2011). "Same-sex divorce stands under appellate ruling: Attorney general did not have standing to intervene in case, court declares". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ "No. 11-0024, ''the Supreme Court of Texas Blog''". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  12. ^ "No. 11-0114''the Supreme Court of Texas Blog''". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  13. ^ Rozen, Miriam (December 17, 2012). "Tex Parte Blog: Lawyer in two same-sex divorce cases awaits Texas Supreme Court decision on petitions for review". Texas Lawyer. Retrieved January 19, 2013.