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Exclusive: Lane Lewis From Party Chair To City Council

Lane Lewis on the cover of about magazine in houston

Lane Lewis has been in politics for nearly 30 years in the Houston and Harris County Area. At age 19, Lewis spoke for the first time in front of Houston City Council, and since then, he has been working as an educator, activist, organizer, and politician.
At age 21, Lewis put his Social Work license to work as a crisis intervention specialist for a treatment facility in the Medical Center that specialized in LGBT issues. His work led him to the Houston LGBT Caucus where he met and become friends with prominent local activists and mentors like Ray Hill, Sue Lovell, and Annise Parker.

He learned quick how to get things done and was appointed to numerous committees for the City of Houston Health and Human Services, Houston Police Department, and many others.

“The two things I am most proud of, the youth center I started and MY work on LGBT equality.”

At about age 22, he co-founded a youth center to provide services and shelter to homeless and thrown away LGBT youth. The organization, founded in the early 1990’s, lasted only two years after Lewis left the board, but had already served and saved hundreds of kids (one of which was a young man that was eventually adopted by Annise Parker and her wife Kathy Hubbard).

His work to save homeless LGBT youth had a huge impact on the lives of many, but his work with LGBT issues and human rights eventually led him to focus on one statue in particular. Lane’s work on 21.06 would forever change the National landscape for all LGBT Americans; Texas Penal Code 21.06 made LGBT sex illegal.lane-lewis-cover-about-magazine-666x1024 Exclusive:  Lane Lewis From Party Chair To City Council

In 1999, when Lewis got his hands on the police report from John Lawrence and Tyron Garner’s arrest regarding their alleged violation of Texas’ “Sodomy Law,” he knew it was what he had been looking for, but he first had to convince the defendants that being part of history was the right decision, rather than pleading their case out. The men agreed and Lane set out to find them an attorney. After talking to local activists everyone agreed that the men had a case and Mitchell Katine should be their lawyer. “The reason I called him is, from the very beginning, I didn’t want this to be my case,” Lewis says. “This was a community case. Mitchell was well liked in the community and had spent years giving away his legal services and helping others.” The case went on to the U.S. Supreme Court as Lawrence v. Texas, possibly the most prominent victories in gay-rights history and it paved the way for Marriage Equality.

As Lewis began to advocate for more issues, he decided to run for office. After making a close, but unsuccessful attempt at Houston City Council in 2009, he decided to become involved in local Democratic politics where he was elected Chair of Senate District 15 in 2010. After a successful tenure of getting out democratic voters, he successfully ran for Harris County Democratic Party Chair in 2011. As the party chair he has emphasized mail-ballot voting. Prior to Lewis Democrats would lose to Republicans mail ballots at around 60%. “With those numbers, we practically lost all the races before the polls even opened,” Lewis says. In his tenure as County Chair, Lewis has leveled the field when it comes to mail ballots. In 2014, Lane designed a program that narrowed the gap to 2% and has made a myriad of improvements to the Democratic infrastructure in Harris County.

Lane has been an outspoken voice for equality and justice for 25 years and urges everyone to vote Yes on Prop. 1 (H.E.R.O ordinance).

Lane Lewis is currently the Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party and he is running for a Houston City Council At Large Position 1.

Early voting begins October 19th – October 30th and Election Day is November 3rd.

More information can be found at www.LaneLewis.com

Houston Texan’s Owner Bob McNair Withdraws Support for Anti-Hero Campaign! Demands Return Of Contribution!

Houston Texans owner Robert McNair
Houston Texans owner Robert McNair

(Houston, TX) (AboutNEWS) The owner of the Houston Texan’s just released the following statement to About Magazine

“I recently made a personal contribution to Campaign for Houston because my thorough review of the HERO ordinance led me to believe that a thoughtful rewrite would provide a better ordinance that would provide strong non-discrimination protections for all Houstonians, which I would support, and would be less divisive of our city.”

“It was on these principles that I made my personal contribution to Campaign for Houston.  To my great dismay, Campaign for Houston made numerous unauthorized statements about my opposition to HERO in print, broadcast and social media – including attributing certain statements of belief to me.  Their actions and statements were never discussed with nor approved by me. Therefore I instructed the Campaign to return my contribution.”

“I do not believe in or tolerate personal or professional discrimination of any kind.  I also believe that we Houstonians should have an ordinance that unites our community and provides a bold statement of non-discrimination.  I encourage all Houstonians to vote on November 3.”

Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work together to change a small portion of events, and in the total of those acts will be written the history of our generation.”

Robert C. McNair

October 23, 2015

GOP Denies LGBT Media For Houston Debate

GOP-DENIES-LGBTQ-MEDIA

 

The Texas Republican Debate Set For Thursday In Houston Will Have No ‘LGBT’ Local Or Statewide Media In Attendance

Access Denied: The Republican National Party Rejects LGBT+ Media Request To Attend GOP Texas Debate

– Cade Michals | Exclusive for About News 


HOUSTON, TEXAS- The Republican Party (GOP) on Tuesday denied media access to the only state LGBTQ+ news outlet requesting coverage of the Houston GOP debate. No LGBTQ+ publication or representative in the State of Texas will be attending the GOP debate in official media capacity. No LGBTQ+ media will be in attendance, or able to question any candidates in the press room including Presidential candidate Ted Cruz of Texas. An e-mail sent to the publication by the Republican National Party denied their request.635915211974011173-debate GOP Denies LGBT Media For Houston Debate

Thursday’s GOP debate in Houston is now hours away. This debate is considered one of the most anticipated in the race for the White House and includes some very vocal opponents of LGBTQ+ rights and laws.           U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has pledged to sign anti-LGBT executive orders on day one in the White House.

The GOP has long banned LGBTQ+ groups from participating in Texas republican conventions. The Texas Observer broke news last week ‘for the first time in GOP history the Republican Party of Texas is ‘allowing’ a booth by an LGBTQ+ group to be present at the 2016 Texas convention.’

“All press credentials are being handled by the RNC” a University of Houston spokesperson told About News. “We would encourage you to speak to the RNC relating to this matter.” A spokesperson for the University of Houston’s LGBT Resource Center stated ‘she was a state employee and could not comment.’

LGBTQ+ journalists are resourceful, but not being allowed media credential sometimes put stories out of reach for even the seasoned journalist. Texas LGBTQ+ media outlets Dallas Voice, Outsmart Magazine, Project Q and About News | About Magazine will not be in attendance.

“Houston has attempted leaps and bounds to be a city of equality. Not to be able to get even a foot in the door; I’m disgusted to say the least.” University of Houston’s ‘GLOBAL’  president Jeremy Dyer said. GLOBAL is a University of Houston LGBTQ+ outreach program. “It’s fairly obvious, I personally believe” he continued.”The reasons they do not want LGBT reporters there, because the topic, they do not want to talk about.”

The debate hosted by CNN and Telemundo will specifically address Latino issues and will be the only GOP primary debate that will air in Spanish on the Telemundo Network. Wolf Blitzer will moderate the network’s Feb. 25 Republican presidential debate in Houston. Blitzer will be joined by CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, Telemundo anchor Maria Celeste Arraras, and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt

It all happens at the University of Houston’s Moores Opera House, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday February 25, 2016.

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and the GOP’s denial of any local LGBTQ+ media is another ‘black-eye’ Houston must deal with.

No response or comment from the Texas GOP or RNC as of press time.

Did The Houston Texans Owner Violate NFL Discrimination Policy By Supporting Anti-HERO Ordinance

Houston Texans owner Robert McNair
Houston Texans owner Robert McNair

“It is the policy of the National Football League to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.”

 

(HOUSTON, TX) Houston Texans’ owner, and devoted christian Robert McNair has joined the ranks of Lance Berkman, donating $10,000.00 to the Anti-Houston HERO campaign. [Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance] on the heels of going to the polls. But; does this donation violate the NFL’s policy on discrimination?

Campaign for Houston spokesman Jared Woodfill said the donation “was very exciting for us.” Relating to McNair’s check earlier this week.

(Update) Robert McNair has released the following statement.

“Houston is a city known for the diversity and exceptionalism of its hard working people. We are also a city that works to ensure that everyone is treated respectfully and fairly.” McNair stated in a statement released through the Houston Texans.

“I strongly believe that everyone who lives or works in or visits Houston should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Because of the way the HERO ordinance is written, it has begun to separate rather than unite our community. This problem can be solved by defeating the current bill in November, thoughtfully rewriting it and then resubmitting it to the voter,” McNair said.

“Bob and Janice have always taken their roles as Christian stewards very seriously” a sentence from the McNair Foundation website reads. Mr. McNair is a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award.- The nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency.

It’s not the first time the Houston Texans’ have been accused of discrimination. The Texan’s were scorned by the NFL over their refusal to select Michael Sam in the first overall draft pick.

“Coaches, General Managers and others responsible for interviewing and hiring draft-eligible players and free agents must not seek information concerning or make personnel decisions based on a player’s sexual orientation”- a memo issued by the NFL.

This includes asking questions during an interview that suggest that the player’s sexual orientation will be a factor in the decision to draft or sign him. Stated an internal memo from the NFL relating to the leagues sexual orientation anti-discrimination and harassment policy guidelines. All factors that would be covered in HERO.

The anti-HERO campaign is currently targeting women in first radio ads where speakers rail against anti-discrimination law that is on the November ballot. Most critics of the law, largely Christian conservatives, object to the non-discrimination protections it extends to gay and transgender residents — one of the 13 other protected groups.

Mayor Annise Parker, has warned that repealing the law could damage the city’s economy and could jeopardize high-profile events such as Houston’s 2017 Super Bowl.

“The HERO supporters have tried to scare people into believing that we would lose the Super Bowl,” Woodfill said. “Obviously, if there were any truth behind that, Bob McNair wouldn’t’ be donating to the folks that are opposed to the ordinance.”

Houston Lifestyles Magazine once wrote that Houston was truly blessed to have the McNair family relating to an article of the giving nature of the McNair family. “Robert and Janice McNair are very giving and sincerely care about their fellowman,” the article rattles. “The McNairs are a true class act, a witness for their Christian faith, and true leaders in every sense of the word.” But is supporting a cause against protecting thirteen different classes from discrimination really caring about the ‘fellowman?’