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Candidate John C.B. LaRue

John LaRue Houston about magazine

In the upcoming Houston City Council At-Large, Position 3 race, voters looking for a progressive candidate who has a strong voice for our LGBT community need to look no further than my friend, John C.B. LaRue. I’ve known John for several years, having met him while we were both studying at South Texas College of Law. Since graduation, John lived in Washington, DC for two years working as a lobbyist in the field of historic preservation. Knowing how dedicated John is to his work, I asked him to join my practice, The Verde Law Firm PLLC, last year. He currently leads the family law section of the firm.

Over the course of the fight over HERO, John has proven to be the only candidate in the At-Large 3 race to testify in favor of the ordinance in front of City Council. In fact, John testified not once, but twice, in favor of HERO. I was also proud to represent John and his now-husband, Hunter Middleton, when we filed suit against Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart for his failure to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court issued their decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, John and Hunter went to the county courthouse to obtain a marriage license.johnFB_Pic Candidate John C.B. LaRue Mr. Stanart denied them the license, saying he lacked the proper forms. I spent the day at the courthouse with them, filing the suit to compel Stanart to issue licenses. By the end of the day, thanks to our efforts and the efforts of Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, among others, Mr. Stanart started issuing licenses. John and Hunter were the first to receive one.

John’s platform on other issues also stands out. He knows, as any of us who drive or bike in Houston, that we have to fix our streets and sidewalks which are in an inexcusable state of disrepair. Always the pragmatist, John recognizes that we cannot balance our books while we have the so-called “revenue cap” in place. The owner of a rescue animal, John supports moving Houston to becoming a “No Kill” city. Most importantly, John will go into City Council without being part of the entrenched political system that only serves as a voice for insiders and the political establishment. I firmly believe that he is the most qualified person running in this race—he has experience in the legal system, the political system, and has lived Houston for almost 10 years in total. I am proud to call John my friend and I will be even prouder to call him our next At-Large member of the Houston City Council.

Vote for John C.B. LaRue for Houston City Council At-Large Position 3 on November 3, 2015.

4 GOP candidates sign anti-gay marriage pledge

anti-gay marriage pledge

4 GOP candidates sign anti-gay marriage pledge

Cruz, Santorum, Jindal, Carson want constitutional amendment

(Washington AP) Four of the 17 Republican presidential candidates have pledged to support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, an anti-same-sex marriage group said Tuesday.

The National Organization for Marriage said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson signed the group’s pledge “to take several specific actions as president to restore marriage to the law and protect people of faith from discrimination because of their support for traditional marriage.”

The influence of the National Organization for Marriage — once a powerful force in funding pushes for same-sex marriage bans on the state level — has been in decline following a large swing in public support in favor of same-sex nuptials. According to Gallup, in 1996 nearly seven in 10 Americans opposed same-sex marriage, but in May 2015, 60% of Americans said they supported such unions.

And in June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states must recognize same-sex marriage.

“Electing a president in 2016 who is a true champion on marriage is a critical priority, something that is essential if we are to overturn the outrageous, illegitimate decision of the U.S. Supreme Court imposing same-sex ‘marriage’ on every state in the nation,” Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said in a statement.

In addition to support for the federal constitutional amendment, the group’s pledge includes working to overturn the Supreme Court decision, nominating judges and appointing attorney generals who will apply “the original meaning of the Constitution,” and reviewing pro-gay rights policies enacted by the Obama administration.

The pledge also asks potential presidents to direct the Justice Department to investigate and publicize cases of Americans who have been harassed and threatened due to their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.

NOM invited every candidate to sign, and Brown said the organization will not support a candidate who does not sign the pledge.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — both courting evangelical voters — have spoken frequently about their support for traditional marriage, but declined to sign the pledge, Brown said in the release.

Both men told the group they have a blanket policy against signing pledges, Brown added.

Several GOP candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have stated their opposition to same-sex marriage but do not support amending the Constitution to make marriage between one man and one woman, they have said.

John Oliver Asked Every Presidential Candidate If They’d Pass an LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law

John Oliver Asked Every Presidential Candidate If They’d Pass an LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law

The fight for gay rights is only just heating up.

June’s Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality was merely a battle, not the war. The current GOP primary battle royale is a constant reminder. The moment the gavel dropped, Republicans lashed out at the SCOTUS ruling. Stubborn county clerks in several states refused to hand out same-sex marriage licenses, legal consequences be damned. And young conservatives begged the country to respect their beliefs. According to an ardent few, judging homophobic people was persecution, too.

Just this weekend, actress Ellen Page stopped by the Iowa State Fair to put Republican candidate Ted Cruz on the spot about LGBT discrimination. Cruz cited a classic example: if a flower shop doesn’t want to serve gay customers it shouldn’t have to. Page vehemently disagreed. But the politician stuck to his spiel, confident that he’d debated her out of the ring. Onlookers felt otherwise, including John Oliver, who dedicated Sunday’s Last Week Tonight to the ongoing perils of being gay in America. Oliver runs down several cases of discrimination that look baffling in a vacuum, but under Cruz’s own logic, would fly in the president hopeful’s version of the county. In the end of the segment, the comedian reports that, when asked if they’d pass an LGBT anti-discrimination bill when they stepped into office, only four presidential nominees even bothered to return his phone calls. One was Rand Paul, who responded to Oliver’s inquiry with “We’ll pass. Thanks.”

Watch the segment and remember: the fight ain’t over.