State District Judge David Wahlberg allowed Suzanne Bryant (left) and Sarah Goodfriend to legally marry in Texas. State District Judge David Wahlberg allowed Suzanne Bryant (left) and Sarah Goodfriend to legally marry in Texas. Photo courtesy Austin American Statesman HRH Report

A Travis County Marriage, Dixie Resistance and a Music Icon Dies

A Travis County Marriage, Dixie Resistance and a Music Icon Dies

Texas lesbians seize fleeting moment for marriage equality

Marriage Equality came to Texas on February 19, if only for a fleeting moment. Two Austin women were married on a state judge’s orders citing one of the women’s failing health as a reason to expedite the marriage. Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, together almost 31 years, said their vows before Rabbi Kerry Baker while standing in front of the Travis County clerk’s office, reports the Austin American-Statesman. They became the first legally married same sex couple in the Lone Star State.

 

“State District Judge David Wahlberg ordered Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to grant the couple a marriage license, saying the state law against same-sex marriage was causing them irreparable harm, particularly because Goodfriend had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The judge also waived the 72-hour waiting period to perform a wedding,” according to the Austin newspaper.

Wahlberg’s order arrived at the county clerk’s office at 9:25 a.m. where Bryant and Goodfriend immediately filled out the paperwork and walked outside to take their vows, fearing the state would attempt to step in and stop the proceedings.

Condemnation from elected Republican officials was quick and fierce. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wasted no time condemning the action and petitioning the state Supreme Court to void the marriage.

A day after the marriage Paxton told the court, "As a result of the trial court's ruling, at least one same-sex couple has been issued an invalid marriage license, but there may have been more. Moreover, the state of the law in Texas has been needlessly cast into doubt," his petition to the court read, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"Relief from this Court is necessary to avoid the legal chaos that would follow if the trial court's ruling is mistakenly interpreted as authorization for the creation or recognition of same-sex marriages in Travis County or throughout the State," Paxton further stated.

 

Alabama resistance to marriage equality continues

Even though a federal judge has ordered all Alabama counties to perform same sex marriages, there remain a few holdouts. Urged by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, about 80 percent of the Dixie state’s counties initially refused to issue same sex marriage licenses despite a court order to do so.

Within a week that figure had reversed itself and approximately 80 percent of those counties were issuing licenses to same sex couples. The few remaining holdouts are for the most part refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone, gay or straight, reports HuffingtonPost.com.

Republican Alabama State Rep. Will Ainsworth vowed to continue to fight against marriage equality, “even after others have surrendered.”

“During the campaign, my signs carried the slogan 'Fight Obama,' and, make no mistake, the gay rights agenda is the bedrock of Obama's agenda. I will use the upcoming session to look for every legislative remedy and tool that can be used to protect our traditional, conservative Alabama values, and I will continue the fight even after others have surrendered,” Ainsworth added.

 

Sunday Night Live

The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special delivered NBC its largest non-sports audience in nine years. Dozens of past and current performers and hosts were in attendance, including Jane Curtin who delivered one of the best lines of the night during her “Weekend Update” segment. “Times have changed since I first sat at this desk. For example I used to be the only pretty blonde woman to read the fake news. Now there’s an entire network devoted to that,” Curtin read as the FOX News logo appeared behind her.

 

Bi in the Great Northwest

The nation has its first openly bisexual governor. Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon’s governor after a scandal prompted the resignation of her predecessor. She had been serving as Secretary of State. Brown is married to a man but considers herself bisexual, reports LGBTNation.com. Brown’s sexuality was never an issue among voters in Oregon where she has lived since attending law school in Portland.

 

Music icon dead

Leslie Gore who rocketed to fame in the early 1960s with her mega hit, “It’s My Party” passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. The out pop icon is survived by her partner of 30 years, jewelry designer Lois Sassoon, reports the Advocate.

Gore, 68 went on to record a “Party” sequel, “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me,” which became a feminist anthem memorably performed by Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton in First Wives Club.

 

That’s gay entertainment

Variety is reporting Glee star Darren Criss is Broadway-bound, and set to star in the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Criss, 28 is slated to take on the role beginning April 29.

A restored, director’s cut of the 1998 film 54 could be making its way back as a cult gay classic. Screened at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival, the updated version received rave reviews reports Vulture. Writer-director Mark Christopher’s homage to the New York disco club stars Ryan Phillippe, Mike Myers, Salma Hayek, and Neve Campbell.

No bad romance here. Lady Gaga, 28, is engaged Taylor Kinney. Us Weekly reports the “Poker Face” singer was proposed to on Valentine’s Day by the 33-year-old Chicago Fire star.

Sam Smith was the big winner at the 2015 Grammy Awards. The “Stay with Me” singer went home with four trophies including best new artist and song of the year.

 

The Houston Rainbow Herald is the Bayou City’s only daily LGBT online news source. For more information, visit www.houstorainbowherald.com.

 John Buchanan

Intero Realty’s John Buchanan has more than twenty years’ experience as a realtor, and writes ‘In the Gayborhood’ to communicate, educate, and save his clients money. He welcomes all referrals, whether you’re buying, selling, renting, or leasing. For more information, call 832-969-4352 or email Johnwb214@aol.com.