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Moving Forward After Obergefell v. Hodges

Equal rights advocates plan next steps after U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality ruling. Credit: Neon Tommy, Wikimedia Commons.
Equal rights advocates plan next steps after U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality ruling. Credit: Neon Tommy, Wikimedia Commons.
June 29, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists and supporters are gathering at the State Capitol today to discuss the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling.

They'll also address what's next in the movement for equal rights in Texas and beyond. Kathy Miller, president with the Texas Freedom Network, praised the Supreme Court decision but says that doesn't mean the fight is over.

"We have a lot of work to do in Texas to ensure marriage equality blossoms into full equality for LGBT citizens," she says.

Next on the agenda, according to Miller, is winning comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. Miller points out people can still be fired, evicted and denied public services in Texas simply because of who they are and who they love.

The gathering takes place this morning on the north steps of the Capitol.

Miller adds some Texas leaders were quick to announce intentions to resist implementation of marriage equality in the state. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called the ruling a "clear violation of the separation of powers," and said he would rather be on the wrong side of history than on the wrong side of his faith and belief.

James Esseks, director with the American Civil Liberties Union, said it might take time for some to accept the new reality.

"We live in a nation of laws and the rule of law is central to our system of government and our society," he says. "I truly believe that in every corner of the country, in very short order, this ruling is going to be respected."

The ACLU represented plaintiffs from Kentucky and Ohio in the Supreme Court case.

The decision invalidates discriminatory laws in states such as Texas that ban gay marriage and requires all 50 states to allow same-sex marriage. The ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas and Texas Freedom Network are among the groups expected at today's event.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - TX