February 19 marks the one-year anniversary of when Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant became Texas' first legally married same-sex couple.
In an Equality Texas blog post, José Andrés Araiza, Chairman of the Equality Texas Foundation Board of Directors, writes of witnessing the marriage in Austin, saying it still brings tears to his eyes when he watches video of the ceremony outside of the Travis County Clerk's Office.
As chairman of the Equality Texas Foundation Board of Directors, I view Sarah and Suzanne’s marriage, not only as a historical and beautiful celebration of love, but also as inspiration. We, at Equality Texas, are inspired more than ever before to lead the fight for full equality for all Texans. Will you join us?
In 11 months, Texas lawmakers return to Austin for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature. We expect lawmakers from the radical right to file a series of bills to legalize discrimination against LGBT Texans. But we also expect progressive legislators to file a record number of bills that will advance equality in Texas.
I ask you to join us on the frontline, as Equality Texas will work to defeat discriminatory legislation and pass bills that expand equality. I know we will win because most Texans are with us on the right side of history.
While Equality Texas continues our work, I want to this moment to celebrate love and to toast to Sarah and Suzanne’s marriage as a symbol that love triumphs over all.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Equality Texas, Steve Rudner, testified before the Senate State Affairs Committee in Austin this week during an interim session. The committee has several dozen pieces of anti-LGBT legislation that was referred there in 2015. Equality Texas suspects those same pieces of discriminatory legislation will rear their heads in the 2017 Texas Legislative Session.
“I am confused as to who the victim is and who the aggressor is. I believe that we are all God's children, and we are all created in God's image, which is contradicted by the notion that someone could discriminate based on religion," Rudner says. "Discrimination against the LGBT community is real and is being condemned by almost 600 Texas businesses (including 23 Fortune 500 companies) in a coalition called Texas Competes which have strongly expressed the belief that LGBT people need to be welcomed in all areas of public accommodation.”