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Austin, Texas Awaits SCOTUS Decision

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[gdlr_notification icon=”icon-flag” type=”color-background” background=”#e2872e” color=”#ffffff”]This is an active story. Be sure to check back regularly for updates.[/gdlr_notification]

While America’s gay and lesbian community are anxiously waiting on the Supreme Court to issue its widely anticipated ruling on same-sex marriage, the Mexican Supreme Court quietly ruled that state laws limiting marriage to heterosexual couples were discriminatory, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide in our neighbor to the south. The consensus is that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality, the scope of the ruling and when it will come is still up in the air.

During the recent 84th Texas Legislative Session, lawmakers tried to pass legislation that would take the ability to issue marriage licenses away from county clerks to stripping salaries from local or state employees who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Luckily none of the bills passed the House before the final deadline. Despite a public request from several groups, Texas Governor Greg Abbott as said that he would not call lawmakers to a special session to consider legislation same-sex marriage.

In Austin, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has announced that if the Supreme Court does rule in favor of marriage equality, striking down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage, then Travis County would follow a contingency plan for issuing licenses to qualified couples.

[gdlr_testimonial columns=”1″ type=”static” style=”plain-style large”]

[gdlr_tab title=”Dana DeBeauvoir” position=”Travis County Clerk” author_image=”http://themes.goodlayers2.com/flawless/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/testimonial-2.jpg” ]
[gdlr_icon type=”icon-quote-left” color=”#333333″]I am committed to following the law of the land. If the Court’s holding invalidates Texas statutes that deny the right of marriage to same gender couples, I look forward to the opportunity to issue marriage licenses to all legally entitled members of our community. [gdlr_icon type=”icon-quote-right” color=”#333333″][/gdlr_tab]

[/gdlr_testimonial]

Once the Court has issued a ruling, the opinion will be reviewed by the Travis County Attorney’s office and advise the County Clerk’s office. If the ruling authorizes DeBeauvoir’s office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, her office will set a time to start. This will allow her office to staff accordingly. The county clerk’s office will offer extended business hours with evening and weekend hours added for a limited time.

Dallas County Clerk John Warren has announced that his office will now issue licenses to same-sex couples if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality. The Democrat had previously stated he had concerns about modifying the state-generated marriage license application but was able to come up with an alternative after consulting the county’s District Attorney’s office. Pending the details of the ruling, Warren is already planning on overtime hours for his staff and keeping his office open past normal business hours to deal with the anticipated rush of applications from gay and lesbian couples.

Meanwhile, in Harris County, the Republican County Clerk Stan Stanart told the Houston Press that once the court issued its opinion he would wait to get guidance from the state’s Attorney General for instructions before issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Late last year, Bexar County Clerk Gerard C. “Gerry” Rickhoff, a Republican, told San Antonio Express-News in an interview that the state’s ban on gay marriage a was a “civil rights violation” and that he would keep his office open 24 hours a day to accommodate gay and lesbian couples if same-sex marriage were legalized.

The ruling can come any day now and plans are already under way all across the state for Day of Decision events, whether celebrations and/or rallies. We’ve compiled a list of events below and will update the list with details as they are announced and other events as they are added.

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Day of Decision Events

[gdlr_notification icon=”icon-flag” type=”color-border” border=”#e2872e” color=”#000000″]Don’t see an event listed? Email details/links to info@therepubliq.com.[/gdlr_notification]

[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]AUSTIN[/gdlr_heading]

SCOTUS Party Of The Century

Oilcan Harry’s will be (hopefully) celebrating the opinion from the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality and the 46th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with their “Party of the Century” when Decision Day comes with 46¢ drinks all day and all night long. Oilcan Harry’s, 211 W 4th St., Austin TX 78701. 2 PM. FREE.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/486478931511976/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button]

SCOTUS Decision Day Party

Hosted by Rain on 4th, Equality Texas, HRC Austin, Stonewall Democrats of Austin and Log Cabin Republicans. Rain on 4th, 217 W 4th St., Austin TX 78701. 6 PM. FREE.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/1678034975765921/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button]

Texas For Marriage Decision Day Celebration

Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E 8th St., Austin TX 78701

[gdlr_button href=”http://action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] RSVP on website[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]DALLAS[/gdlr_heading]

Texas For Marriage Decision Day Celebration

At 6 PM, attendees will gather at Cathedral of Hope for an inspirational rally, celebration of love, and discussion about what the ruling means for same-gender loving couples, families, people of faith/faith-free people and how the decision compels us moving forward. At 7:30 PM, the group will march on the sidewalk down Cedar Springs to the Legacy of Love Monument at the Oak Lawn Triangle. Get your signs and noisemakers ready for this exciting moment where we march in solidarity with one another. At 8 PM, everyone will gather around the Legacy of Love Monument for a festive display of what the ruling means to the LGBTQ community, the people we love, and hear a call to action for what remains ahead. Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas, 5910 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas TX 75235. 6 PM. Legacy of Love Monument at the Oak Lawn Triangle, Oak Lawn Ave. & Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas TX 75219. 7:30 PM.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/788790994568752/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button] [gdlr_button href=”http://action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] RSVP on website[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]DENTON[/gdlr_heading]

Decision Day Rally

Denton County Courthouse, 110 W Hickory St., Denton TX 76201. 6 PM.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/467880473361235/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_notification icon=”icon-flag” type=”color-border” border=”#e2872e” color=”#000000″]Don’t see an event listed? Email details/links to info@therepubliq.com.[/gdlr_notification]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]EL PASO[/gdlr_heading]

Texas For Marriage Decision Day Celebration

Unitarian Universalist Community of El Paso, 4425 Byron St., El Paso TX 79930

[gdlr_button href=”http://action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] RSVP on website[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]FORT WORTH[/gdlr_heading]

Texas For Marriage Decision Day Celebration

Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave., Ft. Worth TX 76104

[gdlr_button href=”http://action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] RSVP on website[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]HOUSTON[/gdlr_heading]

Texas For Marriage Decision Day Celebration

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2025 W 11th St., Houston TX 77008

[gdlr_button href=”http://action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] RSVP on website[/gdlr_button]

Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision

Hosted by Lambda Legal Houston, Victory Fund Houston and the Human Rights Campaign. Venue & details TBA

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/1449353295365052/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button]

[gdlr_divider type=”dotted” ]
[gdlr_notification icon=”icon-flag” type=”color-border” border=”#e2872e” color=”#000000″]Don’t see an event listed? Email details/links to info@therepubliq.com.[/gdlr_notification]
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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]RIO GRAND VALLEY[/gdlr_heading]

Decision Day RGV

Mount Calvary Christian Church, 401 N 21st St, Harlingen TX 78550. 6 PM.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/106643929670982/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]SAN ANTONIO[/gdlr_heading]

Texas For Marriage Decision Day Celebration

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepard, 1630 Goliad Rd., San Antonio TX 78223

[gdlr_button href=”http://action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] RSVP on website[/gdlr_button]

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[gdlr_heading tag=”h3″ size=”32px” color=”#ffffff” background=”#961D20″ font_weight=”bold”]WACO[/gdlr_heading]

Waco Day of Decision Celebration

Hosted by InterWaco and featuring speakers and musicians including Susan Duty-Dennard and Heather Grace Ranelle. Heritage Square, 3rd St. & Austin Ave., Waco TX 76701. 6 PM. FREE.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.facebook.com/events/105154826488833/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#3a5795″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#133783″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-calendar”] RSVP on Facebook[/gdlr_button]

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Marriage Freedom Weekend

In Austin, organizers are planning for a special 4th of July holiday weekend by giving same-sex couples a “a stress-free way for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses, petition for a waiver of waiting periods and finally get married.”

[gdlr_process min_height=”200px” type=”vertical” ]

[gdlr_tab icon=”icon-pencil” title=”Register to Participate” ]Fill out the online form and provide organizers with both you and your soon-to-be spouse’s names, your email addresses and phone numbers along with your home county. Let them know who will be officiating your wedding ceremony — whether you will be using one of the judges or clergy available at the Travis County Courthouse or if you will be scheduling a ceremony elsewhere. Finally, pick a day and time you will have your ceremony.[/gdlr_tab]

[gdlr_tab icon=”icon-file-text-alt” title=”Obtain a License” ]Once the Supreme Court has ruled and the Travis County Attorney has cleared the Travis County Clerk’s office to issue licenses to same-sex couples, visit the clerk’s office at 5501 Airport Boulevard and apply for a marriage license. Bring state-approved proof of identity and age, your Social Security number (you don’t need to show the card), and pay the $81 license fee. [/gdlr_tab]

[gdlr_tab icon=”icon-bell-alt” title=”Get a Waiver, Get Married” ]During Marriage Freedom Weekend, a judge will be in his/her courtroom at the Travis County Courthouse to hear pleadings for waivers of the waiting period. Courthouse judges and other officiants will be available all day Saturday and Sunday to performance wedding ceremonies for those couples who have already waited the mandatory 3 days, are exempt from the waiting period or received a waiver. [/gdlr_tab]

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[gdlr_button href=”http://getmarriedtexas.org/” target=”_blank” size=”medium” background=”#94d64f” color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#5c8f26″][gdlr_icon type=”icon-pencil”] Register on website[/gdlr_button]

Chase is the Founder and Creative Director of therepubliq.com, Host and Executive Producer of OutCast Austin, an award-winning LGBT weekly radio program on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin. In 2011, he was named the Critics Pick for 'Most Gaybiquitous' in the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin. In 2012, CultureMap Austin named him one of Austin's Top LGBT bloggers and he received the AGLCC's Chamber Award for Social Media Diva.

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Austin

Austin PRIDE Announces Date for 2019 Festival & Parade

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The Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation, the non-profit organization that manages and organizes Austin’s PRIDE celebration, has announced that the 29th annual Austin PRIDE Festival and Parade will take place on SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2019. This year’s theme is Boogie Wonderland.

The 2015 Austin Pride Festival at Fiesta Gardens. Photo credit: Chase Martin/therepubliq

The festival will return to Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach in Town Lake Metropolitan Park (a/k/a Fiesta Gardens) from 11 AM – 6 PM and feature entertainment, games and activities, drinks, food, family zone, and 140+ booths featuring local non-profits organizations and businesses. Tickets on the day of the event will be $20 for adults (18+), $10 for youth (7-17 years old), and FREE for children six and under. Discounted advanced tickets will go on sale in the near future at www.austinpride.org.

The Apple contingent in the 2015 Austin Pride Parade
The Apple contingent in the 2015 Austin Pride Parade. Photo credit: Chase Martin/therepubliq

The parade will step off at 8 PM. The route through downtown Austin remains unchanged from previous years; starting at the south gate of the Texas State Capitol Building, heading down Congress Avenue, then turning on 4th Street going through the Warehouse District before ending at Republic Square. The parade is free and open to the public.

The parade and festival are projected to bring in over 400,000 attendees, making it the largest single day event based on attendance in Austin. By comparison, the Austin City Limits Music Festival has 75,000 attendees and South by Southwest has 285,000 attendees.

Registration for booths at the festival and spaces in the parade is now open online at www.austinpride.org/paradeandfestival.

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Austin City Manager Announces Assistant City Manager Hires

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Austin City Hall
Austin City Hall. Photo credit: Todd Ross Nienkerk / That Other Paper under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has selected Rodney Gonzales and Chris Shorter as Assistant City Managers in his first steps toward reorganizing the executive team to align with Austin’s Strategic Direction.

Mr. Gonzales will oversee departments and projects focused on economic opportunity and affordability. Mr. Shorter will manage efforts on health & environment and culture & lifelong learning.

“Rodney and Chris stood out amongst the other candidates as people who understand the challenges facing Austin. It was clear to me that they’re well-prepared to work with our community and our employees to advance strategies that can address those challenges in a way that aligns with our priorities,” said Cronk. “Both of them are ready to hit the ground running.”

Rodney Gonzales

Austin Assistant City Manager Rodney Gonzales
Austin Assistant City Manager Rodney Gonzales will oversee departments and projects focused on economic opportunity and affordability. Photo courtesy: City of Austin.

Rodney Gonzales comes to the Assistant City Manager role having served in leadership roles in Development Services and Economic Development for the City of Austin over the past 12 years. Mr. Gonzales began his career in finance, serving as the Director of Finance for the cities of San Marcos and Luling, TX. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree from Texas State University.

Chris Shorter

Austin Assistant City Manager Chris Shorter
Austin Assistant City Manager Chris Shorter will manage efforts on health & environment and culture & lifelong learning. Photo courtesy: City of Austin

Chris Shorter has served in leadership roles for the District of Columbia (DC) Government for the past 10 years. Most recently he has been the district’s Director of Public Works which provides environmental services and solid waste management for residents. He has also held roles as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for DC’s Department of Health and as COO and Chief of Staff for the district’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Mr. Shorter received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida.

The Selection Process

This process started in late July when Cronk issued a memo outlining the restructuring of the City Manager’s Office around outcomes articulated in the Strategic Direction 2023. His memo detailed the process for an open recruitment for four Assistant City Manager positions and one Deputy City Manager, beginning this Fall with the recruitment of these two positions.

In September, a survey was released to the public asking them to identify the skills and characteristics they felt were most important for City leaders to possess. The response to the survey helped build the job posting and candidate profiles. Cronk solicited additional feedback in September from the quality of life groups and with community groups related to the areas of responsibility on which each Assistant City Manager will focus. This information was used to inform Cronk’s selection.

“The feedback I received at the start of the process has been invaluable in identifying leaders whose background and approach will align with the expectations of our community moving forward,” Cronk noted, adding his recognition for those who have served in interim roles during the search. “Both Sara Hensley and Joe Pantalion deserve thanks and credit for the seamless leadership they’ve provided. They’re an example of the incredible skill and deep professional depth we have here at the city.”

Hensley and Pantalion will return to their jobs as Director of the Parks and Recreation Department and Watershed Protection Department, respectively.

The recruitment for the next two Assistant City Managers, overseeing Mobility and Safety, opened on November 20. The search for a Deputy City Manager is slated to begin in Spring 2019.

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UT-Austin Reaches Deal For New $338 Million Basketball Arena

A corporation, Oak View Group LLC, will pay to construct the arena in exchange for future revenue generated at the venue.

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A tentative design of the $338 million on-campus basketball arena that was approved on Thursday by the University of Texas System's Board of Regents.
A tentative design of the $338 million on-campus basketball arena that was approved on Thursday by the University of Texas System's Board of Regents. Photo credit: The University of Texas

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune

The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously voted to authorize its flagship university in Austin to arrange for a private group to construct and manage a new $338 million on-campus basketball arena.

A tentative design of the $338 million on-campus basketball arena that was approved on Thursday by the University of Texas System's Board of Regents.
A tentative design of the $338 million on-campus basketball arena that was approved on Thursday by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Photo credit: The University of Texas

The California-based Oak View Group will build the 10,000-seat venue and then convey it back to the university, school officials said. In return, the group will manage the venue, sell its naming rights and collect revenue from concerts and other events. Revenue from managing the stadium will allow the company to recoup its cost, officials said. 

The venue is scheduled to open in 2021. The Oak View Group will reserve a specific number of dates for University of Texas at Austin basketball games and other events. 

A tentative design of the interior of the $338 million on-campus basketball arena that was approved on Thursday by the University of Texas System's Board of Regents.
A tentative design of the interior of the $338 million on-campus basketball arena that was approved on Thursday by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Photo credit: The University of Texas

The arrangement — set to last for 35 years — means the university will get a new arena without having to spend any of its own money, school officials said. UT-Austin President Greg Fenves touted it as a first-of-its-kind deal. 

“This is a very exciting day for the University of Texas,” he said. 

Once completed, the arena is expected to replace the university’s 41-year-old Frank Erwin Center as the venue for basketball games, and outside events, like concerts, brought in by the corporation. 

Shannon Najmabadi contributed reporting. 

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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january 2019

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