Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:01 am
Saying that a Texas law barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and demeans the dignity of homosexuals, a federal judge struck down the law Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia doesn't mean gay marriages can be held in Texas, however; he placed a stay on the decision, anticipating an appeal by the state.
A new poll from the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune shows current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick are pulling away from Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.
The new numbers show Dewhurst at 37 percent of the vote and Patrick close behind with 31 percent.
"We are seeing this shaping up to be another establishment incumbent versus tea party insurgent race," said professor Jim Henson, who heads up UT-Austin’s Texas Politics Project.
In a rare case that pitted Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott against the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case involving the NRA’s request to lower the age limit for conceal-carry permits and purchasing a firearm.
Abbott defended Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw in his assessment that lowering the age requirement for anyone applying for a conceal handgun license from 21 to 18 would disrupt public safety.
A national same-sex marriage rights group has launched an effort across several states in the South to campaign for marriage equality.
Southerns for Freedom to Marry, a branch of the New York-based group Freedom to Marry, has mounted a $1 million campaign across nine states including Texas.
Chuck Smith, the executive director for Equality Texas, is heading up Freedom to Marry’s efforts in Texas and said recent polling shows Republican attitudes toward same-sex marriage have changed in recent years.
Unprecedented urban sprawl in Northwest Bexar County has officials pulling out their strategies for infrastructure improvements to do a better job of keeping up with the growth. The first part of the county’s plans were unveiled at a public meeting Monday evening.
The attraction of no city taxes and lower home prices has lured thousands of new residents to densely-constructed subdivisions in a short period of time. Some experts have compared the growth to a city the size of Kerrville.
While the Texas attorney general’s office has opted out of investigating the Democratic organizing group Battleground Texas, officials with the group called the allegations a partisan attack and said they fully comply with the law.
Attorney General Greg Abbott recused his office from a possible investigation that follows accusations and concern from elected officials like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The San Antonio office of Battleground Texas is accused of data harvesting -- allegedly keeping phone numbers from voter registration cards.
The University of Texas at Austin/Texas Tribune poll showed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was down by 5 points in October, but this month’s poll shows a wider 11-point margin between her and Republican frontrunner Greg Abbott.
Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said there is something else to note.
"We’re seeing a bit of shrinkage in the undecided numbers in the state level general election numbers," Henson said.