AUSTIN, Texas – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization that works to secure equality for LGBTQ Texans, released a new report Wednesday that details the state of equality for those individuals.
The organization held a news conference in Austin to announce the report and call on legislators to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for all Texans.
An analysis from the William Institute at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law said there are more than 46,000 same-sex couples in Texas, about a third of which are raising children, and about 930,000 LGBTQ Texans.
Currently, state law retains its ban on same-sex marriage despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on the issue in 2015 that guaranteed a right to same-sex marriage, and the Texas Family Code does not address LGBTQ families. Equality Texas said this has posed challenges for LGBTQ individuals in family courts, which struggle to apply laws regarding marriage, parenting, adoption or divorce.
The report by Equality Texas also touched on economic opportunity. It said LGBTQ people are more likely to experience food insecurity, poverty, unemployment and homelessness, especially people of color and transgender people.
Equality Texas said a record number of LGBTQ candidates ran for public office during the 2018 midterm cycle, and there are now five openly LGBTQ women in the Texas House who have formed the first-ever LGBT Caucus. The organization said despite this, some LGBTQ Texans are still struggling to access their right to vote. The report said transgender Texans face legal and financial obstacles to get updated identification to cast their ballot.
The report also discussed bias-motivated violence, health outcomes, youth at risk and aging, among other topics that affect the LGBTQ community.
To access the full report by Equality Texas, click here.
To see Equality Texas’ new conference, click on the video below.