Monday, May 9, 2011

Davis, Laubendberg and Truitt Miss Cutest Committee Hearing Ever

Anchia with some of the kids from the hearing
(photo from Equality Texas)

HB 415 by Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) was heard in the House Public Health Committee last Wednesday. Under current law parents in opposite-sex relationships who adopt are routinely issued updated birth certificates which reflect the children's new legal parents. However the Health and Safety Code specifically prohibits two men or two women from being listed as parents on a birth certificate. Anchia's bill would change that by simply removing the prohibition, allowing the legal document most often used to prove a parent's relationship with their children to accurately reflect the child's legal parents.

Anchia filed this legislation last session (81st HB 2080), it received a hearing but was never voted out of committee. As I mentioned in my weekly Lege Update for the Dallas Voice's Instant Tea Blog Anchia brought a secret weapon to the hearing this session: what might be the world's most adorable children.

Missing out on the cuteness of witnesses literally dripping with children where three of the committee's Republican members: Sarah Davis (Houston), Jodie Laubenberg (Rockwall) and Vicki Truitt (Southlake) - although Laubenberg did manage to come in just in time to hear the last witness (and her baby who tried to eat the microphone). Representative's have very busy schedules, and sometimes they have to miss meetings, particularly if the meeting is at 8 am and the House has had a late night. But I am particularly disappointed that Davis choose to skip this hearing.

Davis' district covers about half of Houston's historic "gayborhood" of Montrose and she was elected with the considerable support of the Log Cabin Republicans of Houston. I know that her office has heard from many constituents about the importance of HB 415, so it frankly shocks me that she would choose to miss a hearing so vital to her constituency. Unfortunately it's in keeping with her voting record this session which includes supporting the notorious "family and traditional values" amendment to the budget and refusing to support anti-bullying legislation that included an enumerated reporting requirement. Davis seems perfectly willing to use the gay community (and yes, I did use gay, not LGBT or queer, to describe the Log Cabin Republicans), but will not stand up for the best interests of her queer constituents when push comes to shove.

If you're a constituent of Davis' and would like to express your displeasure at her absence you can call her capitol office at (512) 463-0389.

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