And here’s more on the story that led to the entertaining gaffe:
A federal judge declared a same-sex marriage ban in deeply conservative Texas unconstitutional on Wednesday, but will allow the nation’s second-most populous state to enforce the law pending an appeal that will likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Orlando Garcia issued the preliminary injunction after two gay couples challenged a state constitutional amendment and a longstanding law. His ruling is the latest in a tangled web of lawsuits across the country expected to end up in the Supreme Court next year.
"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote. "These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he will appeal the ruling, and promised to seek a different decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. In a statement, Abbott said there are “good, well-meaning people" on both sides of the debate, but insisted the Supreme Court has already confirmed states’ right to define/regulate marriage. (Thanks HuffPo!)
17:44 // 1 month ago
Robocoin said on Tuesday that later this month it will install the first automated teller machines in the United States that let users buy and sell bitcoin, the latest step into the mainstream for the digital currency.
The kiosks, to be installed in Seattle, and Austin, Texas, are similar to ATMs but have scanners to read government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or a passport to confirm users’ identities.
The ATMs will allow people to swap bitcoin for cash, or deposit cash to buy more bitcoin by transferring funds to or from a virtual wallet on their smartphones.
Though based in Las Vegas, Robocoin’s only current bitcoin ATM is located in Vancouver, and a second machine is expected to begin operation in Calgary before the end of February. Robocoin also plans to expand its operations to Europe and Asia sometime after the Seattle and Austin machines are brought online.
15:14 // 2 months ago
The senator, spawned from longtime Texas libertarian Ron Paul, has a surprising message for politicians in the dark-red state where he grew up:
Speaking to the county Republican organization in Houston Saturday evening, Paul warned that Texas “will be a Democratic state within 10 years if you don’t change.”
"That doesn’t mean we give up on what we believe in, but it means we have to be a more welcoming party,” Paul said, as reported by CNN. “We have to welcome people of all races. We need to welcome people of all classes – business class, working class.”
“We need to have people with ties and without ties, with tattoos and without tattoos; with earrings, without earrings,” he said. “We need a more diverse party. We need a party that looks like America.”
As the Christian Science Monitor notes, he’s essentially saying that the state needs to be more inclusive of Hispanics, who represent 40 percent of the state’s voters.
19:52 // 2 months ago
The Texas Board of Education gave preliminary approval Thursday to dropping algebra II as a requirement for high school graduation, over the objections of critics who say the state is watering down its academic standards.
Eliminating the algebra II mandate for most students was part of a major overhaul of graduation, standardized testing and curriculum requirements unanimously approved by the Texas Legislature in May. The shake-up was meant to give students the flexibility to focus on career and vocational training not just college prep courses.
Oh. Just putting American educational standards further behind other countries…
13:27 // 5 months ago