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Arrested Gay Texas Couple Who Tried To Get Marriage License Facing Elevated Charges



On July 5, 2012, Mark “Major” Jiminez and his fiancé, Beau Chandler, entered the Dallas County Clerk’s office intent on obtaining a marriage license. Texas, like many other states, outright bans issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Any official who issues a license to a same-sex couple can face misdemeanor criminal charges. In fact, Texas is so determined to undermine the rights of its citizens, the Texas GOP Platform seeks to change the penalty for issuing a license from a misdemeanor offense, to a felony.

This isn’t the only manner in which the state targets same-sex family units and allies to the LGBT community. For example, Major and Beau, upon being denied the marriage license they sought, handcuffed themselves together, took a seat on the floor of the Clerk’s office and refused to leave without a marriage license. Their act was a protest of the ban on same-sex marriages under Texas law. Unfortunately for Major and Beau, rather than receiving a marriage license, they received a second set of handcuffs, a police escort from the building and engagement photos in the form of mugshots. The couple was charged with “criminal trespass,” a Class B Misdemeanor.

After being released on bond, Major stated:

We are now facing a $2,000.00 fine and a jail sentence of 180 days. But I stand before each and every one of you and tell you that I would spend 181 days in jail as an unjust penalty for trying to marry the man I love and as soon as I got out I would start the process over again. We will be married.

Following up on the stiff penalties faced by Major and Beau, GetEQUAL, which provided support to the couple through its Texas chapter, issued a statement condemning the charges, “Normally political arrests are treated as a class C misdemeanor, where individuals are punished with a $250.00 fine.” (Note: Class C misdemeanors can result in a maximum fine of $500.00 in Texas.)

To further the insult and injury to Mark and Beau, the Texas Court has ordered them to appear in two different courtrooms at the same time on August 2, 2012, which will likely result in the need for a second defense lawyer and double the legal expenses and court costs. According to Major, this move will also make it, “impossible for us to be there to support one another as we stand before a judge to be sentenced for just trying to get married. And that will also divide our friends who will be there to physically support us.” Major requests the community help, by joining them on Facebook at the “Free Major and Beau” event page.

In the debates surrounding marriage equality, advocates often cite the roughly 1138 federal benefits of marriage that a spousal relationship creates.  These benefits range from bankruptcy protections, rights and liabilities, to social security benefits. However, little focus is placed on state law benefits of marriage.

One such benefit is something Major and Beau might like to invoke at this juncture, the “spousal communication privilege.” Generally, under Rule 504 of the Texas Rules of Evidence, a communication is considered confidential if it was made privately between any person and their spouse. While there are some exceptions to that rule (such as divorce cases and communications intended to commit fraud or a crime), when asked about such communications in court, a witness or party can refused to answer the question under this privilege. However, in the case of same-sex couples who are prohibited from marrying, the rule cannot and does not apply, and refusing to answer a question under the rule could result in contempt of court charges.

There are numerous situations wherein a spouse enjoys such automatic rights and privileges with the filing of their marriage license with the Clerk’s office. Unfortunately, until marriage equality exists in every state and at the federal level, the “special rights” provided to married couples will remain out of reach for same-sex couples. These legislative exclusions and attacks on same-sex families make it difficult not to side with the opinion that the charges faced by Major and Beau are elevated in an effort to silence the LGBTQ community of Texas. But according to a recent release from GetEQUAL TX, they have no intention of being silenced, but instead have called upon the community to take action similar to that of Major and Beau.

Image via GetEQUAL Texas

Jay Morris is a State Lead for, a founding member of the Direct Action Network San Antonio and blogger at You can find him posting randomness on Twitter or engage him in conversation on Facebook.

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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately



Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”

McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.

“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”

Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”

Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

READ MORE: ‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order

But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.

“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”

“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.

“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”

READ MORE: ‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster


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‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order



Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.

Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.

“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”

Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”

“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.

Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”

And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.

Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.

After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”

“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”

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‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster



After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.

“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.

Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”

“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.

“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”

Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

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