Fabian Nelson is set to become Mississippi's first gay legislator, Waterloo in Iowa repeals conversion therapy ban, and a judge in Texas strikes down drag show restrictions.
Democrat To Take Seat As First Gay Legislator
A state House candidate is set to become Mississippi's first gay lawmaker after a victory in a Democratic primary election runoff on Aug. 29, according to the Associated Press.
Fabian Nelson, a 38-year-old realtor, won the election against Roshunda Harris-Allen, an education professor. The runoff was for the south Jackson metro area’s House district after neither party won the Aug. 8 primary.
“I still think I’m in a dream. I’m still trying to process it and take it in,” Nelson said. “It’s still shocking to me, I have to be honest.”
Waterloo City Council Repeals Conversion Therapy Ban
Photo by Paula Kirman, Flickr.
Waterloo, one of the state’s largest cities, voted to overturn its ban on conversion therapy on Aug. 21 after a Christian organization threatened to sue, according to the Des Moines Register.
Liberty Counsel is based in Orlando, Florida, and told the city in a June 30 letter it would proceed with legal action if the legislation was not repealed by Aug. 1. The city enacted the ordinance in May.
Liberty Counsel was advocating for a therapist in Waterloo “who was concerned about the implications of this on the practice of counseling,” according to the organization’s founder and chair Mat Staver. Staver also promised to target future states with litigation.
Judge Strikes Down Drag Show Restrictions
Photo by Mortinique Monroe, aclutx.org.
According to ABC News, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against a Texas law set to take effect on Sept. 1 that has been the focus of a lawsuit from the ACLU of Texas. Senate Bill 12 would ban "sexualized performances and drag shows in the presence of a minor,” according to a statement from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
"The Texas Drag Ban is stunningly broad in scope and will chill entire genres of free expression in our state," said ACLU of Texas attorney Brian Klosterboer in a statement.
"This law flies in the face of the First Amendment,” he continued. “No performer should ever be thrown in jail because the government disfavors their speech, and we are asking the Court to block this affront to every Texan’s constitutional rights."