Compared to other states, LGBT persons in Texas have very few legal rights and protections. Texas remains one of the most conservative states. Despite the state’s statutes that criminalize hate crimes, many members of the LGBT community in Texas are severely discriminated against. Below are descriptions of rights that may be afforded to LGBT persons in Texas.
Sodomy Laws in Texas
Although Texas still has statutes criminalizing homosexual activities, the Supreme Court of the United States has struck them down. Now, same-sex individuals can engage in consensual sexual acts.
However, Texas law does not provide for protection of children who engages in homosexual activity. Texas provides an affirmative defense to statutory rape where a person engage in sex with a child under 17 years of age but that person is not 3 years older than the child. Thus, if an 18-year-old male engages in sex with a 16-year-old male child, then the 18-year-old male will be guilty of statutory rape. But if that 16-year-old was a girl, then the 18-year-old male will not be guilty of rape.
As of February 26, 2014, Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage has been held unconstitutional.
As for benefits to same-sex partners of state employees, only some of the counties recognize these relationships and provide for the partners’ benefits. However, the degree of coverage varies amongst counties. These counties are:
- El Paso
- Fort Worth
- San Antonio
Texas allows LGBT individuals to be parents, but have restrictions to certain aspects.
Texas allows any single individual to adopt children, regardless of their sexual orientation or identity. Nevertheless, the Courts have a lower adoption approval rate for LGBT individuals.
Furthermore, Texas doctors are allowed to administer IVF and artificial insemination of lesbian couples. Yet, they do not allow same-sex couples to both have their names on the child’s birth certificate.
Texas does not have any state law that protects LGBT individuals from discrimination. However, some counties have ordinances to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity.
Moreover, despite Texas having state laws against hate crimes, rarely does a court hear the case to completion or punishes the offender.
Sex Reassignment Surgery
Prior to February 2014, Texas did not recognize the aftermaths of a sex reassignment surgery.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you think that you have been discriminated against based on your sexual orientation or identity, you should contact an experienced LGBT lawyer for assistance.
Present your case to Texas lawyers now!