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The 2014 Pride Houston Guide

Pride is here and this year your everyday clothes aren't going to cut it.

The 2014 Pride Houston Guide

It's time to dig through your closet, tear apart your attic or hit the thrift stores. Pride is here and this year, your everyday clothes just aren't going to cut it. This year Pride Houston is getting decked to the nines Carnivale style. That's right: feathers, costumes and more. It's 2014, and Pride is making its biggest splash yet!

Mayor Parker: "I am so happy to have been able to finally tie the knot with the woman I have loved for more than two decades."

Looking for where you can get your pride on this year? Look no further; the Houston Press has got your complete guide to the wheres and whats of Houston Pride Week.
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NOT JUST A PIECE OF PAPER
With gay marriage come legitimacy and new perspectives.

Tony Carroll and Bruce Smith are a powerhouse couple in Houston.
Courtesy of Tony Carroll
Tony Carroll and Bruce Smith are a powerhouse couple in Houston.

Details

The Pearl Lounge, 4216 Washington

pearlhouston.com

Eagle, 611 Hyde Park

facebook.com/eaglehouston

pridehouston.org

The Morty Rich Hostel, 501 Lovett Boulevard

F Bar, 202 Tuam

houstonprideband.org

Gratifi Kitchen and Bar, 302 Fairview

gratifikitchenandbar.com

queervoices.org

South Beach, 810 Pacific

southbeachthenightclub.com

Crocker Bar, 2312 Crocker

facebook.com/crocker-bar

707 23rd, Galveston

gulfprideforyouth.org

South Beach, 810 Pacific

southbeachthenightclub.com

Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney

discoverygreen.com

South Beach, 810 Pacific

wonderlandhouston.com

Westheimer and Yoakum

pridehouston.com

Westheimer between Dunlavy and Crocker

pridehouston.org

South Beach, 810 Pacific

southbeachthenightclub.com

F Bar, 202 Tuam

fbarhouston.com

South Beach, 810 Pacific

southbeachthenightclub.com

F Bar, 202 Tuam

fbarhouston.com

Last month, Massachusetts celebrated its ten-year anniversary as the first state in the country to legally recognize same-sex marriage. That monumental decision didn't immediately open the floodgates for other states to follow suit, however. If you plot the trajectory of gay-marriage rulings on a graph, you would think you were looking at this year's Houston Rockets results — some wins, some losses, big wins, bigger losses.

Then last year, on June 26, the downward trend turned around completely with the Supreme Court's rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in which it ruled that couples married in states that acknowledge same-sex marriage may receive federal benefits. From that point on, state-by-state recognition of gay marriage has snowballed. It seems as if every other day, yet another state is legally affirming same-sex marriage. In the past two months, federal judges have struck down bans on same-sex marriage in states such as Arkansas, Idaho, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Illinois and most recently Wisconsin.

Texas, however, is not there yet, but the tide may be turning. Two couples currently challenging the state's refusal to recognize their marriages have already won the first round in a federal court in San Antonio. Additionally, a poll done through Texas Tech University in April found that Texas is split evenly on the concept of gay marriage. In past polls, fewer than 40 percent of the state's residents believed in marriage equality, and in these recent findings, 48 percent are in favor.

Through the media's coverage of facts and figures, bans and appeals, and legalese, so often the "heart" of the matter is lost. While same-sex marriage is at its core about human rights, it's also about love and legitimacy. Many Houston couples are discovering this for themselves as they travel to other states to take their vows.

Trevor Eade and Stephen Hill married in November 2013 in California. Eade's circumstances are a bit different from the norm. He is originally from the UK and came to Houston on a work visa. He met Hill, a California native who had been living in Houston since 2000, at a bar and the two fell in love immediately.

"We had our first date at the original Barnaby's," Eade says, "and a year later, we moved in together."

While their relationship may have been fairy-tale-esque, they found their situation riddled with complications. The biggest issue arose in 2011 when Eade was diagnosed with brain cancer.

If the two had been married, legalities such as power of attorney, right of survivorship and family hospital visitation privileges would have come with the territory. Even a common-law marriage, which in the state of Texas is as simple as a couple agreeing that they are married, telling others that they are married, and living together, would have lightened the legal burdens for Eade and Hill. But as two gay men living together in a committed relationship, they had no recourse. Additionally, there were other matters to contend with such as Eade's immigration status and the fact that he wasn't eligible for disability benefits, which, if the two had been in a legal union, would not have been a problem.

"We had less than a week to get all of this paperwork together," says Hill. After Eade recovered, he proposed to Hill.

"When you are diagnosed with cancer," Eade says softly, "it puts everything into perspective."

The couple was married in San Diego after the DOMA ruling, and both men say it was the most "unbelievable lifetime event."

"I didn't think that it would feel different at all," says Hill of their nuptials, "but it did. It's such a validation."

Both men state that after their wedding, they felt a deeper connection. While it didn't change the way they felt about each other per se, it did affect how other people now view the couple — that they are able to call each other "husband" as opposed to "partner" — and that has made a difference in their relationship.

Eade and Hill are certainly not the only committed same-sex couple to find some validation through marriage. Houston's mayor, Annise Parker, made national news when she wed her longtime partner, Kathy Hubbard, in California earlier this year. While Parker says marriage is a "wonderful feeling," she, too, believes her relationship is more than just a legal document.

"I am so happy to have been able to finally tie the knot with the woman I have loved for more than two decades," Parker says. "However, that piece of paper has not changed our relationship."

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1 comments
Mike Craig
Mike Craig

Not sure who researched the dates, but Rainbow on the Green was last night (the 20th)...

 
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