The 2014 Pride Houston Guide

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

Tony Carroll and Bruce Smith, another couple whose names are synonymous with LGBT politics, are as familiar with Parker's politics as they are with her marriage. The two worked tirelessly to get her elected and were also guests at her Houston wedding reception.

Carroll, a psychotherapist, and Smith, a dentist, have been public figures in Houston's LGBT community for decades.

Politically, the couple is a powerhouse in Houston and beyond, having been an integral part of just about every LGBT issue from AIDS to philanthropy to advocacy. They're working to help get LGBT teens off the streets and into homes through the Association for Family and Community Integrity.

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.


The Pearl Lounge, 4216 Washington

Eagle, 611 Hyde Park

The Morty Rich Hostel, 501 Lovett Boulevard

F Bar, 202 Tuam

Gratifi Kitchen and Bar, 302 Fairview

South Beach, 810 Pacific

Crocker Bar, 2312 Crocker

707 23rd, Galveston

South Beach, 810 Pacific

Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney

South Beach, 810 Pacific

Westheimer and Yoakum

Westheimer between Dunlavy and Crocker

South Beach, 810 Pacific

F Bar, 202 Tuam

South Beach, 810 Pacific

F Bar, 202 Tuam

When they got married in 2003 in Toronto, and then again in New York in 2011, Carroll and Smith hoped that the legitimacy would help what they were trying to do, but what they didn't realize was that it would also profoundly change them as a couple.

"We thought that getting married was a great opportunity to make a political statement," Smith says. "What I didn't expect, though," he continues, "was the emotional impact it had on me."

Carroll and Smith say that they always knew they would be together "forever," but there's something different now, including acceptance, which has reduced some of the "social shame."

"We are so incredibly grateful for this," Carroll says, referring not just to their relationship but to how they have been able to aid the LGBT community. "Then, to make it's the icing on the cake."

But as positive as the trajectory of acceptance has been lately, there's still a long road ahead.

"The barriers to gay marriage are falling all across the nation," says Parker. "I know it is just a matter of time before it will be legal in every state.  For the sake of those who are still waiting, I hope that time comes sooner rather than later."

Given the snowball effect at the state level, Carroll also believes that it's just a matter of time. But he warns that there's still a lot of work to be done politically and socially.

"The most important thing is that we don't become complacent and think it's over," he says.

Eade and Hill agree and have made it their own mission to keep teaching those around them through their own advocacy, the annual "Tie the Knot" social-media campaign, in which people around the country take pictures of themselves in bowties in support of marriage equality and also to educate others on a personal level.

"We are just like anybody else living with the same struggles," Eade reflects. "We are just doing it from a slightly different perspective."

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States :

A Timeline

September 21, 1996 —President Bill Clintonsigns the Defense of Marriage Act banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage and defining marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

February 12-March 11, 2004 —Nearly 4,000 same-sex couples get marriage licenses in San Francisco.

May 17, 2004—Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage, the first state in the U.S. to do so.

January 20, 2006 —A Maryland judge rules that the state's law defining marriage is unconstitutional.

May 15, 2008 —The California Supreme Court rules that the state's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. The decision goes into effect on June 16 at 5:01 p.m.

November 12, 2008—Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Connecticut.

April 27, 2009—Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Iowa.

May 6, 2009 —Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Maine.

May 6, 2009 —New Hampshire lawmakers pass a same-sex marriage bill.

June 17, 2009 —President Barack Obamasigns a memorandum granting some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

July 7, 2009 —A new District of Columbia law recognizes same-sex marriages performed in any of the 50 states.

September 1, 2009—Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Vermont.

June 24, 2011 —The New York Senate votes to legalize same-sex marriage.

January 1, 2012 —Civil unions become legal in Hawaii.

February 13, 2012 —Same-sex marriage is signed into law in Washington.

February 13, 2012 —The New Jersey state Senate passes a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

January 1, 2013 —Maryland begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

February 14, 2013 —The Illinois Senate votes to legalize same-sex marriage.

March 12, 2013—Colorado lawmakers pass legislation to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples.

May 7, 2013 —Delaware legalizes same-sex marriage.It goes into effect in July.

June 26, 2013 —The U.S. Supreme Courtrejects parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), ruling that same-sex spouses legally married in a state may receive federal benefits.

August 1, 2013 —Laws inRhode Island and Minnesotaare passed to legalize same-sex marriage.

December 2, 2013 —Hawaii passes a law to legalize same-sex marriages.

December 19, 2013 —The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously rules to allow same-sex marriage statewide.

December 20, 2013 —A federal judge in Utah declares the state ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

February 12, 2014 — Kentucky's denial of recognition for valid same-sex marriages violates the United States Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law, a judge says.

February 13, 2014 —A U.S. district judge strikes down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.

May 16, 2014 —The Arkansas State Supreme Court issues an emergency stayas its judges consider the appeal to the state judge's ruling for same-sex marriage.

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Mike Craig
Mike Craig

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