Good news from two unexpected places

First, Texas:


Yup, Wendy Davis has laced up her running shoes again. And this time, she’s heading straight for the governor’s mansion:

Wendy Davis, the Democratic Texas state senator who won fame trying to block anti-abortion legislation with a marathon speech, is running for Texas governor.

In a speech declaring her candidacy, she said she would bring people together “to get things done”.

Sen Davis’s successful rise from a trailer park and motherhood as a single teenager has inspired her supporters.


Sen Davis spoke for nearly 11 hours in June, using a tactic known as a filibuster, preventing legislators from voting on a Republican bill seeking to impose tough new restrictions on access to abortion in the state.

They’re still calling her an “underdog”. Guess what? She has the support of a LOT of Texas women. Her big filibuster made that clear. Her chances are actually a lot better than the media have made out. So I’ll be watching this race closely.

Meanwhile, in Russia, hope glimmers where I least expected it:

The national Russian law that forbids speaking well of all things gay, was first preceded by a number of similar laws in local jurisdictions. Thanks to gay rights activist Irina Fet, the ‘gay propaganda’ law from one of those localities has been struck down by a Russian court. Russian legal experts say the ruling may signal the beginning of end for the national law as well.


In October of last year, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that the Ryazan law was not in compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and that Ryazan had violated Fet’s right to freedom of expression and protection from discrimination. Yesterday, the Russian Court reviewed the international committee’s findings, and reversed their initial verdict. The court has now dismissed all charges against Irina. The finance minister is negotiating with Irina and Moscow Pride to compensate Irina for “moral damages”.

Two different women, two different countries…both fighting the good fight. And while the odds seem long, I dare to be optimistic for both.

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