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LGBT Economics and the Astronaut Wives Club: Friday’s Show (July 10, 2015)

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, effectively declaring it legal in all 50 states. The economic impact of same-sex marriage on families and the community at large goes far beyond the day of “I do,” says LGBT scholar Lee Badgett from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and […]

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, effectively declaring it legal in all 50 states. The economic impact of same-sex marriage on families and the community at large goes far beyond the day of “I do,” says LGBT scholar Lee Badgett from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and UCLA, who once suggested the economic value-add of legalized marriage on lives would be similar to selecting a brand name in a store instead of reaching for a generic.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we hear from Badgett, and then talk with Houston-based attorney Debora Hunt about the implications of the High Court’s ruling here in Texas on matters ranging from taxes to adoption to estate planning.Also this hour: During the 2015 Texas legislative session, lawmakers passed more than 5,600 bills, and tackled issues ranging from education to gun rights to abortion and beyond. But that’s not all lawmakers do. They also pass resolutions establishing state symbols and nicknames. This past session, House Concurrent Resolution 78 established the cowboy hat as the official state hat. Lawmakers also designated the Lone Star State as our official state nickname. Dripping Springs was designated the wedding capital of Texas, Jasper’s the butterfly capital. And the Texas Gulf shrimp is now the official state crustacean, while the western honeybee is now the official state pollinator. Yes. Really.

While such designations may, on the surface, seem like a grand waste of time, they’re not. We learn what impact such state symbols, nicknames and designations can have on communities as we talk with A.J. Mistretta from the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Seneca McAdams from the Texas Independence Trail Region, which works to increase tourism to cultural and historic sites in rural Texas communities.

Then: A lot can happen in a week. Some of it good, some of it bad, some of it ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to our rotating panel of “non-experts” to ponder The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of it all. Today: The Breakfast Klub’s Marcus Davis, the Houston Chronicle’s Joe Holley, and area attorney and education advocate Monica Richart discuss a signal sent to Houston by Moody’s, growing chatter about renaming Dowling Street, and the Houston Dash’s Carli Lloyd leading the U.S. women’s soccer team to a World Cup championship.

Plus: This summer, ABC is running a ten-part series called The Astronaut Wives Club, based on the non-fiction book by the same name by Lily Koppel. The series tells the stories of the early days of the U.S. space program through the eyes of the wives of the astronauts in NASA’s Mercury program. Houston serves as the backdrop in the latter half of the series. We learn more from Houston Chronicle books editor Maggie Galehouse.

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