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Annise Parker
Texas tries to stop safeguards for gays as rural areas hold sway

AUSTIN, Texas Texas Republicans want to strip away job protections that its biggest cities now grant gay residents, a drive that reflects a divide between urban and rural interests that increasingly defines U.S. politics. Lawmakers say Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Plano shouldn't be able to supersede state laws, which in Texas don't shield gays and lesbians from being fired for their sexual preference or gender identity. Plano's mayor says the Legislature risks harming the business climate. "This is an economic-development issue," said Harry LaRosiliere, mayor of the suburb 20 miles north of Dallas, which is home to employers including the...