Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004 Page: 13 of 72
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The policy changes also led to Texas' 1972
passage of a state equal rights amendment, she
She also led the family code project of 1979,
making Texas the first state with a unified family
Raggio said, when she started practicing law, it
was difficult to get a divorce.
There was no such thing as no-fault divorces,
and parties had to work very hard to prove
wrongdoing by a spouse, she added.
Raggio said the difference in life for women
now compared to the 1950s and 1960s is "day
and night," but over the past three years, the
momentum gained in women's rights over the
last half of the 20th century has taken a U-turn.
"I think things are going backwards now,"
Raggio said. "Women and children are getting
Raggio said the current administration is cut-
ting back free school lunches, and "we're about
to lose Roe v. Wade."
To turn the tide back toward progress, women
need to be more involved in the electoral process,
"We really need to get serious about who we
elect," she added.
Raggio said gay rights is just part of the big
picture, or the big fight for civil rights in
The fight started with slavery, and fighting for
the rights of black people, she said, and then
fighting for the rights of women.
Raggio said she supports GLBT rights.
Christy Kinsler, a Stonewall Democrats board member,
said of Louise Raggio: "She is living history. This lady
paved the way for so many."
"I think it's a matter of ... equal treatment
under the law," she added.
"She is living history," said Christy Kinsler,
Stonewall board member. "This lady paved the
way for so many."
Raggio graduated sumina cum laude from the
University of Texas at age 19.
In 1939, she became one of the first woman
interns in Washington D.C., a year during which
•she dined al the Wliile Huuse with Eleanor
Roosevelt, dated John Connolly and danced with
In 1952, Raggio graduated from Southern
Methodist University Law School, in a time
when married women could not sign their names
without their husband's permission and women
were ineligible for jury service in Texas.
Raggio went on to become the first woman
assistant district attorney in Dallas, and the first
woman director of the State Bar of Texas.
"This lady is just fearless," Kinsler said.
"I am so excited," Kinsler continued. "It is just
a huge honor to have this woman come and
Kinsler said Raggio is a pioneer in the feminist
movement, whether she thinks of herself as one
The successes the women's movement are
especially significant to lesbians, she continued,
because it made it more possible for them to safe-
ly come out and live as they wished.
Raggio will be talking about gender inequality
in the past, current threats to women's rights
under the Bush administration and her book.
In her book, Raggio chronicles her life from a
poor, unpopular girl from Central Texas, to being
known by her friends as a "mentor" and "sage,"
and "by my enemies, in one of their kinder terms,
as 'one tough broad,'" she wrote.
Raggio has received several awards and hon-
ors, and she was inducted into the Texas
Women's Hall of Fame.
She operates her law offices with her three
sons. Her daughter-in-law, Lorraine Raggio, is
running for district judge.
Raggio speaks at 6:30p.m. Tuesday at Ojeda's
Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave. To reserve a seat,
call (214) 328-4906ore-mail iLtllas>u stonewall
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03.12.04 I dallas voice I 13
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004, newspaper, March 12, 2004; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238885/m1/13/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.