Every two years, Equality Texas hosts a lobby day for gay rights – representatives and gay/lesbian couples descent on the legislature to talk with individual politicians about marriage equality and LGBT rights. This year saw a record turn-out, the Dallas Voice reports:
With more than 540 registered attendants, it marked the biggest Lobby Day ever, Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith said. Smith started working with the statewide LGBT advocacy organization as a lobbyist in 2003. He shared his experience with the crowd Monday morning, explaining that he came out to former state Rep. Carter Casteel, who had been his eighth-grade history teacher. He told her that he and his partner of 17 years, Rick, had loved each other dearly until his death in 2001. And he asked her not to vote for the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage between a man and a woman and passed later that year. Smith said she acknowledged his love between him and his partner but told him she couldn’t vote against DOMA because she would lose her seat.