There’s been quite a lot going on in Dallas over a proposed marriage equality resolution, including Mayor Mike Rawlings claiming not to be absent while on a trip to South America to block any action during his absence. Wednesday morning, gay rights activists showed up at a city council meeting to push for a vote. The Dallas Voice reports:
Tensions ran high after speakers addressed the council, resulting in several audience members walking out, turning their backs on Councilman Dwaine Caraway and even shouting at council members during the meeting. Lesbian activist Cd Kirven said she expected more from council members and that they should support civil rights. “You, as a municipal representative, should always represent those ideals and are a critical part of freedom’s foundation,” Kirven told council members. “Again the LGBT community is disappointed by officials who claim to be allies.” She then asked the few dozen audience members wearing red in support of marriage equality to stand to show the strong presence of the LGBT community.
The Dallas Morning News also reports from the meeting, where one council member questioned the strategies being used to block the resolution:
Outgoing council member Angela Hunt, who signed Griggs’ memo to get the resolution on the agenda, isn’t buying it. “Pauline, thank you for having the courage to step forward,” said Hunt. “I have been amazed by the legalistic gymnastics that have been created to avoid putting this on the agenda. … I think it is absolutely wrong that the word ‘absence’ no longer means ‘absence.’ The mayor will be marked in the minutes as absent on city business. The charter does not say absent and incapable of serving his duties. The charter says absent orincapable of assuming his duties.”
KERA News thinks the incoming city council might have better luck:
Councilwoman Delia Jasso scuttled the resolution last month when she removed her support, leaving it without the necessary five signatures to call a vote. Mayor Mike Rawlings declined to move it forward, saying marriage equality is not a city issue. But, council members generally agreed they would take it up in committee and likely send a marriage and workplace equality resolution to the next council, which will be sworn in June 24. Council member Jerry Allen said he would be pleased to introduce it in the budget, finance and audit committee, which he chairs.
It’s amazing how hard they are fighting against what’s purely a symbolic resolution. But it would be a big blow to opponents to have one of Texas’s biggest cities on the record for marriage equality.