LGBT Leaders Ask Council to Help Mayor Rawlings Sign That Same-Sex Marriage Pledge

Categories: City Hall
DanielCatesatCouncil.JPG
Daniel Cates
The leadership of the Thomas Jefferson High School student council (sniff), guests of Ann Margolin at this morning's meeting of the Dallas City Council, got quite the treat this morning: a parade of public speakers once again thoughtfully, kindly but also forcefully berating Mayor Mike Rawlings for not signing that same-sex marriage pledge to which dozens of other big-city mayors attached their names.

Rawlings has offered myriad reasons for why he didn't sign the pledge; he's met with gay-rights activists, explaining why he didn't sign the pledge. And yet they remain unmoved.

Rawlings knew they were coming; Cece Cox, executive director and CEO of Resource Center Dallas, said she was "not here as a surprise." And so, once more, she asked Rawlings to sign the pledge and asked the council "to support him." Said Cox, who is raising a 13-year-old son with her partner, Barbara Houser, Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas: "This is a matter of standing for justice pure and simple. ...This is about equality, civil rights and justice for the sixth-largest LGBT community in the U.S." Cox, who said Texas "is a mean state for an out lesbian," asked the council to "take the courageous position and ask your mayor to do the same."

Patti Fink, president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and Equality Texas executive director Dennis Coleman went one step further, asking the council to "empower your lobbyists to advocate" for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and marriage equality statewide.

And Daniel Cates of Get Equal Texas, who helped lead the protest outside City Hall last month and was part of the meeting with the mayor, told Rawlings: "I believe you are a good man, I believe you when you say you stand for quality. But where civil rights are concerned, there is no such thing as a neutral position. When good men like you remain silent, the sexists, homophobes and racists of the world win. When you do not speak up, the George Wallaces of the world are validated. When you remain neutral, liberty and justice for all are threatened. ... You do not have to be controversial. All we're asking is for you to sign a pledge ... to take a simple and powerful stand today."

Only Delia Jasso said anything to the speakers -- no surprise, perhaps, as it was she who formed the city's LGBT task force in 2009. "You have an advocate here," she said. "Please continue to communicate with me, and we'll see how many more of my colleagues can come over to this side."
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Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

So at this rate, I feel that Gay people actually are trying to get rid of democracy. 1st, they cause Rawlings to avoid the meeting that was supposed to listen to citizens and wasn't fair for them. Next, Prop 8 was overturned and the citizens were loud and clear that they didn't want Gay Marriage. When will theses people respect others peoples wishes and rights and thinking they are special? Just like Hispainics, whenever they stop crying about their own issues and vote and care about other things, No Marriage, No Dream Act, No Immigration Reform!

Paul
Paul

marriage ... schmarriage ...  I say let them be as unhappy as the rest of us ...

Besides what I am really interested in seeing is the development of the torts for glbt divorces and the glbt marital counseling ...

Have a nice whatever and play nice with everyone ...

Bob
Bob

As a gay man, I understand the desire of gay activists to have the political capital of elected public officials promoting marriage equality on a philosophical level, but I also understand why Mayor Rawlings chose to withhold his official endorsement.  He has expressed his personal support, and that is all you are going to get from him.

To continue to harangue him for his endorsement is self-defeating.  It takes the focus away from the real issue--acceptance of marriage equality on a state and national level--and positions the gay activists as antagonists to the mayor in a battle that can provide no victory.   It repeats a pattern that the gay community moved beyond years ago, or so I thought:  the bad habit of fighting with your friends for not doing enough, rather than fighting your enemies who woud just as soon see you dead.

Mike Rawling is not our enemy.  Rick Perry is our enemy.  John Roberts is our enemy.  Mitch McConnell is our enemy.  Mitt Romney is our enemy.  Rick Santorum is our enemy. Go fight the real enemies, and leave our friends to join us on another day.

catbird
catbird

Agree Albert, it's a big mistake to sign the thing.

The GLBT community has the same "right" to marry as everyone else.

But they just want to be "equal"? 

Well, no. Not really. What they want is to become a Federally protected class so they can be more than equal.

It's all about the $$$$!

mark
mark

Tell me exactly how they have the same "right" to marry as everyone else.

How exactly would giving an LGBT couple the right to legally marry make them more than equal?

Just need some clarification here.

Albert
Albert

Don't sign the pledge, Mike, it's stupid.

urban cowboy
urban cowboy

not signing that pledge was a slap to the glbt community. Dallas has the 6th largest glbt in the country....the largest gayborhood in the South, The largest liberal christian church in the world catering primarily to the glbt community and he felt not signing a same sex marriage pledge was not consistent with his duties of being mayor......last I checked a mayors duties included setting the tone and preserving the culture of a city.....6th largest gay population in the country and a mayor who refuses to support their equal rights seems like an attack of the gay culture of this city to me.....sign the freaking pledge...

JS
JS

Oh, but Texas "is a mean state for an out lesbian," says a woman whose partner is  the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas.  Hmmm, Dallas is the 6th largest glbt in the country, has the largest gayborhood in the South, has the largest liberal christian church in the world catering primarily to the glbt community....  Guess we are not so mean after all.How about we all agree to focus on fixing DISD? Dallas' crumbling infrastructure? That Dallas County residents have to pay for medical care for all the poor DFW residents with minimal contributions from the surrounding counties where many of these people reside? etc.  Once all that's done, then we can talk about a meaningless signature on a meaningles pledge.

RC
RC

Good group of speakers. Good for Deilia. Good grief Mike, sign the F'n pledge.

Danny
Danny

Really? I can book a "parade of public speakers" to use the City Council's podium as a pulpit from which to preach on national morality issues?

Hot dog! I can already see a parade of congregants from the Virgin of Guadalupe humbly asking Mayor Mike to sign a pledge condemning the racist genocide of little brown babies in the womb and asking the CC to support his doing so.

I just haven't decided what would cause more public uproar, the Council letting a 2 hour parade of immigrants petition voice their opinions on this in 3 minute increments, or refusing them.

mark
mark

They can't refuse anyone. I listened to one council hearing that had a homeless guy speak on every single issue. Every time he got up there he thanked everyone, told them to have a nice day, and begged them all to take care of the children.

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