LGBT Advocates Vow to Protest until DART Quits Stalling on Domestic Partner Benefits
In February, a DART committee gave preliminary approval to a plan to extend employment benefits to employees' domestic partners, both gay and straight, and their children. It was a welcome decision, and it gave hope that, after six month of debate over costs and morality, approval by the full DART board was imminent.
Protesters at last night's DART board meeting.
It wasn't. When the issue came up last month, the board punted, delaying a decision until after the Supreme Court rules this summer on a pair of gay marriage cases.
The LGBT community and its allies are not happy. They showed up at last night's DART board meeting in protest, just as they plan to do for every other DART board meeting until domestic partner benefits are approved.
The protest was organized by GetEQUAL TX, but it seems to have been Resource Center Dallas' Rafael McDonnell who stole the show. He delivered an impressive five-minute jeremiad excoriating the board for its inaction, which KNON was kind enough to videotape.
"Why wait on this issue?" McDonnell practically screamed. "It seems to borrow a line from Tina Turner's version of 'Proud Mary': DART doesn't want to do anything 'nice and easy.' Due diligence is commendable. Evasive foot dragging is not acceptable."
DART is lagging behind other local governmental agencies. The city of Dallas has offered domestic partner benefits for years, and Dallas County, Dallas ISD and Parkland have added them as well with no cataclysmic impact on the budget. Even now, DART seems inclined to join their ranks eventually, though this will apparently only happen after a long delay.