City Hall

The Dallas City Council Easily Passed its Long-Delayed LGBT-Equality Resolution

The Dallas City Council never got around to passing the marriage equality resolution Scott Griggs introduced last year. But that's OK.

In many ways the resolution passed by today goes further. It doesn't mention marriage, but it does formally place the council in "full favor of equal rights" for Dallas' LGBT employees, citizens and visitors, and instructs the city to lobby for those rights in Austin.

It also offers something a bit more concrete, promising to extend equal health-care and pension benefits to the families of the city's LGBT employees.

Equality Texas Chair Sam Tornabene gave a sense of why the move's important. He moved here from Washington, D.C., a couple of years ago after his husband took an executive-level job in Dallas. They wouldn't have come had the company not offered the same benefits to Tornabene as they would to an opposite-sex spouse.

They also wouldn't have come if they'd listened to friends in D.C. who viewed Texas as a homophobic wasteland that should be avoided.

Today's resolution helps address both issues. By promising equal benefits, it'll help the city attract talented LGBT employees. By moving toward equality, however incrementally, it'll help Dallas shed its image as an unwelcoming place.

Most of of the council understood that, even if Sheffie Kadane is still of the opinion that LGBT rights should apply to all citizens.

"This issue has been hanging around this body for, frankly, too long," said Philip Kingston.

Now, it's not.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.