The Dallas Voice is reporting that local LGBT activist C.d. Kirven was arrested in Austin today after a sit-in at the offices of Senators Bob Deuell and Brian Birdwell, Republicans from Greenville and Granbury respectively. Kirven is a core member of LGBT rights group GetEQUAL TX; we profiled her and fellow GetEQUAL organizer Daniel Cates as part of our People Issue last year.
According to Austin CBS affiliate KEYE-TV, three GetEQUAL members were arrested at the Deuell/Birdwell offices. But Michael Diviesti, a state organizer with GetEQUAL, tells the Voice that it was actually five people, there to demonstrate in support of SB 237, authored by Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a Democrat from San Antonio. The bill would add "sexual orientation and gender identity/expression" as its own protected class to all state nondiscrimination laws.
GetEQUAL members had previously attended a reading of the bill at the April meeting of the Senate's Economic Development Committee. They warned that if they didn't see the bill move to the Senate floor by May 1, they'd be back to protest.
According to the Voice, the five are awaiting a bail hearing. As the paper also notes, Kirven was previously arrested during a similar protest at former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office in Washington. She got deferred adjudication and six months probation; when she completed it successfully in October 2010, all charges were dropped.
Kirven made news back in October when County Commissioner Maurine Dickey "mistook" her for a man, because of her short hair and style of dress. Dickey then shouted at her to stop taking photos during a public Commissioners Court hearing, for reasons that remain unclear. Kirven responded by offering Dickey some sensitivity training to deal better with the LGBT community; Dickey, to our knowledge, never took her up on it.