This afternoon, for the first time since a marriage equality resolution went down in flames almost a year ago, the Dallas City Council made its first official nod to LGBT equality in the form of a "comprehensive statement of support" passed by the Budget, Finance & Audit Committee. The measure now goes before the full council.
And what exactly is a "comprehensive statement of support"? Partly, it's an acknowledgment that LGBT rights are worth advancing, partly a pledge to do better on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, partly a promise to iron out the inequalities the city's LGBT employees and their families still experience with pension and healthcare benefits. Lone Star Q has a photographed copy of the full resolution here.
"This is a vision," as interim assistant city manager Theresa O'Donnell told the committee. "It simply sets a vision."
It's a vision shared by members of the city's LGBT task force, who showed up en masse for today's meeting, and four of the five committee members. The lone vote in opposition came from Councilman Sheffie Kadane.
"What I didn't like is this resolution speaks to nothing but gay and lesbians," Kadane said. "The [references to the LGBT community] should be taken out from this paragraph and put 'all.' This should apply to all the city of Dallas, not just the gay and lesbian groups."
An admirable sentiment in theory, but Kadane's push for a post-homophobic world would be more convincing coming from someone who doesn't consider homosexuality a sin.
Committee Chair Jerry Allen took this in stride. "We'll be sensitive to Councilman Kadane's comments on all, all, ALL," Allen said, maybe seriously, maybe facetiously. "GREAT comments."
Then Allen stood up, walked up to HRC's Cathryn Oakley and outgoing Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, who had delivered the Municipal Equality Index briefing, and handed them each a Big Tex bobblehead. Read into that what you will about the giant cowboy's sexual orientation.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.