City Hall

The City Council Spent Its Morning Talking About Gay Marriage, but Voting on It Would Have Been a Waste of Time

LGBT activists and allies showed up early at City Hall this morning, all wearing red. One by one, they stepped to the microphone and chastised the Dallas City Council for its epic wuss-out on a marriage and workplace equality resolution.

"Leadership requires action, not just words," said Resource Center Dallas' Cece Cox. "To say that one supports LGBT equality ... then to take no action on these issues, that is not leadership. It is passivity. It is nothing."

Next at the microphone was activist CD Kirven, whose given name, we learned, is Chastity. "What seems to be forgotten by the council that civil rights battles have people that are wounded that are invisible to the leadership," she said. "We have children. We have jobs. We have mothers. We have friends." Those sentiments were echoed by several others.

The resolution they were speaking on was, of course, not on this morning's agenda. It was going to be up 'til late May, when Delia Jasso performed her impressively vindictive U-Turn and Mayor Mike Rawlings decided that, even though he's a huge fan of letting gay people marry, discussing it would be a waste of the council's time.

See also - City Council Likely to Pass Gay Marriage Resolution, and Mayor Rawlings Isn't Happy - Delia Jasso Withdraws Support for Marriage Equality Measure After Losing Council Seat

Supporters still nearly managed to get the resolution on the ballot. The Dallas Voice reported last week that Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano attempted to use her authority as the mayor's stand-in to get the item back on the agenda only to have Rawlings claim, from Brazil, that he's not technically "absent." City Attorney Tom Perkins made a cameo at the microphone today to say that, even though his chair was clearly empty, the mayor was not technically "absent" according to the city charter. (The relevant passage is contained in Chapter III Section 11, which says that the mayor pro tem "shall perform the duties of mayor in the case of the absence or inability of the mayor to perform the duties of office.")

So the council wound up spending a solid hour discussing the resolution, only without the ability to take any concrete action. It was just a little bit ironic, given Rawlings' overwhelming concern with wasted time.

The discussion was mostly unremarkable. Angela Hunt supports the resolution and was amazed at the extraordinary efforts to keep it off the agenda. Carolyn Davis criticized Scott Griggs, saying he never approached her with the proposal. Vonciel Jones Hill was not at the horseshoe but was no doubt seething in righteous indignation somewhere else. In Hill's stead, Jesus took his place at the horseshoe in the person of Sheffie Kadane, who's quoted in The Dallas Morning News.

"I believe in the infallible word of the Bible, and the Bible states marriage is between a man and a woman, and that's my belief.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson