Mayor Mike Rawlings has refused to sign the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” pledge, which has been signed by more than 100 mayors from cities around the nation, including Texas mayors in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Shavano Park and Castle Hills. Despite having been supportive in the past of the right for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to marry, Mayor Rawlings now refuses to sign his name to the pledge, calling into question the depth of his support for all Dallas residents.
In response, GetEQUAL TX planned a demonstration to urge Mayor Rawlings to change his position and sign the pledge. The Mayor’s office contacted GetEQUAL TX and asked for a meeting, on the condition that the demonstration be cancelled—but noted that he had no intention of signing the pledge. Daniel Cates, the North Texas District Lead for GetEQUAL TX, refused to cancel the demonstration, but offered to meet the Mayor beforehand regarding the issue. In order to avoid demonstrators, Mayor Rawlings cancelled his scheduled appearances this week.
Cates stated, “The Mayor seems to think he can dodge the voice of the people of Dallas and thereby avoid the pressure on him to sign the pledge, but he’s wrong. We will keep pressuring him until he either agrees to take action to support human rights or we have a new mayor who will.”
GetEQUAL TX has planned a new demonstration to encourage Mayor Rawlings to sign on to the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry Pledge:
WHEN: Friday, January 27, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Mayor Rawlings actively courted the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community during his run for mayor and has stated that he supports marriage equality. Jay Morris, the State Co-Lead for GetEQUAL TX noted, “Mayor Rawlings gladly asked our community for votes, money and volunteers to help get him into office, only to turn his back on us when it came time to take action instead of just give lip service. Where would the Mayor be today if our community had simply said, ‘We support you for Mayor, but we won’t donate, volunteer or vote for you?’ That is exactly the position the Mayor is taking.”
Mayor Rawlings has scheduled a meeting with LGBT leaders for Saturday at The Resource Center Dallas, but his office has made it clear that he will not sign the pledge. GetEQUAL TX is encouraging other community leaders to continue the pressure on the mayor. Tiffani Bishop, Secretary of GetEQUAL TX and its Central Texas Lead stated, “The time for compromising, the time for excuses, the time for caveats to equality is long past. We have a simple demand, full equality. Anything less is not equal.”
GetEQUAL Texas is a state-based chapter of the national direct action group GetEQUAL. The mission of GetEQUAL TX is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and our allies in Texas to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.