LGBT Advocates Speak Out At City Council

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gay rights advocates and Dallas City Council members got into a tense back-and-forth over a resolution supporting marriage equality Wednesday.

    About 30 gay rights advocates spoke in front of the council, expressing disappointment about the council's failure to put a resolution on the agenda.

    The advocates, dressed in red, used the public comment time to complain that the resolution lacked support, even after some of the council members pledged to back issues impacting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

    "The LGBT community is disappointed when officials, who claim to be allies, only want to support initiatives that support their political aspirations," C.D. Kirven said.

    District 7 Rep. Carolyn Davis pushed back, saying the council was the wrong avenue for the resolution, and Councilman Scott Griggs, who authored the resolution, moved too fast.

    "I support your community," Davis said. "But when I saw the letter, I saw it one day. [Griggs] never came to my office to even talk about it."

    "That is not fair," she said. "To make us the bad guys."

    Councilwoman Angela Hunt, a supporter of the resolution, said the suggestion by Davis that the resolution needed to go through a committee first isn't standard for everything and isn't necessary.

    "I have been amazed at the legalistic gymnastics that have been created to avoid putting this on the agenda," Hunt said. "Frankly, I think this is a diversion from the real issues. You either support civil rights, or you don't."

    During comments by Councilman Dwaine Caraway, advocate Omar Narvaez stood up and turned his back to the councilman.

    Narvaez said it was symbolic of what the council did to him by not supporting the resolution.

    Councilman Sheffie Kadane said the issue didn't belong in front of the council at all.

    "This is a moral issue," Kadane said. "I know the Bible states marriage is between a man and a woman. And that's my belief."

    Supporters said the mayor's office kept the issue from the agenda while Mayor Mike Rawlings is away on business in Brazil. Mayor Pro-Tem Pauline Medrano attempted to get the issue on the agenda, but couldn't because the mayor was still available by phone, supporters were told. Because the mayor was reachable, Medrano didn't have the authority to add items to the agenda.

    The council had no action to take and there's no indication when the issue may be back on the agenda.