On Tuesday there were polar opposite rallies at the Capitol, and not just because one was at the North steps and the other at the South. With SCOTUS set to consider the constitutionality of California's Prop 8 and DOMA, Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst were busy doubling down at the “Texas Faith and Family” rally, ensuring Texas gets dragged by the bootstraps kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Luckily, there was a comparable effort put forth by the LGBT community and their allies that expressed support for real values of freedom – choice and equality.
Part of an over-enthusiastic crowd led by GetEQUAL TX was removed from the Capitol after they dropped fliers down the rotunda from the 4th floor. The leaflets were in support of the Texas marriage equality bill HB 1300 by Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth). Later the group would convene into a mass of about 300 demanding equal treatment under the law. Many of the signs and rallying calls were based on economics, “I'm queer and my money is buy curious” one speaker said after telling the crowd that the LGBT community had a $300 million dollar impact just at bars and restaurants, and $3 billion dollar impact across Texas. Businesses are listening, including Corporate America, but apparently Texas is only open for the business of freedom, if your business stays in the closet.
Texas Values, a project of the Conservative nonprofit Liberty Institute, says its mission is to preserve “faith, family and freedom”, yet it was the sponsor that invited our top elected officials to diminish all three for Texas' LGBT community. When Freshmen Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) said, “In this building behind me, your faith and your families and your freedom are under attack,” you might have sworn he was at the wrong rally. Attendants held up signs that read “Protect Religious Freedom” seemed to be confused. Protecting religious freedom means allowing people to worship as they chose, and even express their beliefs on the steps of their state Capitol, but It doesn't not extend to actively denying rights to another segment of the population.
If you think same-sex marriage is immoral, then don't marry someone of the same-sex. That's how freedom works, because without choice you have no freedom.
The government should not deny consenting adults the right to enter into an agreement with each other, but thats exactly what Perry and Dewhurst want to do. Gov. Perry said, “Marriage is between one man and one woman.” That's true, but in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden as well as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Maryland, Washington and the District of Columbia, so is a man and a man, and, a woman and a woman. The point being giving equal rights to all doesn't take it from any other.
Perry has been know to read the Texas tea leaves well, but he can kiss any shot of being President (of the United States, not Texas [for clarity]) goodbye if marriage equality is a campaign issue in 2016.
Learn more about those poll numbers from Katherine's post yesterday, and see below the jump to watch the video of GetEQUAL TX making it “rain” in the rotunda…
A great HD video on Vimeo that captured the mood of the Marriage Equality Rally.
Follow me on Twitter at: @joethepeb