Harris County GOP Chair: Mayor Annise Parker Abuses Her Office Over Same-Sex Benefits

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Well, someone seems a bit bitter after losing an election.

Posted on the Quorum Report, Harris County GOP chair, Jared Woodfill, had some interesting things to say about Mayor Annise Parker's announcement last week that the city of Houston will begin to grant health and life insurance benefits to legally married same-sex couples whose marriages have been recognized in states with marriage equality laws.

“On Wednesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker continued to show her true self as an extreme liberal that does not share the values of Texans and Houstonians,” Woodfill said about Parker and her decision.

Read more below the jump.According to Woodfill:

We are Houston, not San Franscisco. We are Texas, not New York. We hold the values of marriage being a sacred institution between one man and one woman. But most importantly, we believe in the rule of law, irrespective of which political party is currently in office.  Mayor Parker will be taken to court and defeated. The rule of law and family values in Houston will be victorious.

Setting aside all the general Republican punch lines, Woodfill's main argument seems to center around the misconception that Texas voters hold the same views regarding LGBT rights as they did over a decade ago, when bans on same-sex unions occurred around the state. Woodfill's logic seems to think that since Texans approved to ban legal recognition of same-sex unions over a decade ago, Texans must still feel the same way about LGBT rights and must remain opposed to equality.

We know this is not the case, however.

According to the Equality Poll 2013 conducted by Equality Texas, in the case of partnership benefits, 65.7% of Texas voters support extending partnership benefits to government and public university employees. Another 64.7% support allowing gays and lesbians to get a civil union. While still not quite on the same numbers, at least when the poll was conducted, by a margin of 47.9% to 47.5%, Texas voters now support marriage equality. Texas, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a change of heart regarding LGBT rights.

Mayor Parker's decision for the city of Houston to grant equal benefits to all married couples — straight and gay — is consistent with the values of Texas voters, as well as the right thing to do.


About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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