Skip to main content

A Hopeful Outlook for LGBT Texans

Last weekend at the Texas Democratic Party (TDP) and the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) state conventions small but significant progress was made regarding marriage equality here in Texas.

Prior to the 2012 TDP Convention the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender only appeared once in the TDP platform, which called on the, “repeal of discriminatory laws and policies against members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.” Marriage and equality were never mentioned.

This year the following marriage equality plank was added to the TDP platform:

Texas Democrats join President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in calling for and affirming equal rights including marriage equality for all Americans. We, along with our President and Vice President, recognize that same-sex marriages should be valid and legal in America.

Texas Democrats support President Obama and the United States Justice Department in recognizing that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in refusing to defend DOMA in any Federal Court proceeding. We call for the total repeal of DOMA.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have now recognized marriage equality and have legalized same-sex marriages.

Texas Democrats support the full inclusion of all families in the life of our state, with equal respect, responsibility, and protection under law, including the freedom to marry. Government has no business putting barriers in the path of people seeking to care for their family members, particularly in challenging economic times. We support the Respect for Marriage Act. We support the repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, the Texas Defense of Marriage Act, and the Texas Constitutional Marriage Amendment and oppose other attempts to deny the freedom to marry to loving same-sex couples.

On the other side of the aisle, the RPT removed some of its anti-gay language from the party’s platform. While still including a religious condemnation of homosexuality, the party platform has removed “opposition to gay adoption, gay Scoutmasters, the language equating homosexuality and pedophilia, and the endorsement for reinstating the sodomy law,” said Dave Nalle, president of the Republican Liberty Caucus and a delegate at the convention.

Prior to this year's convention, the RPT did not support an anti-discrimination law for them. Texas Republicans still hold that :

  • “The definition of marriage as a God–ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman"
  • "The practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases."
  • "Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

With the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and eight states with Washington D.C. recognizing marriage equality, it seems that Texas may finally be slowly -- very slowly -- starting to move along on the right side of history.