DALLAS — After publicly raising the issue for months, members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) community Wednesday demanded that the Dallas City Council vote on a resolution supporting marriage equality and job protection for the 55,000-plus LGBT citizens in Dallas.
"We need leadership and courage from around this horseshoe," said Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center Dallas, as she addressed the semi-circle of Council members at Dallas City Hall.
Her comments were followed by a more pointed argument from Mike LuVuolo of the LGBT Task Force, as he warned the dais: "Be prepared for a fight. We are not backing down. We will just get stronger."
LuVuolo, Cox, and the rest of the group of supporters — all clad in red — had Council member Dwaine Caraway seeing red. They heckled him, they turned their backs when he spoke, and walked out as he addressed them.
Caraway admonished the group, saying that's hardly a way for them to get what they want.
"You can't do it with backs turned. Not with me," Caraway said. "You can't do it with people walking out. Not with me. You can't do it with folks badgering us and holding us hostage."
The passions flared because Caraway and some of his colleagues had expressed frustration that a vote was being publicly demanded before the issue had gone through the usual Council committee process.
"That is not fair to put us in this situation, as if we are the bad guys,” said Council member Carolyn Davis.
But supporters of the "equality eesolution" are frustrated as well. They say there's already been enough dialogue.
Council member Angela Hunt was met with thunderous applause from LGBT representatives in the gallery when she told her colleagues: “This is a simple issue. You either support civil rights or you don't."
A vote on the measure, being put forward by Council member Scott Griggs, isn't likely for a few more months.
After all the back-and-forth on Wednesday, it was agreed the resolution should make its way through the usual committee process before coming up for a vote before the full Council.
Griggs expects the measure will pass when it makes it onto the agenda this fall. But even if the resolution does pass, it will not carry the rule of law.