Rally planned in response to petitiion opposing mayor’s appearance in gay pride parade
A show of support for Carrollton Mayor Becky Miller and other City Council members who have advocated for diversity is planned for Tuesday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Carrollton City Hall.
The event is being organized in response to a petition presented to the Carrollton City Council by a group of residents who opposed the mayor’s appearance in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in Dallas last September. The mayor and Councilwoman Pat Malone participated in the parade last year at the request of The Carrollton Project, a group that promotes LGBT equality.
The petition demanded that council members refrain from such appearances in the future and that the issue be put before voters if necessary.
About 75 people signed the petition, which was presented to the council by Carrollton resident Paul Kramer. A copy of a Dallas Voice story reporting the two women’s participation in the parade was attached to the petition.
The petition drive reportedly was organized after an anonymous source began distributing a copy of the September 2006 story to Carrollton residents.
Bob McCranie, chairman of The Carrollton Project, said he hopes representatives of various community groups will lend their support to counter the petition.
“What we would like to have is people of all different communities come and express their appreciation to the mayor and the council for their position on diversity,” McCranie said.
“Obviously, there has been an attack on diversity in the city, and what we would like to do is have people come and express their appreciation and support to the council for what they are doing.”
McCranie said that he is hoping representatives of the Muslim, Asian and religious communities will attend the event.
Representatives of those communities have already expressed support to The Carrollton Project, he said.
The Carrollton Project held its first meeting in September 2006 after forming with the help of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance.
“Right now it’s kind of incubating,” McCranie said.
“It’s a small community of people who are interested in diversity in the city. It’s a growing community, I should say.”
Representatives of the DGLA and CCGLA said they would attend the council meeting to show support for the group they co-parented.
Pete Webb, president of DGLA, and Morris Garcia, president of CCGLA, said representatives of their groups would be on hand to help friends in need.
“The mayor of Carrollton has been a friend and ally in the fight for diversity,” Webb said. “It is unfortunate that some people are overreacting to the mayor’s efforts.”
Garcia said it is part of CCGLA’s mission to rally in support of the LGBT community and its friends.
“We want to show support wherever we can for those people who are under attack,” Garcia said. “I’m hoping we will have a good show-up.”
McCranie said the petition and planned counter protest are the first challenges the small community has met.
“It’s the first test to see if we can pull together and stand up for ourselves,” McCranie said.
McCranie said he is uncertain whether the petition had swayed any council members.
“I have not called council members individually to find out,” McCranie said.
“I’m told that it has not, but I don’t know that for sure.”
The mayor did not return a voice mail message left at her home.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 13, 2007
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