Discrimination, bullying measures could be added to party platform
Jesse Garcia, president of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, is urging LGBT Texans who vote in the Democratic Primary to attend their precinct conventions Tuesday night, March 4 not just to support the candidate of their choice in the presidential race, but also to help the LGBT community take another step forward in the march toward true equality.
Besides electing delegates to senatorial district conventions, those who participate in precinct conventions also have the chance to introduce resolutions that could, eventually, find their way into the state and national party platforms, Garcia said.
Stonewall Democrats, he said, is working with the statewide Equality Texas Foundation to promote two such resolutions: one that calls on the Democratic Party to support passage of comprehensive legislation protecting LGBT people against discrimination in housing, employment, insurance, education and public accommodations; and one supporting passage of legislation preventing anti-gay bullying and harassment in schools.
Garcia said that Equality Texas Foundation is working to get these two resolutions introduced at as many precinct conventions as possible around the state. The more precinct conventions that send one or both resolutions on up the line, the better the chance that one or both will be adopted as platform planks at the state convention.
And even if your precinct doesn’t approve the resolution, Garcia said, the simple act of introducing it increases the community’s visibility.
"It lets people know that we aren’t just living in Oak Lawn," he said. "We live in all areas of Dallas County, all areas of North Texas and the whole state. It might make people realize, ‘Hey, that’s my neighbor who’s introducing this resolution, and maybe that is something I need to support.’"
It’s especially important in precincts where people aren’t accustomed to thinking about LGBT issues and maybe aren’t as accepting, Garcia said.
"These are the Democrats who need to realize they need to move forward in their thinking and get more in line with where the majority of the party is," he said. "Those are the places where this conversation needs to begin."
Garcia said anyone interested in obtaining copies of these two resolutions can contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stonewall Democrats will also have a booth at the Cedar Springs Crossroads from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2, with copies of the resolutions available there.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 29, 2008.