Gay Denton activist Tyler Carlton has been working with city officials for months in an effort to pass a resolution in support of same-sex marriage, but now Carlton reports that the item may not be considered by the council until next year.
Carlton presented to the City Council in April, and later wrote the resolution himself and urged council members to support it. He tried meeting with council members, but only one, Dalton Gregory, agreed to meet with him to discuss the resolution. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s DOMA and Prop 8 rulings, Carlton updated the resolution and hoped it would make it onto an August council agenda.
The resolution was slated for consideration Tuesday night, but Carlton said Gregory and other members who had been on board changed their minds, fearing the resolution would hurt relationships between the city and state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Lake Dallas.
Now Carlton, who’s moving to Boston in a week, said the resolution is on hold indefinitely.
“It’s on hold. It’s not done,” he said. “It’s on a long-term hold.”
Back in April, Gregory told Dallas Voice that Carlton’s presentation about the resolution was “thoughtful and compelling.” He also said he asked the city secretary to research a possible resolution and had the city manager look into the policies and benefits the city could offer its LGBT employees, including domestic partner benefits. The city currently prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in its Equal Employment Opportunity policy.
Gregory did not respond to requests for comment on the resolution or on the progress of the benefits research.
Carlton said his conversations with Gregory have made him doubt how much he supported the efforts, especially when Estes and Crownover have never been friends of the LGBT community so he wished Denton leaders could take a stand for equality.
“If we had a small town like Denton do it, it would help open [legislators’] eyes,” Carlton said.
In September last year when the Austin City Council passed a marriage resolution, Carlton began working on a plan to have Denton pass a similar resolution. He then watched as Dallas planned one and later was unable to pass it when former Councilwoman Delia Jasso pulled her support and Mayor Mike Rawlings intervened to keep it off the agenda.
But Carlton said he thinks having a small city council pass a marriage equality resolution may be a stronger show of support than a major city, where a push for acceptance is expected.
“I think the smaller cities could carry more weight than the big cities,” Carlton said. “It’s expected of he bigger cities.
Carlton is leaving the fate of the resolution in the hands of fellow Denton activists. He said he hopes to have it passed next year, making it a topic of discussion in the 2014 election cycle and future city elections in Denton.
Read the updated resolution below.