Stonewall Democrats of Dallas members are planning a two-day trip to Austin on March 4-5 to lobby for protection of gay and lesbian foster parents.
“Our time in Austin represents the very core of our democracy,” said Jesse Garcia, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. “These are our elected officials, and they need to know what we want them to do when it comes to critical issues that impact our community. That is what is at the heart of our trip to Austin.”
When the members talk to legislators during the lobby day, they will advocate against the proposal by Texas Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, that the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights be “tweaked” to give preference to heterosexual people over gay and lesbian foster parents.
“We can’t stand by and let that type of mindset become pervasive in Austin,” Garcia said.
Members plan to advocate for identical bills filed by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, and Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, that would prohibit discrimination or harassment against children in the foster care system on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or HIV status.
“While we are in Austin we also intend to show support for law makers who act with the best interest of our community in mind,” Garcia said.
The lobbying trip will include a Texas Stonewall Democrat caucus meeting and a reception with LGBT-friendly legislators on Sunday at the Wyndham Garden Hotel and a press conference, lobby day training and visits to legislators’ offices on Monday.
For information visit www.stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 2, 2007