Early voting in El Paso has apparently turned into a fight for another recall of elected officials who supported the city’s domestic partner benefits.
A video posted online today by the El Paso Times shows activists with signs trying to discourage voters from signing petitions for the recall that groups are asking them to sign outside polling locations. The rally comes two days after a settlement was announced in a lawsuit brought by five men who were kicked out of Chico’s Taco and threatened with arrest for a same-sex kiss.
The incident led to the City Council passing DP benefits in 2009 and again in 2011 after a ballot measure overturned the original decision. The mayor has stood firm in supporting DP benefits and won an appeal to recall the council’s decision earlier this year.
“We believe this has been a gay-rights issue from day one and we need to support the mayor and the city councils and we need to be visible,” gay-rights activist Skip Rosenthal says in the video. “The gay community is here, we are religious, we are God-fearing and we are also citizens and taxpayers and we deserve rights, too.”
The number of people at the rally was not mentioned in the video and the groups that were asking people to sign the petitions were not named, but El Paso Tom Brown spearheaded the recall petition in the past.
Rosenthal mentioned that President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage demonstrates a “turn of the tide” for the nation and El Paso citizens need to follow suit and support gay rights.
“We need to bring that to El Paso,” he said. “We need to show El Paso that we are here and we are active and we go to church and we vote and we’re taxpayers and we deserve rights, too.”
Watch the video below.