Annise Parker now co-chair of “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,” Austin’s Leffingwell joins

Lee Leffingwell

Austin's Mayor Lee Leffingwell

Houstini reported yesterday that Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker was scheduled to appear at the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” press conference in Washington D.C., and that she was the only Texas mayor to participate. This morning we found out that Parker, along with New York’s Michael Bloomberg and L.A.’s Antonio Villaraigosa, is serving as co-chair for the effort. Additionally Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell has joined the effort.

So that makes 2 of Texas’ 1,215 mayors with the bravery to stand up for what’s right, leaving the citizens of 1,213 citizens with the task of persuading their mayors. In Dallas Daniel Cates of GetEqual has started an online petition encouraging Mayor Mike Rawlings to sign on which currently has 216 signatories. The Dallas Voice reports that Rawlings claims to personally support marriage equality, despite his unwillingness to join “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry:”

“This one obviously was very difficult for me, because I personally believe in the rights of the gay community to marry,” Rawlings said Thursday… “I think this [same-sex marriage] is way overdue and we need to get on with it, but that’s my personal belief, and when I start to speak on behalf of the city of Dallas … I’ve got to be thoughtful about how I use that office and what I want to impact, and that’s why I decided to stay away from endorsing and signing letters like that.”

Rawlings’ chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, told the Voice “the mayor does not plan to publicly support any social issues but would rather focus on the policy issues that impact Dallas,” adding “we have not signed onto other similar requests.”

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Trans player’s hoops career cut short by injuries

Kye Allums

Kye Allums, the George Washington University junior who made headlines last fall by coming out as a transgender person while remaining on the school’s women’s basketball team, announced this week that he would not be returning to the team for his senior year because of injuries, according to several published reports, including this one at FoxNews.com.

Allums said in a prepared statement that he came to the decision on his own that it is “no longer in my best interests” to play basketball, and he thanked the school’s athletic department for respecting his wishes.

When he came out as transgender last November, Allums explained that he was postponing hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery so that he could remain eligible to play on the women’s basketball team. However, Allums said this week that after suffering two concussions in the 2010-11 season, he has decided not to continue to play basketball.

Although Alllums started 20 games in his sophomore year at George Washington, he played in only eight games this season because of the concussions. He told the Associated Press in March that he has suffered a total of eight concussions overall and that he has been experiencing memory loss, a common symptom of multiple concussions. He said doctors told him that if he were a football player rather than a basketball player, his career would have ended even sooner.

A post by Eammon Brenna on ESPN’s College Basketball Nation Blog praised Allum’s courage in coming out as transgender, saying: “In essence, Allums’ change was about identity, about helping the external match the internal, and it raised awareness of transgender identity issues in an arena where even homosexuality remains a hotly debated subject. … It’s sad to see any player’s career cut short by injuries. But I’d argue it’s even sadder to see Allums — whose public bravery no doubt served as inspiration to even a (presumably) small number of athletes with transgender identities — unable to live out his final season with his teammates.”

—  admin