San Angelo mayor's saga puts yet another human face on anti-gay immigration laws

J.W. Lown
J.W. Lown

Remember J.W. Lown, the former mayor of San Angelo who abruptly left office in May to be with his gay lover, an undocumented immigrant? Texas Monthly has a nice follow-up piece on Lown in its September edition, which you can read by going here. The story talks about how most people in the conservative West Texas city — including Lown’s evangelical Christian campaign treasurer, a Bible-thumping colleague on the City Council and even the little old ladies at the bridge club — weren’t really surprised to find out he was gay, and didn’t really care because he was such a good friend and mayor. The author also managed to get in touch with Lown, who recounts from Mexico the touching love story that led to his disappearance just a few days before he was to be sworn in for a fourth term. Above all, Lown’s ordeal serves as a bitter reminder about immigration inequality and the need for the Uniting American Families Act.

“The laws of our country are harsh for illegal immigrants. And I understand that. But same-sex couples don’t have the same benefits as heterosexual couples. Otherwise we could simply have a civil union and cure the problem. That’s not possible.”

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—  John Wright