Louie Minor, the out veteran challenging Republican U.S. Rep. John Carter in Central Texas, said he’s not surprised the congressman recently co-sponsored the State Marriage Defense Act.
The bill would prohibit legally married same-sex couples in states that don’t recognize their marriages, like Texas, from receiving federal benefits.
“I was disappointed that they filed it, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Minor told Dallas Voice this week. “For over a decade, John Carter has continually voted against the LGBT community, and he’s received a zero on the HRC scorecard. So now I think it’s time for us to elect a congressman that will represent LGBT Texans and be our voice in Washington.”
Carter, who’s held the seat since 2002, has received a zero each session on the Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard, which rates members of Congress on their support for LGBT issues.
Minor said that while there’s some timing to the fact that Carter signed on to sponsor an anti-gay bill when he’s facing an openly gay challenger, he said the legislation likely would’ve surfaced anyway. Both Carter and Minor are unopposed in their primaries.
“To be honest, I think he would’ve voted that way regardless if he was running against an openly gay candidate,” he said. “That’s just what he opposes.”
Since an interview with Dallas Voice about his candidacy, Minor said he hasn’t received any negative feedback in the district about being an openly gay candidate. He said he’s seen some sarcastic comments about the likelihood of him defeating a tea party Republican in conservative Texas to be the first openly gay congressman from the state.
“I think that this should be a wakeup call for the LGBT community and their allies across the state,” Minor said about the legislation. “There’s 12 Texan congressman that co-sponsored, so it should be a wakeup call that we have to organize, we have to work together, we have to support candidates, especially an LGBT candidate, to be our voice. Because if we do nothing, than nothing will change.”