Mayor Rawlings doesn’t sign pledges, but he does attend receptions

Rawlings.MikeDallas’ Mike Rawlings made a brief appearance during a reception for a coalition of pro-marriage equality mayors during the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C. last week, according to The Washington Blade.

It was during the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in the capital one year ago that Rawlings declined to join the group, Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, prompting a huge outcry from the LGBT community back home that reverberates to this day.

A year later, Mayors for the Freedom to Marry has grown to nearly 300 members from across the U.S., the Blade reports. But it still doesn’t include Rawlings, who maintains that he personally supports marriage equality but has not formally joined the group because he doesn’t “sign pledges.” Dallas is the largest city in the U.S. whose mayor has not joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

This morning I asked Rawlings’ chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, about his appearance at the reception last week.

“He stopped by the reception,” Blackmon confirmed in a text message, parroting my question.

“As was stated last year MOD [the mayor of Dallas] does not sign pledges,” Blackmon added in response to further prodding. “Doesn’t mean he is not a supporter of issues.”

I noted that Rawlings didn’t attend the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry event at last year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors. Has something changed?

“Did they have a reception?” Blackmon wrote. “Thought it was only a press conference. And I think he left the conference a day early.”

Sensing that I wasn’t making any progress, I shifted gears and asked Blackmon about a recent meeting between Rawlings and Councilman Scott Griggs to discuss Griggs’ plan to introduce council resolutions backing marriage equality and a statewide ban on anti-LGBT employment discrimination. Griggs has described his meeting with the mayor as “positive,” so I asked Blackmon if that meant Rawlings committed to supporting the resolutions.

“Have not talked about,” Blackmon said, adding that she would try to ask the mayor about it later today. We’ll keep you posted.

On a side note, while it’s obviously disappointing that Rawlings won’t join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, it’s also alarming that not one mayor out of hundreds from the DFW Metroplex has joined the group. While Mayors for the Freedom to Marry has close to 300 members, only six are from Texas, but none are from North Texas.

Surely we can muster one lousy signature, right? Ask your mayor to join the group by downloading the statement and asking them to sign it.

—  John Wright

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro joins “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry”

Julian Castro

Mayor Julian Castro

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has signed onto the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” effort. As previously reported by Houstini, Houston’s Annise Parker and Austin’s Lee Leffingwell had previously joined the effort, with Parker serving as co-chair. So that’s 3 Texas Mayors down, 1,212 to go.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is still refusing to sign onto the pledge, despite a change.org petition with 253 signatures and promises of protests at his upcoming public events.

“Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” has also added two new co-chairs, San Diego’s Jerry Sanders and Boston’s Thomas Menino; with New York’s Michael Bloomberg, L.A.’s Antonio Villaraigosa and Houston’s own Annise Parker. The five-co-chairs issued the following statement:

—  admin