Despite flooded streets in Oak Lawn, hundreds of people turned out for a rally Monday night (April 27), the night before the U.S. Supreme Court was to hear arguments on marriage equality. The event moved from the Legacy of Love Monument to Sue Ellen’s because of the weather.
The LGBT community, allies and TV crews packed the second floor of the bar for a rally that lasted several hours and included speakers, singers and spoken word, and was topped off with wedding cake and champagne.
About a dozen people — from a Greenhill School sstudent and Texas Christian University student to allied pastors and community activists — gave short rallying speeches. Lambda Legal’s Omar Narvaez delivered the keynote, calling for an end to laws criminalizing HIV status, an end to anti-trans legislation and an end to LGBT youth homelessness — linking these and other battles for justice to not just marriage equality but to the social justice movement overall.
Emily McGaughy writes for AfterEllen.com. In her remarks she said she and her wife had to choose between a legal wedding out of state and a wedding in Texas that included family and friends.
“Tomorrow is a step in the right direction for equality,” she said. “It won’t solve all problems, but it’s a big step.”
Greenhill School student Josh Rudner said he realized he was gay at 11. He kept that bottled up inside himself for a year before telling his family.
“You can’t choose who you love,” he said, “but you can choose to love yourself.”
His father is now president of Equality Texas Foundation and is attending the Supreme Court hearing.
The Rev. Alex Byrd compared marriage bans today to slave owners preventing slaves from marrying. He said the purpose was to destabilize the community.
The Rev. Colleen Darraugh of MCC of Greater Dallas said, “Your religious freedom should not come at the expense of my religious freedom.”
Community activist John Seelig brought a message from Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson: “We can all feel the momentum,” Wolfson told Seelig. “America is ready for the freedom to marry.”