The New York Times on Sunday took a look at the battle over domestic partner benefits in El Paso. The one thing about the story that stood out to me — in addition to some of the extreme anti-gay rhetoric — was this passage:
While some groups have organized in support of the three officials, the city’s gay community has been noticeably quiet.
Tony Ramos, a retired Army sergeant who works on a statewide H.I.V. and AIDS prevention program, said the gay community was taking a wait-and-see attitude. “For most of us here,” Mr. Ramos said, “being gay is not an issue.”
But he predicted that gay El Pasoans would band together to fight for those who had supported them.
“People are tired and they are fed up,” Mr. Ramos said. “And they do not appreciate El Paso being painted as such a backwards type of city.”
Let’s hope Ramos is right, and the LGBT community in El Paso does stand up. Furthermore, let’s hope the LGBT community around the state and across the nation stands up behind it.
The story notes that of the 19 El Paso employees who signed up for DP benefits, only two are gay. But make no mistake — anti-gay hatred was behind the 2010 ballot measure that overturned DP benefits, just as it is behind the effort to recall the city officials who voted to reinstate them.
National LGBT groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force raise a lot of money out of Texas. This seems like one of those times when they need to put some back in.