Protesters lined the entrance to the Lakewood Country Club in East Dallas early Thursday afternoon to call out Mayor Mike Rawlings on his lack of support for an LGBT equality resolution.
Rawlings said this week he doesn’t plan to place the LGBT equality resolution on the council agenda after Councilwoman Delia Jasso removed her signature from a memo that would have required the mayor to do so. .
Rawlings was scheduled to speak at the country club and surprised LGBT protesters when he came out and spoke to them briefly. He told Dallas Voice that he followed the process for the resolution and decided not to put it on the agenda after Jasso pulled her support.
He alo said he’s not worried about his personal support for equality being overshadowed by his refusal to place the resolution on the agenda without the needed signatures to do so.
“I just have to speak my mind. I’m not worried about anything being overshadowed by anything,” Rawlings said. “People can think what they want. They can call and email, but I’m not going to change my mind.”
James Navarrette said he came from work to give the mayor a piece of his mind. He said he was tired of Rawlings’ flip-flopping with his refusal to sign a pledge supporting marriage equality last year, then riding in the Pride parade, only to again turn his back on the LGBT community now.
“He had the opportunity to do the right thing,” he said. “He’s a man without integrity.”
Mike Montalvo echoed Navarette’s sentiment, saying “when it comes to actually supporting us, he’s not there.” He noted that Rawlings’ calling the measure a “misuse” of council time is wrong when he lists several things on his website that aren’t related to City Council, such as volunteering with the Salvation Army.
“He walks the middle line without having to commit,” Montalvo said.
Laura McFerrin said he was annoyed that she had to take time form running her business to fight for the rights Rawlings already says he supports.
“The mayor sets the tone for the city. As soon as we have laws that protect us, people’s minds will start changing,” she said. “I have to stand on the street to get rights. It’s frustrating. I just want to be equal.”
Daniel Cates, regional coordinator with GetEQUAL TX, said the LGBT community has given Rawlings every opportunity to be a supporter, but he’s proven to not be loyal, clinging instead to his “political homophobia.”
“Right now he’s not a friend to the LGBT community. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing and we’re here to expose him for what it is,” Cates said. “He’s digging himself a hole and he’s going to go down in history as a roadblock.”
More photos below.