About 10 people gathered outside Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Dallas office this afternoon to protest her vote on Saturday against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
The protest was organized by GetEQUAL Texas, the state chapter of the national LGBT direct action group, and similar rallies were scheduled today outside Hutchison’s offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
Wielding signs, bullhorns and a Rainbow-colored American flag, the Dallas protesters chanted “Shame on Kay!” and “Retire, Kay Bailey!” as they stood on a grassy median along the service road outside her 11th floor office in the Hotels.com building at 10440 N. Central Expressway.
Despite Hutchison’s vote against DADT repeal, the bill passed and is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama on Wednesday. However, the protesters didn’t appear to be in a celebratory mood.
“This is just the beginning,” said protester Marlin Bynum, a 47-year-old former preacher who came out as gay five years ago. “We still need ENDA. We’ve still got to repeal DOMA. This is just the beginning. In fact, I don’t know if the fight will ever end.”
Another protester, Chris Tina Foxx Bruce, said she attended the rally because she wanted to make sure the transgender community was represented.
“We have to put on a united front,” she said.
Foxx Bruce added that she’s toying with the idea running for Hutchison’s Senate seat in 2012. Foxx Bruce said Hutchison voted against DADT repeal even though everyone knew it had enough votes to pass.
“She was making a statement, and her statement was, she doesn’t believe in equality,” Foxx Bruce said.
Jade Rea, who traveled to the rally from Fort Worth and said she was representing the bisexual community, acknowledged that Hutchison is unlikely to ever support the LGBT community.
“Probably not, but it’s better for her to see something going on in support than nothing at all,” Rea said. “If you’re not vocal, you’re not heard, you’re not seen, it’s like you’re invisible.”
At the end of the rally, a representative from Hutchison’s office, Byron Campbell, came down to meet the protesters, who handed him two signs on which they’d written personal messages.
“Eighty percent of this country supported the bill,” GetEQUAL board member Mark Reed-Walkup told Campbell as he handed him the signs. “We e-mailed, we called her, she asked for a study, the study came back positive, and then she still voted no. We’re extremely disappointed, and we’ll be back.”
“I appreciate this. Thank you very much, and thank you for your time,” Campbell said before quickly going back inside.
Reed said GetEQUAL, which formed this year, is just beginning to organize chapters in all 50 states and likely will become more active in Texas in 2011.
“We’ll continue to hold our elected leaders accountable,” Reed said.
More photos from the rally after the jump.