The LGBT Employee Association of Dallas, The Dallas Way and Special Collections of the University Libraries of the University of North Texas put together an exhibit on the history of the LGBT community in Dallas. Several Dallas city council members attended the opening along with city employees and members of the LGBT community as well as curators of the LGBT collection at UNT.
Three people spoke at the dedication, telling their personal stories.
Barbara Rosenberg talked about Judge Jack Hampton who justified sentencing the murderer of a gay man to a lighter sentence by saying, “I put prostitutes and gays at the same level,” and said he thought voters would forget what he said by the next election. After 1,800 complaints were filed against Hampton, he was censured, but allowed to remain on the bench. A few years later, when he ran for a seat in a higher court, Rosenberg defeated him by 15,000 votes.
Former City Councilman Chris Luna traced how the city progressed politically from Bill Nelson’s failed attempt to win a seat on the council and a 5-10 vote against changing police hiring policies despite losing a case in court. Within a few years, a city employment nondiscrimination policy passed 9-6. Within 10 years the council voted 13-2 for a citywide LGBT nondiscrimination policy and in 2014, voters approved a nondiscrimination clause in the city charter that passed with 77 percent of the vote.
Terry Loftis recalled being president of Resource Center in 2003 and doing an interview the day Lawrence v. Texas passed. He said he was talking about sodomy on television and his mother was watching.
Finally, to celebrate Pride Month, a rainbow flag was unfurled in the lobby of Dallas City Hall. The Pride flag and the exhibit remain in the lobby through June 30. Park at a meter behind Dallas City Hall, then walk to the front of the building to enter the lobby for new security screening.