According to the Dallas Morning News, “Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas has joined 225 other U.S. mayors in formally urging the Supreme Court to strike down state laws in dozens of states, including Texas, that make gay marriage illegal.”
This isn’t a surprise to anyone in the LGBT community who knows the mayor — not his position anyway. What is a surprise is that he finally made a stand. Rawlings was notoriously the only mayor of a top 10 U.S. city that didn’t sign Freedom to Marry’s marriage pledge.
During his first campaign for office, Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance questioned whether Rawlings would put business ahead of equal rights.
However, Rawlings championed the equality resolution passed last year that instructed all city agencies to equalize benefits for all employees.
In October, during the height of the Ebola crisis, the mayor attended an LGBT Task Force Meeting. Members joked with him that we finally found an issue tougher for him than LGBT issues and that it took Ebola to get him to one of the group’s meetings.
At the time, the city’s two pension funds were resisting equalizing benefits. He commented that it was surprising that he and the city council were ahead of city employee co-workers who sat on the pension boards on granting equal benefits.
So Rawlings’ support for marriage equality isn’t surprising. Just his announcement is.