Free Press Equality Fest: Macklemore and Annise Parker

Perhaps Texas progressives and supporters LGBT equality are approaching our goals from the wrong angle. Maybe what we need is a little less pounding pavement and a little more poppin’ tags.

Take the spectacular events at this weekend’s Free Press Summer Fest in Houston. The two day event (which has been sold out for weeks) hosted some mega music acts, and even landed Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as their second single is atop the Billboard charts. The crowd at the rap duo’s performance was massive, and they were treated to some big surprises. Right before the the hit song Same Love (which promotes marriage equality), Macklemore introduced Houston Mayor Annise Parker to a roaring crowd. Here’s how the Houston Chronicle writer and pop music expert Joey Guerra observed the situation…

Between the party-starting and fur flinging, Macklemore acknowledged Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who greeted him upon arrival at the festival. It was a fitting intro for “Same Love,” the duo’s powerful, poignant ode to the LGBT community.

“She is an amazing person. And one of the coolest things is that she is the first lesbian mayor in the United States of America,” he said.

“I believe in equality. I believe in tolerance. And I believe in change. And I believe that Houston is at the forefront of one of the biggest civil rights movements of our generation.”

Easy to see how that could be viewed as an “endorsement” of sorts. But the rap artist really sums up the main point here… LGBT equality is indeed THE Civil Rights movement of our time. And, at least for Millennials, it’s also a foregone conclusion, crossing virtually all party lines and ideologies. The longer the Republican Party has to hold on to ideas of bigotry and LGBT discrimination, the more young adult voters they are going to lose.

So here is the key for Progressives… how do we get crowds like this one from the theater box to the ballot box? If politicians like Annise Parker ever want to win statewide in Texas, it’s going to take engagement like what we saw from that crowd. But with endorses as cool as Macklemore, I suspect we’ve got a real shot.

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