By now, most Texans probably know that Wendy Davis is running for Governor, and that she is one of the first Democrats to have a serious shot at the state’s highest office in a long time. But as more people become tuned in to the campaign, they may be trying to figure out where she stands on certain issues. Particularly when it comes to LGBT rights, Wendy’s public comments have been limited at best. There is also no section on LGBT issues or equality on the Wendy Davis website.
In a recent visit with supporters of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance , the Senator took some time to share her viewpoint. The group was gathered to review the recent petition submitted by opponents of the ordinance. Davis came in for a brief visit and said that she is a supporter of the cause. She also spoke about the importance of promoting full equality for all Texans. Although Davis did not to single out the LGBT community directly, she did give us a reminder of why this year’s elections are so important for LGBT Texans…
“We are getting ready to face a very tough legislative session next year, with more members than ever that do not support equality. The next Governor will play an important role in determining what laws get passed, and what does not.”
This message is critical for people to understand. Even if all of the Democrats running statewide were elected, the Texas legislature is still likely to not only be heavily Republican, but heavily weighted against the LGBT community, as over 60 GOP have already stated in a recent amicus brief. If elected Governor, Wendy Davis’ most important power may be that of the veto, especially where it comes to LGBT rights and protections. Davis won’t be in a position to propose sweeping changes, at least not much that can realistically get passed through the Texas House and Senate. But she can be the last line of defense for anything that is directly malicious to the LGBT community or the cause of equality.
On the other hand, an Abbott administration could be very disturbing for LGBT Texans. The Attorney General has just recently confirmed his beliefs linking same-sex marriage to incest and pedophilia. That combined with the fact that some of his closest donors are virulent supporters of debunked “reparative” therapy, Texas has much to fear if Greg Abbott makes it to the Governor’s mansion.
For those seeking to end workplace discrimination for all protected classes, their vote should be for Wendy Davis this November. On marriage equality, Davis has made her views quite clear as well. Here’s what she told the San Antonio Express-News when seeking the paper’s endorsement…
Davis, asked if she would push to repeal the state constitutional provision on gay marriage if elected governor, said, “I would certainly open up that conversation with the Legislature.
“I think it’s important, and I think that people across this country are evolving on that issue and moving in a direction that demonstrates support for it, so I think it is time to re-open that conversation and ask Texans where they are on it to see if that’s something that we might change legislatively if it doesn’t happen constitutionally,” she said.
Personally, I think it is sad that LGBT rights have to even be discussed in the Texas Governor’s race, and continue to hope for a time when those rights are no longer subject to party politics. But 2014 is not that time. If you are someone that believes in full equality for the LGBT community, the choice this November should be clear in the state of Texas.