For those who could not make it to the National “Equality March for Unity and Pride” in Washington D.C. or to the capitol in your home state I hope this article will share with you how we are fighting for every person in Texas to have equal rights no matter what religion, gender identity, immigration status, income level or ethnicity. Watch the three videos of our “Hero’s” in Texas fighting daily for equality.
Mayor Jess Herbst of New Hope Texas is the first Openly Transgender mayor in the state of Texas. I met Jess when we both sat at the capitol over 18 hours waiting to testify against HB 2899, the Texas House version of the “Bathroom Bill”. One of the most important things even people in the LGBTQ Community need to do more of is reach out and meet our transgender brothers and sisters and introduce them to friends and family. Help educate them about the transgender community. One of the biggest problems in Texas with the far right GOP or Evangelical Christians is that they truly fear issues they don’t understand. If only they would take the time to meet a transgender person they would soon realize that we are all the same, we all just want to be accepted for who we are.
Democrat Representative Lloyd Doggett representing the 35th District which runs from San Antonio all the way to Austin also spoke at the event today. Listen to Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s humorous but poignant speech from today where he defends the rights of the LGBTQ Community and speaks out boldly when he says “To many people here thought when we said get out of our bedrooms thought that we meant they could go into our bathrooms, WRONG!”
But one of the highlights of the day was Mayor Steve Adler of Austin who called out Governor Abbott on his highly offensive comments about Austin and Travis County in his recent speech at a GOP dinner in Belton, Texas.
When Gov. Abbott spoke in Belton he said “As I was coming up here from Austin, Texas, tonight, I got to tell you, it’s great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin. As you leave Austin and start heading north, you start feeling different. Once you cross the Travis County line, it starts smelling different. And you know what that fragrance is? Freedom. It’s the smell of freedom that does not exist in Austin, Texas.That said, with your senators and legislators, I can tell you that today, Austin is more free than it was before the legislative session began because the state of Texas passed laws that overrode the liberal agenda of Austin, Texas, that is trying to send Texas down the pathway of California. As your governor, I will not allow Austin, Texas, to Californiaize the Lone Star State.”
Today Mayor Adler struck back not only in his speech but also in mentioning that Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Dallas and other cities in Texas will be suing the State of Texas in court on June 26th. The great news that Adler announced today was that the head judge of the Federal Western District in San Antonio, which covers Austin and Travis County, in the last 72 hours issued a holding saying that the Sheriff in Bexar County in San Antonio, when he accepted warrantless detainers, was violating the Constitution. The same Federal judge in San Antonio within the last 48 hours set the date for the temporary injunction halting SB 4 consolidated the lawsuits from the major cities in Texas and accelerated the date of the hearing to June 26th.
Critics call SB4 the “show-me-your-papers law,” because it allows law enforcement to question the immigration status of anyone who has been lawfully arrested and detained. In addition, it could punish cities, counties and universities who do not enforce the law. And police chiefs, county sheriffs and constables who do not enforce the law could face criminal charges, and local jurisdictions could be fined up to $25,000 per violation per day.
Mayor Adler said “But you notice the smell when you come into Austin, Texas because the air in Austin, Texas smells like freedom and it smells like success!”. Mayor Adler had just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where he met with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney General and they informed him that Austin/Travis County were not breaking the Federal laws regarding ICE. Governor Abbott’s push for the “Sanctuary City-Show Me Your Papers” bill is unconstitutional!
Please listen to the complete videos of Mayor Herbst, Representative Lloyd Doggett and Austin Mayor Steve Adler and know that they are all fighting for the rights of all Texans! They are fighting for undocumented immigrants, the LGBTQ Community but just as important the rights of transgender children and adults in Texas to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. Mayor Adler truly is willing to fight on all these issues until every last option has been exhausted. The city of Austin is privileged to have a mayor who fights for every person no matter of income, religion, ethnicity or gender.
We must all fight every day! We are truly in a time of survival to save all the rights we have fought for over the last 50 years as LGBTQ Texans and Americans. With people like Mayor Herbst, Representative Doggett, Mayor Adler and civil rights groups including ACLU of Texas, Human Rights Campaign, Texas Freedom Network, Equality Texas, Progress Texas and so many more fighting for us I have a premonition that things are going to start turning around. I believe we’ll find Federal judges in Texas on the right side of history. Never assume, wake up every day and call your senators and congressmen and remember never to take any rights we have fought for and come out victorious can be taken away just as easy. Never take these rights for granted. The Resistance must continue our battle together.