Houston Mayor Annise Parker went to Austin Saturday to address the Students For Liberty’s LGBT conference. In it, she took an early victory lap on the gay rights movement. Nevermind the legislature.
“We may still have battles to fight, the Supreme Court may not give us everything we want, but the war has been won, the avalanche is rolling,” Parker told Austin’s Fox 7 (video excerpts above).
Parker was preaching to the choir at SLF’s first-ever Texas LGBT Conference. The event also gave out activism and advocacy awards, presented a film screening, and staged speakers on topics like marriage equality and HIV. Parker added that another sign of the changing tide is her changing role as the face of LGBT rights in Houston, and the changing needs of LGBT students going forward.
“I used to hear from members of the GLBT community, and they would tell me that my election inspired them, and it gave them hope,” Parker continued. “What was different when I became mayor is that I started to hear from their parents. There has to be someone they can call, or someone they can touch. It’s not about seeing someone on a TV screen, although that helps. It’s about having a support network in their life.”
Of course, Parker’s win in the war comes even as up the street from the conference, the Texas legislature musters every ounce of effort to unwin that war. You know, with the deluge of hater bills including one that says the state can ignore any Supreme Court ruling that legalizes marriage for gay couples. Lawmakers in the state House are scheduled to vote on that bill Tuesday.