LGBT Progression in a Red State

This year, so far, has been a great time for LGBT equality. Many states have already passed legislation regarding this issue and so many more are in the process. The conservative states, however, are hesitant in the field.

Texas is among these conservative states that do not have laws protecting same-sex marriage or protection when it comes to other aspects of LGBT life. I came across an interesting video a few days ago that really surprised me and contradicted the stereotype of anti-gay Texans.

We Have Issues is an organization that promotes awareness and activism. In this video, they wanted to gauge the reactions of Texans when it came to LGBT couples and equality. To do this, they staged a dialogue in a diner between a gay couple with their family and a waitress. They also set up the same scenario in the more liberal state of New York to compare.

What surprised me the most wasn’t the complete difference between the two states, but in the way that they were different. Living in Texas, a widely known conservative state, I didn’t think there would be the support that there was. I did think that New Yorkers would. However, it was the opposite! I was ridiculously blown away at the time, but when I really thought about it, it all made sense. Texans are all about that southern hospitality while New Yorkers are considerably isolated and generally keep to themselves. To me, this begs the question of why LGBT equality laws in Texas are behind the times.

A poll done by Think Progress shows that 69% of Texans are in support of at least the right to civil unions, if not the full right to marriage. What I find interesting is that there are actually bills being put into the state’s legislature that are supporting equality in different areas such as insurance and employment discrimination, but barely any public notification on them.

Probably the most notable was the bill submitted by Rep. Lon Burnam. While this bill (HB 1300) was jointly written by all Democratic representatives, it’s a huge step for a red state. This would take down the law banning the recognition of same-sex marriage.

Even more, many Republicans also support gay marriage. The United States is really taking strides towards equality, but there is still so much to do. Even though the conservative state of Texas threatens the stop of equality, it seems that there is wide spread and growing support of it. With a little hesitation, Texans will hopefully see a change for the better!


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