Dallas Mayor Explains Refusal To Sign Pledge Supporting Gay Marriage

By Susy Solis, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After refusing to sign a pledge in support of a Constitutional law allowing same-sex marriage, Mayor Mike Rawlings met with 25 leaders in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community Saturday to explain why.

“I’m a bit pledge-phobic,” Rawlings told reporters after the closed door meeting at the Dallas Resource Center. “I think America has got too many pledges out there and I think it’s simplistic and not substantive.”

The national advocacy group Freedom to Marry asked mayors across the country to sign a pledge supporting gay marriage. More than 100 mayors have signed the pledge, six of whom reside over Texas cities.

The pledge sports the signatures of the mayors of Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Galveston, Castle Hills and Shavano Park.

But no mayor from North Texas has added his or her name to the list.

Rawlings’s refusal to sign the pledge prompted a demonstration in front of Dallas City Hall Friday night.

The mayor said he supports the rights of all Dallas residents as well as those in the LGBT community, but he maintained his stance Saturday afternoon.

“I’m a mayor that wants to be substantive,” he said. “I do care about the civil rights of all of our citizens.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price served as the grand marshal of the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade in 2011, but also refused to sign the pledge. She said she believes gay marriage is a state issue and not a local one.

“I remain focused on the business of the city of Fort Worth,” Price said. “The issue of same sex marriage is one for the state, not local government.”

Dallas residents Louise Young and her partner Vivienne Armstrong were two of the 25 people invited to the closed door meeting with the mayor.

The couple wed in California in 2008 before the ban on gay marriage in that state. The long time gay activists hoped their 41-year love story would help change the mayor’s mind about the pledge.

“The thing behind the pledge is really more of an understanding in attitude,” Armstrong said. “I think as long as he continues to learn and grow, that’s what we hope for everyone.”

While signing the pledge may be a “simplistic” action for Rawlings, members of the LGBT community said it could resonate deeply throughout the city.

“Do I wish he would sign the pledge? I wish he would,” said Cece Cox, executive director and CEO of the Dallas Resource Center. “I think it would be an opportunity for leadership, even symbolic. Symbolism matters. It helps change hearts and minds.”

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One Comment

  1. Karen Bouton says:

    I agree with Mayor Rawlings decision. The way I see it, a sexual preference is not a civil rights issue.

    1. rd says:

      so I suppose you think the government should have the right to tell you who you can sleep with and who you can marry? that is a personal decision that the government has no business putting their nose into.

    2. Jack says:

      I believe in the right to choose. That includes women’s rights and the right to marry who you choose. I also believe in the right for Mayor Rawlings to have he’s own opinion. If you don’t like it, then work to have him elected out of office.

    3. knix knax says:

      I agree. This gay cult has taken its footing in the belieff that it is a gene. I am so tired of all the gays saying look at us , we want this, we want that. I am so tired that I chose to not live a gay lifestyle any longer. I see now that it is a lifestyle I chose to live. Now that I choose another lifestyle it nolonger appears what it was to me once. I would feel safe calling the gay lifestyle a cult. A cult parading under the guise of a culture/sub culture. Tjus the cult claims rights to all that other cultures are entitled to, Everyone should give this some thought. Formerly of the gay cult.

      1. re: knix knax says:

        I also agree. This religious cult has taken its footing in the belief that it is a god given right. I am so tired of all the christians saying look at us , we want this, we want that. I am so tired that I chose to not live a god fearing lifestyle any longer. I see now that it is a lifestyle I chose to live. Now that I choose another lifestyle it no longer appears what it was to me once. I would feel safe calling the religious lifestyle a cult. A cult parading under the guise of a culture/sub culture. Thus the cult claims rights to all that other cultures are entitled to, Everyone should give this some thought. Formerly of the religious cult.

      2. knix knax says:

        Only difference is the law is marraige is between a male and a female. I did not think you gay cult would see things clearly but I do. Secondly I do not believe you the gay cult should be allowed to adopt children. Score one for your side. Your attitude was what was expected. God bless you.

      3. Jack says:

        LoL, I see what you did there….very clever.

      4. knix knax says:

        Clever? I think it must be amusing to someone in the gay cult.

      5. re: knix knax says:

        Yeah, I didn’t think you would understand. You can spout out what ever you want. But your still no better than any christian extremist. You think that your way is the only way. By the way…I don’t think you “left” the gay life style…I think even gay people saw right through you and wouldn’t accept you.

      6. knix knax says:

        You are very welcome to think what you like. Furthermore I could care less what anyone thinks of me at this point in my life and the very least of those people would be someone living in the gay cult. What I do find typical is that you are very angry and I know you are very angry most of the time. Your response is clear on that fact.God bless.

      7. re: knix knax says:

        Again…not angry here. Your just making stuff up, but somehow I think you are very use to lying…to others and to yourself. Oh…and God Bless,,,,cause you need it a heck of lot more than I do.

    4. Mark Clark says:

      Did you choose to be heterosexual? My sexuality is not merely a preference. Just as you did not wake up one day and say “I’m straight.”, I did not wake up one day saying “I’m gay.”. Don’t minimize our orientation as a preference…I am a child of God….born this way. Simple lack of knowledge re: human sexuality is not an excuse to discriminate…lack of knowledge is the only problematic “preference” at work here.
      Mark Clark

  2. Scott B. says:

    I have known gay couples that have been together for up to 40 years and I have known straight couples that have not lasted more than 1 year, just saying. I think that if gay people were given the right to marry, that it would cut down on a lot of the promiscuity that is out there. If they were able to go through the marriage process and actually have a marriage license, then they might feel like they had actually committed to the relationship. There are many couples that just walk away when the going gets tough and if they realized that they had to go through a divorce, then maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to just walk away. The way it is, they know it isn’t a recognized relationship and so it makes it easy to give up instead of trying a little harder to make it work. If they realized that a divorce could cause them to lose a great deal of what they had gone in together on, then they might have a reason to stay and try to work it out.

    1. jacob says:

      If yIf you wanted to have a point you ruined it in your first sentance. If the had the right to marry, many still wouldn’t because they don’t want to be tied down, many strongly enjoy their permiscuity, most of the gay ppl that I’ve known were much more active than most straight ppl that I know.j

    2. re: Scott B says:

      I’m sorry, I think you had a point, but slightly lost it. Gay marriage is not about a piece of paper binding you into a relationship. It doesn’t stop straight couples from getting a divorce, it won’t stop gay people either. Gay marriage is about acceptance, equality and the freedom to choose.

    3. CC says:

      No, and you have that twisted. The institution of marriage was established at the beginning of time and it was designed for a man and woman. Anything outside of that is unacceptable. Now people can make of their own “thing” that defines them. Marriage doesn’t make commitment, people make their minds to be committed in any relationship. If a person is promiscuest that’s a personal choice, nothing will change that, but that person. The gay community need to accept that no law will make anyone accept their lifestyle. The gay community need to leave well enough alone and focus on what’s important to them “their relationship”. That is not for everyone to be alright with, and they can’t force that.

      1. re: CC says:

        You are wrong. The “institution” of marriage was established by the church and religion. Not the “beginning of time”. Why is it when religious fanatics try to force their views on some one else it’s considered okay, but when gay people just want equality then they should just accept it and leave well enough alone. Gay marriage will come one day, and it will be looked back upon as we now look back on interracial marriage. Is this really what God wanted??? The countless number of major and sub major religions all over the world…all saying that their way is the only way?!?!? God never intended for that to happen, but then again that is what happens when man puts in his own ideals and agenda and then mixes it with God’s plan.

    4. knix knax says:

      I am formerly of the the gay cult and i do not believe that it would decrease in promiscuity. Nothing ever stops that in the gsycult. I

      1. Norman Dostal says:

        knix knax-once gay, alwasy gay you silly fool-now youre a gay who doesnt have sex-or doesnt have sex with someone youre attracted to-coward-sick, twisted, religiously brainwashed fool-
        CC-marriage predates religion by thousands of years fool-and it was not in its current form. No gay cares about acceptance-we demand equality-its coming bigot-try and stop it-you and your kind will soon be dead-and teh REAL God will rejoice as you burn in hell

      2. knix knax says:

        You are entitled to your opinion. I honestly believe that you believe what you are saying. Will I always have feelings for men? Well I do not have feelings for men now. Discovery is a great thing. You see I can choose to leave the gay cult behind. I choose to do so. That was the first step not the only step.. It is a work in progress. I once believed that I had no choice in the matter but I have total choice . I witnessed many gay men approaching married men straight men who did not want the gay advances but I can tell you they were not deterred from their mission. RECRUIT is what I would cal it. God bless you. You are given to being deceived. Try not to be so angry about your decision. You chose it.

      3. re: knix knax says:

        I don’t think you “left” the gay life style…I think even gay people saw right through you and wouldn’t accept you. Angry???…who said anything about being angry? Now your just making this stuff up. Stop being bitter about the lifestyle you chose. Stop thinking you have to defend it. I think the quote “doth protest too much” can be applied here.

      4. knix knax says:

        Like I said I you are angry and have been for a long time. If someone disagrees with you then its just to bad. They are wrong and you are right. So you know you go ahead and be right for you and I’ll do the same.God bless.

      5. re: knix knax says:

        Your the one that seems to have a problem with people disagreeing with you. I just feel sad for you.

      6. knixknax says:

        To Norman If everyone believed that change was impossible we would have died off long ago. Change happens every second minute hour day month year decade. Change is ever present and you nor I can do anything about it. I believe you have the right to your opinion but let me say this gay cult I have a right to my opinion as well and will be forever speaking it as you will be.

      7. re: knix knax says:

        Having a right to an opinion, doesn’t make that opinion right. The more you talk the more unbelievable you sound.

      8. knixknax says:

        You certainly think you are right. It really bugs you, does it not? I never said I was right but you sure are implying that you are. No one wins here. Not you not me. Its my opinion and you are free to have your opinion. Enough.

      9. re: knix knax says:

        So you just agreed that your opinion isn’t right. Yep, I think that’s enough. Thank You.

      10. knixknax says:

        Nope gays still live in sin and you are typical of gays today.

      11. re: knix knax says:

        Sin is a product of your religious cult. Typical christian religious response. You will no doubt resort to typing in all caps after this. Desperately trying to make your point in vain, but accomplishing nothing.

      12. knixknax says:

        Why would I type in all caps? Infantile for you to suggest. Secondly I did not make the law God did. You like all of us find it hard to follow because we want to do what we want in the world. Aleister Crowley (a known satanist) had a motto. “Do as thou wilst”. Regardless of what pain, anger, death, theft, etc. No I did not make the law and I don’t administer the punishment either. For further information contact: Jesus Christ.

      13. re: knixknax says:

        Not sure where you pulled that obscure reference from, but whatever. I’m not surprised, you are just a typical christian religious nut. Just pull what you want to out of the bible and ignore the rest.

  3. Andrew says:

    @karen Bouton- Which begs the question; how do you define what a civil right is? Would you consider religious preference to be a civil rights issue?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is God’ matter, not a Constitutional or civil rights matter. By God, I am referring to God the Father of Jesus Christ. If a referral must be made to law in some way, it would be scriptural law. Thanks for listening. I am proud of the mayors of North Texas who did not sign this pledge.

    1. rd says:

      does separation of church and state mean anything to you? freedom of (and FROM) religion does not only apply to Christians.

      1. Michael Martin says:

        That’s a non-sequitur. No churches were mentioned in ths article, certainly nothing from the mayor’s words.
        The mayor does have a moral base, as you do. The question at hand is whose base is objective and whose is merely subjective.
        Who writes the rules – a morally-informed society/legislatuer or a society that denies the existence of moral absolutes, changing the laws to fit their opinions, not the facts.

    2. Jesus loves ME says:

      God is neither male or female. I don’t think God cares who we give our hearts and love to. He just wants us to be happy. If you don’t believe that that then you are the definition of the devil.

      1. jacob says:

        Your a fool. And calling anyone who disagrees “the devil” is a bit ridiculous. You also said “he” when referring to god, so you just like most ppl feel as though god is male.

        I think god would’ve made us all hermaphrodites if that were the case.

  5. NiteNurse says:

    You know that Rawlings has his eyes on the governor of Texas spot. He doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers right now. Geez so much of Texas is so good ol’ boy still.

  6. mikey says:

    its not natural

    1. NiteNurse says:

      It’s natural if that’s the only way you have known.

      1. knix knax says:

        Thats a cope out answer. When you are born you know very little but you don’t remain in that state of being. You evolve and make choices.

  7. joe says:

    So, do some of you think it would be OK for a man or woman to marry a dog?

    1. rd says:

      we’re talking consenting adults here, not different species you idiot. years ago it was illegal for someone to marry outside their race. would you offer the same argument? do you want the government telling you who you can marry? that’s too much governmental intrusion into something that is none of their business. are you aware that before the sodomy law was struck down, it did not only apply to gays? it also included certain kinds of intimate activities that a man and his wife would do. I’d like to see what kind of reaction they would get if ol’ Billy Bob redneck got arrested for having his wife perform a special favor for him. Bottom line, whether you believe gays are right or wrong, it’s NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS what 2 consenting adults do in the privacy of their home.

    2. re: joe says:

      Typical uneducated response from a christian extremist.

    3. callen34 says:

      Joe, you are a moron.

  8. Tim Lebsack says:

    I agree with the Mayor though my reasoning is a bit different. I support the liberty of any individual to freely contract with any other individual. It is counter-productive to this cause to advocate the necessity of obtaining the permission of a governmental authority to so contract. Government, at no level, should be the definer of marriage.

    1. knix knax says:

      Good point guy. And it doesn’t have to be paraded and foisted on others who find it offensive or pushy. I have to say sometimes I’ve seen the gay culture try to just bulldoze its way through and not care who it hurts to do so. Then theres the i want more for my group which is fine as long the gay culture understands they are not the only people on the earth. God bless.

      1. re: knix knax says:

        Good point guy. And it doesn’t have to be paraded and forced on others who find it offensive or pushy. I have to say sometimes I’ve seen the religious culture try to just bulldoze its way through and not care who it hurts to do so. Then theres the i want more for my group which is fine as long the religious culture understands they are not the only people on the earth.

      2. knixknax says:

        I’m so glad you can read and I think its very good that I have helped you to put it into perspective. I realize sometimes people can not find their own words to express how they fell. I’m glad to have helped you find a way to express your feelings. God bless you.

      3. re: knix knax says:

        Yes, it was helpful…of course after I cleaned up all the malapropisms.

      4. knixknax says:

        Why can’t you clean up your life? Why can’t you live it without being angry? Why can’t you write your own words? Because you are a gay cult. You must always be right. You are the disease of human society. God bless you.

      5. knixknax says:

        You are the disease of human society. God bless you.

      6. re: knix knax says:

        hmmmm…Now who’s angry???

      7. knixknax says:

        Nothing wrong with speaking the truth. Thats not angry. Thats the truth. Anyway not concerned with your opinion of me. You work on whats wrong with you.

      8. re: knixknax says:

        If your not concerned with it…then why are you still reading it???

      9. knixknax says:


  9. Atheist Lawyer says:

    I don’t give a damn who anyone chooses to be with. That’s their business. On the legal aspect, though, why would the mayor pledge to support something that is illegal in this state?

  10. knixknax says:

    Is this a forum? You seem to want to suppress anything I have to say so whats your point? Everyone must believe in what you believe. This is a forum and its all about all peoples voices. If its only for your thoughts let me know so I can leave you to it.

  11. Go Washington State!!! says:

    Washington State is poised to pass legislation allowing and acknowledging same sex marriages. It has passed the Senate and said to have the votes to pass the House. The governor has already said that she supports it and will sign it into law. Some group says they will challenge it, but just the fact that it has reached this far speaks volumes to the changing climate of America. We will not be held under biblical oppression any longer. So, either way you look at it, I’m gonna classify this as a win.

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