DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Busloads of people left North Texas on Monday morning to rally for LGBTQ rights in Austin. A group gathered at the Cathedral of Hope church in Dallas to make the trip and then advocate for policies that would improve the livelihood of the LGBTQ community in Texas.
The group from North Texas will be joined in Austin by other church groups, community activists and civil rights groups from across the state. Once there, they will rally together on the steps of the State Capitol, speaking out against proposed laws that, they feel, do not promote equality.
Rally members are asking legislators to pass inclusive policies, and taking issue with the so-called ‘bathroom bill’ that requires transgender people to use the public restrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificates. Supporters have called this an issue of privacy, but the bill is drawing opposition from big name companies and business associations.
The Texas Senate passed the ‘bathroom bill’ last week, but it still faces obstacles before it can become a law, including several Texas House Republicans who see it as a bad idea.
“It’s bad for business. It’s bad for Dallas. It’s bad for Texas,” stated reverend Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas with the Cathedral of Hope. “So, we’re standing, as people of faith, we’re standing against this, and saying this about discrimination and that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and equality.”
Members of the Cathedral of Hope were joined in Dallas by 10 other North Texas organizations. They then met up with another caravan leaving from Plano. Cazares-Thomas welcomed all who wanted to join. “We have to stand together — as a people, as minorities — and stand together in the great fight for what we believe is this notion of country that really believes in the liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people,” Cazares-Thomas added.
Organizers of the equality rally in Austin have said, this is not an issue of whether or not the activists will be heard, but rather, if the lawmakers will listen. “We’ll make our voice, we’ll make our case,” Cazares-Thomas said. “Then, of course, whatever happens as far as laws, then, of course, we begin the whole process working through the legal process to either put a stay on the laws or indeed getting action from the Supreme Court to ultimately be decided.”