As a political and civil rights activist, I have been excited about candidates before. The ones I have been most excited about are usually not from Texas as Texas candidates play it safe when it comes to civil rights issues. I am proud to endorse one candidate who is not playing it safe. I am personally endorsing Hank Gilbert as the Democratic nominee for Texas Governor and also as the next Governor of the great state of Texas.
Hank Gilbert has released a sweeping plan for civil rights for the GLBT community in Texas. This sweeping plan that leads towards fairer treatment of Gays. Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender Texans is a step in the right direction. No longer would the GLBT community be forced to have hundreds of dollars of legal documents to try and ensure fair treatment by the law and hospitals in Texas. The community would be dealt with dignity and fairness under the law of the state. This is a great leap in the right direction for a state that believes in the strength of the individual and leaving government out of personal lives. I salute Hank Gilbert for his courage and his belief in Equal Rights for All Texans and encourage everyone to donate and volunteer for Hank Gilbert for Governor!!!
Follow me below the fold for Hank’s sweeping call for Fairness for All Texans.
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Releases Historic LGBT Policy Statement, Calls For Civil Unions With Same Rights As Opposite Sex Couples
HOUSTON—Democratic gubernatorial candidate Hank Gilbert made history Tuesday night with the release of a sweeping progressive policy statement on issues of importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans—including a call for civil unions in Texas designed to give LGBT couples the same rights and privileges as opposite-sex couples.
Gilbert made his clarion call for reform during a meeting of the Houston Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Political Caucus, the oldest LGBT civil rights organization in the American south.
“Knowing that discrimination exists in Texas and doing nothing about it goes against everything I stand for. Those who remain silent on this issue are passive participants in that discrimination,” Gilbert said.
Noting that the office of governor was a position from which the state could be led toward progressive public policy innovations, Gilbert said staying quiet LGBT rights issues he strongly believed in was not an option for him.
“Just because some people see this as controversial or say that Texas isn’t ready for this is not a reason I can use to justify remaining silent on this issue,” he said. “This is what is right for Texas,” he noted.
“The issue of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals is the new civil rights battle for the 21st century,” Gilbert said.
In addition to proposing civil unions with the same rights for LGBT couples as for opposite sex couples, Gilbert also:
Proposed sweeping legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
- Proposed ending discriminatory insurance practices negatively impacting Texas’ LGBT citizens.
- Proposed legislation allowing Texas’ public universities and governmental institutions to offer same-sex domestic partner benefits.
- Sweeping reforms prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in housing, public accommodations, and real estate transactions.
- Laws establishing the authority of domestic partners in medical decision making.
- A tough anti-bullying statute.
- Extending the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act to include gender identity or expression.
- Legislation making it less costly and cumbersome for transgender individuals to change the gender marker on birth certificates and state IDs.
- Allowing gay youths the same defenses as straight youths under Texas’ “Romeo and Juliet” statutes.
“Most of these changes in policy aren’t things that are brand new concepts to Texas,” Gilbert acknowledged. “Many of them have been proposed before by progressive leaders in the Legislature like State Representative Garnet Coleman here in Houston. Representative Coleman and his progressive colleagues have carried the torch on these issues, and Democrats should be proud of their steadfast leadership. What we need now is a Democratic governor in the governor’s office who supports LGBT rights and is willing to bring the full weight of his office to bear on these issues so they can finally be passed,” Gilbert said.
“A Democratic legislature is not enough to ensure LGBT rights in Texas,” he continued. “Until we have a Democrat in the governor’s office who is willing to show leadership on this issue, the changes LGBT Texans are fighting for will not happen,” he concluded.
LGBT Civil Rights In Texas: The Time Is Now
Most Texans Support Either Civil Unions Or Same Sex Marriage. According to the 2009 Texas Lyceum Poll, 32 percent of Texans support civil unions and another 25 percent of Texans believe same-sex marriage should be permitted. Overall, 57 percent of Texans favor either civil unions or same-sex marriage in Texas. [SOURCE: 2009 Texas Lyceum Poll]
Violent Crime Targeting Transgender Individuals Common In Texas. From 1970 to 2004, Texas ranked third in the nation for the murder of transgender individuals. [SOURCE: Equality Texas]
With this sweeping plan for Equality for all Texans, Hank Gilbert would bring the great state of Texas into the 21st century and offer rights that should be offered to all citizens. This is a great plan for Texas and will benefit all of Texas and not just the GLBT Community. Please donate, sign up for updates and volunteer for Hank Gilbert for Texas Governor.