News (USA)

Dallas city council passes resolution in support of LGBT community

DALLAS — The Dallas city council on Wednesday passed a “comprehensive statement of support” for the city’s LGBT employees and residents in an effort to address inequalities in city employment, healthcare and lobbying efforts.

DallasThe resolution states that “the City of Dallas is in full favor of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees of the city of Dallas, citizens within the city of Dallas, and visitors to the city of Dallas.”

While the resolution does not change or enact and specific policies, it does direct city manager A.C. Gonzales to address inequalities in the city’s pension plan and health care plan for its employees, and investigate areas to improve the city’s score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

“The homework has already started in terms of conversations with pension staff and the HR dept … to identify steps that are needed to affect change,” Gonzalez told the council. “I would anticipate in the next quarter we’ll have a report on the things that are doable and the timeframe to make them happen and move accordingly.”

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The resolution requires that any specific changes to city policy would still need to be considered and approved by the council.

Full text of the resolution is here (PDF).

The 13-2 vote Wednesday comes after Mayor Mike Rawlings indicated his support of the resolution, saying pressing legal questions had been addressed.

Last year, Rawlings opposed a similar resolution supporting marriage equality, saying he believed was a “misuse” of time

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