Austin Becomes First Texas City To Endorse Marriage Equality

The Austin City Council has voted to make the city the first in Texas to formally endorse same-sex marriage.

The council’s resolution condemned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the national ban on same-sex marriage. It was supported by various civil rights groups including the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Human Rights Campaign. The resolution was supported by a petition signed by more than 1,800 Austin residents and passed by a unanimous vote shortly after 11 am Central.

The resolution’s passage coincided with events in Washington, D.C., promoting National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Texas doesn’t currently support same-sex marriage as state law defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Councilmember Sheryl Cole said even though the vote was purely symbolic, “symbolic acts matter.”

The resolution addresses the eight states — as well as the nation’s capital — that have legalized same-sex marriage as well a 2010 survey by the University of Texas that showed that 63 percent of Texans supported some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, either through marriage or civil unions.

The resolution also says:

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“WHEREAS, all couples in loving and committed relationships should be given the opportunity to create stronger and more successful families through civil marriage…

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:

That we support marriage equality in the State of Texas.”

Chuck Smith, interim director of Equality Texas, said:

“I’m very happy that I live in a community that continues to demonstrate that it respects the equality and the value of all of its residents. It is consistent with the principles and policies of the City of Austin to ensure that everyone who lives here is treated fairly.”

What do you think of Austin’s endorsement of same-sex marriage?