Austin
12:47 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

First in Texas: Austin City Council Declares Support for Same Sex Marriage

Today Austin became the first city in Texas to pass a resolution in support of same sex marriage. 

The measure passed the City Council unanimously this morning.

Before the vote, local civil rights groups declared their support for the resolution, which was sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and co-sponsored by Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council member Laura Morrison.

At a press conference, Mayor Pro Tem Cole spoke about the evolution of rights in Texas, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King: “… Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Whatever afflicts once directly also afflicts one indirectly.”

Council member Morrison acknowledged the progress made within the Austin community, when it comes to civil rights, but said there was still a ways to go.  Morrison pointed to practicality when making her point.

“Marriage equality provides important legal and economic protections including access to health care, parenting rights, property rights and other protections,” said Morrison.

The practical implications of the resolution are unlikely to be great. In 2005, Texas voters approved an amendment to the state constitution, banning same sex marriage and civil unions. Travis County was the only county in the state where a majority did not support the amendment.