The City Council of Dallas, Texas is set to approve a resolution supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry, but Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) thinks the resolution is a waste of time. Rawlings is actually “an unequivocal supporter of marriage equality,” but he told The Dallas Morning News that he doesn’t understand why the Council is bothering to discuss it since they have no power to change the law:
“I don’t want to be talking about late-term abortions, or gun control, or Gitmo,” he said.
To do so is “a misuse of City Council time.”
As the Dallas Voice points out, the Council “can certainly exert some influence,” because “symbols do matter” when it comes to public opinion. Certainly, when President Obama came out for marriage equality, many other political leaders followed his lead, and last month many Democratic Senators continued to change their positions as the media focused on the Supreme Court’s oral arguments.
Rawlings similarly avoided joining the over 300 Mayors for the Freedom To Marry, claiming to be “pledge-phobic” because the campaign is “simplistic and not substantive.” There is a difference, however, between simple and simplistic, just as there is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Rawlings may say he supports marriage equality, but he seems quine keen on avoiding opportunities to prove it through his leadership.