Dan Graney, outgoing President of the Texas Stonewall
Democratic Caucus; Kevin Hoffman, Secretary-Treasurer of the Houton Area
Stonewall Democrats; and Phillip McNutt, President, Houston Area Stonewall
Democrats at the Texas Democratic Party Convention. (Photo by Antonia
Stonewall Dems score victories at
Texas Democratic Convention
By Dan Graney, QSanAntonio.com, June13, 2012
Members of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus and other LGBT delegates
made history at the Texas Democratic Convention that took place at the
George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on June 7 through 9. Here
is a summary of some of the major results from the convention:
- Delegates adopted a progressive state party platform that includes a
plank on marriage equality and provisions calling for the support of a
fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the right of LGBT
parents to adopt children. The platform was adopted without opposition.
- Delegates approved adding “gender identity” to the non-discrimination
section of the state party rules.
- A record number of LGBT persons from Texas were elected delegates to
the Democratic National Convention that will take place in Charlotte,
North Carolina on September 4-6. A total of 33 LGBT Texans – 26
delegates, 2 alternates and 5 members of national convention committees
– will make up the Texas LGBT delegation. Three of the delegates
are Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio members Daniel Graney, Olga Hernandez
and Eduardo Juarez. This will be the first national Democratic convention
for all three San Antonio delegates. The LGBT delegation also includes
transgender activist Meghan Stabler from Round Rock.
- A number of openly LGBT persons, including two from conservative East
Texas, were elected to the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC)
from their respective Senate District caucuses.
- Numerous LGBT delegates were elected from their Senate District caucuses
to serve on permanent committees at the state convention, including the
important platform committee. TSDC Vice President Erin Moore of Dallas,
who was a member of both the temporary platform drafting committee and
the permanent platform committee, was instrumental in shepherding the
pro-LGBT planks through the platform process.
- TSDC's endorsed candidates for State Party Chair and the Democratic
National Committee (DNC) LGBT seat both won election to their respective
positions. Gilberto Hinojosa from Brownsville was elected the first Latino
Chair of the Texas Democratic Party. Openly gay former State Representative
Glen Maxey was elected to the DNC seat currently held by openly lesbian
former Houston City Councilwoman Sue Lovell.
At its biennial Caucus meeting attended by over 300 people, the TSDC elected
Eli Olivarez of McAllen its first Latino President to succeed term-limited
Daniel Graney. Carol Cappa of Fort Worth was elected Vice President to
succeed Erin Moore who decided not to seek re-election. Jay Narey of Dallas
was elected Secretary and Shaun Nelson of Houston was re-elected Treasurer.
Their terms of office will begin on July 1.
Graney and Moore were also presented Service Awards for their four years
of service to the TSDC.
At a pre-convention reception hosted by the TSDC at the Hilton of the
Americas Hotel, an overflow crowd of LGBT and straight delegates witnessed
the presentation of three awards to straight ally and SDEC member JC Dufresne,
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and outgoing State Party Chairman Boyd Richie.
Although San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro gave the keynote speech at the
convention, perhaps the most memorable remarks were given by Richie in
his farewell speech when he said the following:
“They [the Republicans] have successfully played on peoples’
fears of things different from themselves. They’ve turned working
families against each other; public against private; White against Black
against Brown; straight against gay; Protestant against Catholic against
Jew against Muslim --- against, against, against.
"They didn’t originate suspicion but they’ve done an
excellent job of exploiting it. They’ve made us quite comfortable
with our prejudices.
"As we are acutely aware, Republicans continue to use code words
and symbols that demonize, scapegoat and stereotype minorities in Texas.
It’s as despicable as their voter suppression schemes.
They know where to dig up the old fears and hatreds embedded in so many
Texans. This prejudice is an infection of the soul and our opponents are
able and willing to inflame it.
"But in this regard we must confront a sad truth. They don’t
employ these dog whistles simply because they’re bigots. They do
it because it works. Specifically it moves Anglo voters. Overwhelmed by
the combination of hateful rhetoric and Fox News they go to the polls
more to vote against us than for Republicans.
"We always quickly and firmly denounce this bigotry yet it doesn’t
stop them from using the same tactics—time after time, year after
year. Worse, our condemnations have little effect on Anglo voters who
have bought into this trash.”
For more information about the convention, visit the TSDC's Facebook page
Dan Graney is the outgoing President of the Texas Stonewall Democratic
Caucus and a frequent contributor to QSanAntonio.