This past Saturday night, I had the pleasure of attending the Houston Gay Pride Parade. The event has been an on-again, off-again tradition among members of my family since the very first parade, in 1979. You know, when the guys dressed up as nuns and danced the can-can on the roof of Mary’s Lounge. Anyways, I saw most all of the politicians one would expect to be there, but a few popped out as odd exceptions.
First, it is without surprise that Mayor Parker not only actively participated in the parade, but was one of the Grand Marshals. In fact, her car was the first in the parade line. Other politicians such as Sheila Jackson Lee, Jenifer Pool, David Robinson, Mike Laster, Stephen Costello, Alan Rosen and others were also present, to nobody’s surprise.
The biggest surprises of the evening were seeing both Ben Hall and Eric Dick represented at the parade. I have never known either of these men to be especially strong advocates of the LGBT community, so I decided to inquire as to if they have a newly found respect for gay rights. Specifically, I asked the two if this meant they supported gay marriage. Ordinarily, I do not hold positions on national issues against local candidates, but since they made on issue of it first, I will follow up on the matter.
First, I contacted Dr Hall’s campaign. I contacted his campaign a variety of ways, but one of them included Facebook. I enjoy communicating via Facebook because it automatically notifies you when the recipient of your message has opened the attachment. Accordingly, I can see that the message I sent was opened, and was purposefully not responded to. Normally, this would cause me to deduct points from the campaign, but I will make a special exception for matters pertaining to Hall’s social media accounts. As the saying goes, “he knows not what he does.” I assume there was some error in communication between members of the Campaign Staff that prevented an orderly response to my inquiry. I hope, after seeing this, I can get a clear and concise answer from the Hall campaign.
Then, there is Mr Dick’s campaign. Dick was very quick in returning my request for comment, and I had a long, interesting conversation with him on the issue. Out of respect for his campaign and my personal standards of confidentiality, I am not going to publish the conversation we had verbatim, apart from some select passages. However, I will discuss the general theme of what he had to say and why it is so troubling.
First, Dick repeatedly denied the notion that his campaign was represented at the Pride Parade, countering that it was his law firm. However, a cursory search for his law firm, http://dicklawfirm.com/, shows that Eric Dick himself is the only attorney who works for the firm. Obviously, the corporation “Dick Law Firm” is a separate legal entity from Dick personally and from the Dick for Mayor campaign, but politics works on “close enough.”
Next, despite at one point calling himself the “Montrose Republican,” Dick declined to definitely support gay marriage. From what seemed to be from more of Libertarian than traditional Conservative point of view, Dick solidly put himself in the 41% of the country that still opposes same-sex unions.
“To be clear, I support traditional marriage but question governments role in determining or defining marriage.”
He also repeatedly noted that he believes that the LGBT community should get more involved within the Republican Party. Though I find it odd that any LGBT people would want to get involved with a party that actively opposes their right to marriage.
Make no mistake, Eric Dick does not support gay marriage. While some of my colleagues believe that Mr Dick is only in the Mayoral election to advertise his law firm, I feel as though he has a legitimate political aspiration. That being said, the float in the parade may have been nothing more than just that–a publicity stunt.
I don’t mind for someone to have an opposing opinion of mine, but I do expect them to be consistent in their opinions and actions. It is the height of hypocrisy to participate in the gay pride parade yet not stand up when questioned about gay rights, specifically gay marriage. His statement come across, to me, in my humble opinion, as a whimpering sycophant, seeking the approval of the crowd but when directly questioned, equivocates as to his approval on the issue at hand.
For the record, it was Dick’s suggestion that I use his surname in the title.