Monday, February 27, 2012

Texas Black History GLBT Style-Judge Tonya Parker

As the story of 116th District Judge Tonya Parker's refusal to perform marriages for straight couples until she and other rainbow community people can get married in the Lone Star State is going viral after being posted in the Dallas Voice, there was also another piece of info that was overlooked in this story.

Everyone was so focused on the marriage piece of it they missed the fact that Judge Parker may be a trailblazer in another way.

She may be the first elected openly gay African-American official in the state of Texas.

Yes, Rep. Barbara Jordan was elected to the Texas state senate in 1966 and the US House of Representatives in 1972, but her sexuality wasn't revealed until after her death in 1996.

But Judge Parker is the first LGBT person elected as a judge in Dallas County and possibly the first openly gay African-American elected official in Texas.   I think that's more newsworthy than her stance on marriage.

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