Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Endorsement: The Tough Decision We’ve Been Waiting For

cross posted at Burnt Orange Report

This post was revised on March 15, 2007. If you have a question about the changed content, please contact us at

Endorsement Meeting: Special Election for City Council, At-large Position 3

Tonight, 6:30 PM

3400 Montrose, Suite 207

The screening committee has completed its interviews, and tonight the Houston GLBT Political Caucus will officially endorse a candidate in the race for the at-large, position 3 city council seat, vacated by Shelly Sekula-Gibbs. An openly gay men, Noel Freeman, is seeking the caucus’s support. Melissa Noriega and Andy Neill also screened with the caucus. Everyone on the screening committee agrees that the caucus has a very difficult decision to make, but this is a difficult decision we’re happy to have; it’s one we’ve been waiting for.

Our organization has been committed to recruiting openly GLBT candidates for a long time, so we can’t help but be extremely proud of Noel Freeman. He has distinguished himself by being courageously honest within discriminatory cultures. Noel Freeman was the first openly gay member of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets.

Though we are extremely excited about Noel Freeman's candidacy, it should not be assumed that the caucus will endorse him, simply because he is homosexual. As an interim state legislator, civic activist and educator, Melissa Noriega has proven herself to be an extremely effective leader. During her interview, Noriega was passionate about building coalitions. She’s obviously eager to learn about GLBT issues, and, in many ways, She's uniquely qualified to help our community reach out to the greater population of Houston.

We certainly face a difficult decision. We have a historic opportunity, not just because we have a homosexual seeking our endorsement. Our city is at the threshold of significant progress, and every city election has the potential to bring us closer to equal citizenship.

The GLBT political caucus is not a mere fan club for elected officials. We don’t vainly seek election victories. We are compelled to by specific policy goals. We are driven by the prospect of equality. Of course we want more GLBT elected officials, but, even more than that, we want nondiscrimination mandated by our government. We want marriage equality, with recognition and security for our loving families. We want equal rights, and the Caucus will endorse and work for the candidate that can best accelerate the realization of these goals.

Tonight we will hear from all three candidates, and we will review their respective merits. I will post the Caucus’s decision immediately following the meeting.

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