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Annise Parker, Evan Wolfson Headline Equality Texas’ Sunday Funday in Houston

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Group plans four events across state to support bathroom bill fight in special session.

By Ryan M. Leach

Houston is hot, and the summer is long.

The last thing anyone needed was a special session for the Texas Legislature to take another crack at passing anti-transgender bathroom legislation, but that’s exactly what we got. And now, we need a drink.

Luckily, Equality Texas’ Special Session Sunday Funday from noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 13 will give Houstonians an opportunity to support the statewide group’s lobbying efforts while raising a pint in the waning days of summer.

Texas marriage plaintiffs Mark Phariss (r) and Vic Holmes are the subject of a new book, ‘Accidental Activists.’ (Courtesy photo)

The event, hosted by Eureka Heights Brew Co., will feature an impressive lineup of local and national community heroes. They include former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson, Texas marriage equality plaintiffs Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, and David Collins, the author of Accidental Activists, a new book about Phariss and Holmes.

Patrick Dickson, CEO and president of White Rhino Financial and a local board member for Equality Texas, said the bathroom bill battle is a good example of why it’s important to support Equality Texas.

“The reason why I joined the board was for times like these,” Dickson said. “It is evident that our fight for true equality is not over and we must galvanize at our state level to get the word out that we will not stand for any level of discrimination against our LGBTQ family.”

Sunday Funday in Houston is the final event in a series of four happening statewide in support of Equality Texas on the weekend of Aug. 11-13. The other fundraisers will be in Dallas on Aug. 11, and in Austin and San Antonio on Aug. 12.

Regardless of which event people attend, there will be someone inspiring to meet. Other examples include Julian Castro, former HUD Secretary and mayor of San Antonio; state Sen. Jose Menendez; former Congressman Charlie Gonzalez; Texas marriage plaintiffs Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra DeLeon; and Neel Lane, one of the attorneys in the case.

Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, said this year’s regular session was challenging enough, and the special session has meant the need for more dollars to keep the fight going.

“Equality Texas will not give up in our efforts to prevent the passage and enactment of any dangerous and immoral anti-transgender bathroom bill,” Smith said. “We must mobilize the majority of Texans who support the fair and equal treatment of all Texas residents. We will need equality supporters to turn out in person at the Capitol, and to make phone calls and send emails to decision makers. When we ask for help, please join us in this battle to prevent Texas from adopting a bathroom bill.”

Tickets for Sunday Funday are $40 and include beverages. VIP tickets can be purchased for $100 and include a signed copy of Accidental Activists. For more info, visit www.equalitytexas.org/take-action/events/sundayfunday. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities for any of the four events should contact Collin Acock at [email protected].

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Ryan Leach

Ryan Leach is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine. Follow him on Medium at www.medium.com/@ryan_leach.
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