I knew at once there was something different about this place when I arrived in Austin to go to college here. Having been raised in Dallas I was stunned to see the hippies and to hear people question what I had been taught as givens. It was here my mind began to awaken from cultural stupor and realize that just because people are different does not make them inferior. In my time here I have seen our city council stand up for a liveable wage, for fair treatment of immigrants, for workers’ rights, and for many other brave stands. This latest decision, however, puts them at odds with state law. The Defense of Marriage Act is the law of the land down here.

Dr King taught that just as we have a duty to obey just laws, we have a duty to disobey any law or custom that oppresses another. I am proud to live in a city that does not leave justice out of the equation of putting the law into practice.

“Council members said the endorsement will land them on the right side of history and compared gay marriage to women’s suffrage and civil rights. The unanimous vote was symbolic — Austin has no power to overturn Texas’ ban on gay marriage, and the council decision will not make the practice legal here — but Council Member Sheryl Cole said the endorsement carries weight, noting that on other polarizing social issues through the years, “one thing we have learned is that simple, symbolic acts matter -Austin American Statesman