05/02/2013 07:03 pm ET

Mike Rawlings, Dallas Mayor, Thinks Publicly Supporting Gay Marriage A 'Misuse' Of Time


A Texas politician has made a claim about endorsing gay marriage that might surprise some of his allies.

With the Dallas City Council set to vote on a marriage equality resolution on June 12, Dallas mayor and same-sex marriage supporter Mike Rawlings (D) said he thinks the vote is a waste of time.

Rawlings told the Dallas Morning News that he is “an unequivocal supporter of marriage equality,” but that he thinks the City Council's meetings on social issues like gay marriage are wasteful because they won't change state policy.

Texas banned same-sex marriages in 2005.

“I don’t want to be talking about late-term abortions, or gun control, or Gitmo,” Rawlings said, according to the Morning News. He called such talks “a misuse of City Council time.”

Dallas council member Scott Griggs, who put the resolution on the council agenda, disagrees. He says the time is right for such a gesture.

“It’s timely, and it’s relevant,” Griggs told the Morning News. “The LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community is ... a big part of Dallas.”

The measure is expected to pass, according to the Dallas Observer, which noted that the "City Council wastes tons of time talking about stuff that's unimportant or over which they have no control," therefore, "[s]pending 10 minutes talking about marriage equality won't cause municipal government to grind to a halt. To put it another way, why not?"

This is not the first time Rawlings has stopped short of attaching his name to same-sex marriage-supporting measures.

In January of 2012, Rawlings refused to join hundreds of mayors nationwide who signed a pledge backing a proposal that would legalize same-sex marriage on the federal level. His decision prompted protests in front of Dallas City Hall.

“I’m a bit pledge-phobic,” Rawlings told reporters, according to Dallas-based news outlet CBS DFW. “I think America has got too many pledges out there and I think it’s simplistic and not substantive.”

ThinkProgress notes that symbolic gestures, especially by powerful politicians, do have the potential to sway public opinion -- as evidenced by the impact of President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage last May.

"There is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk," ThinkPrgoress's Zack Ford writes. "Rawlings may say he supports marriage equality, but he seems quine [sic] keen on avoiding opportunities to prove it through his leadership."