We have nothing that protects us fully

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broker Associate / Team Lead - Texas Pride Realty Group 0503820 TX

THANK YOU to the Washington Post for covering the migration of LGBTQ folks out of red states and into safety.  

FleeRedStatesBob McCranie. (Cooper Neill for The Washington Post)

Bob McCranie, 55, is a real estate broker in Dallas. He has called Texas home for more than three decades.

My friends have always had Plan B’s. Some have already left for Spain, Puerto Vallarta, more liberal blue states. In May 2022, I started a real estate service to help people flee Texas. In August, I extended it to help people flee all red states, because it’s just getting started. There’s going to be migration of LGBTQ+ people, and it’s going to happen in waves, with each election, with every new law that targets our rights to just live and love like everyone else. All of our rights come from executive orders and judicial rulings. Executive orders can be reversed and rulings overturned. We have nothing that protects us fully the way that others are protected. Nothing.

If the vision of Justice Thomas comes true, if Lawrence vs. Texas gets reversed, then anyone can report to the police anybody if they think they’re breaking the law, if they suspect that person is a homosexual and therefore doing something illegal in the privacy of their own home. It’s a horribly destructive force to turn neighbor against neighbor. In California we’ve got Proud Boys standing outside drag bingo. They’re cramming into U-Hauls to rough up gay people at a Pride event in Idaho.

I’ve lived in Texas since ’87, came out in ’92 and started my company in 2009. Now I have to wonder: Will I have my business stripped away from me? Will gays be able to get a mortgage? When my partner and I bought a house, we could not find an insurance company that would put two men on the policy to protect our property. One of us had to be listed as a tenant. We couldn’t go around with our real estate agent and look at a house; she kept introducing us as brothers. Is that the direction we’re headed?

I used to be able to say: “Hey, come on down, the water is fine. Dallas and Fort Worth are great. Houston’s great. Austin’s great. Just don’t get too rural. Most of the time, people just smile and are fine.” I can’t say that anymore. It would be disingenuous to tell a gay person that Texas is a safe place to call home.

 

 

Whether you agree or not, the flight from Red States is happening. I can name 20 LGBTQ friends who have left or are leaving. It's a Polly-Anna answer to suggest, at this point, that Texas will be safe for us anytime soon or that we will be able to out vote the right-wing lawmakers who are attacking our rights. And, honestly, it's incredibly frustrating to have to fight the policies of the right while also having to educate queer folks who live in relative safety who think we should just rally, volunteer, and donate like our blue-state counterparts. The next step will be for Texas to pass a law, like their abortion law, that allows citizens to sue homosexuals for $10,000. That law will then be appealed to the Supreme Court and will be affirmed just like the recent reversal of Roe v Wade. And before we put too much faith in the new bill coming from the Senate, we should realize it does not codify the ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges and it can also be set aside by the 6-3 Supreme Court.

 

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