March Against Hate
Supporters of the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Act braved cold, rainy weather on Sunday, March 18, to march to the Capitol for a rousing rally on the south steps. The Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, which organized the march, placed head-count estimates at about 1,500 at the start of the march, although the crowd gradually thinned out as marchers wended their way down a rain-soaked Congress Avenue. Speakers included the bill's sponsors, Sen. Rodney Ellis and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, both Houston Democrats. The proposed legislation has gained initial approval in House and Senate committees, and now awaits a final vote in both chambers.