Austin – the Only Gay Place

Travis defeated Prop. 2, but the rest of the state wasn't even close

When Billy Lee Brammer named his landmark novel about Texas statehouse politics The Gay Place, "gay" had a completely different meaning. But the title still fits – in 2005, Austin is apparently the only gay place in Texas.

On a statewide level, the most staggering thing about the Proposition 2 vote is how it wasn't even close – even in counties with significant gay communities. There was only one county out of 254 that went against the proposition – we'll give you one guess which one. Elsewhere in our not-so-fair state, 104 counties turned out a vote of 90% or more in favor of Prop. 2. Only 28 counties turned out less than 80% in favor.

After Travis, the next most progressive county in this state is our neighbor Hays, a full 18 percentage points behind (58% approval). Following Hays were Brewster (64%), Dallas (66%), Presidio (67%), El Paso (68%), and Bexar (69%). Supposedly gay-friendly Harris clocked in at 72%. Tarrant Co. was 77%.

Of those top ones, only Brewster and Presidio out in West Texas are truly rural counties with no spillover from nearby cities; we assume their votes are affected by liberal nature lovers attracted to Big Bend and the art community that has developed in Marfa.

The most homophobic county in Texas? The competition was tight, but Martin (north of Midland) wins, with 95.40% in favor – 644 votes to 31. Other top counties that gays should probably avoid (or flee upon high school graduation) are Floyd (95.37%), Parmer (95.09%), and Motley (95.08%).

And you'd think a county named Camp could turn out the gay vote, but no, the northeast county was 89.7% in favor of Prop. 2.

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Proposition 2electionssame-sex marriage, proposition 2

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