The owner of a gay leather bar has announced his bid for Texas Governor.
Jeffery Payne, the owner of The Eagle in Dallas, has said he wishes to oppose current governor Greg Abbott.
‘Texas needs a governor who believes in real Texas values, like integrity, honesty, freedom and independence,’ Payne said in his announcement.
‘It’s time we stopped wasting our time and money on silly legislation and start investing our time finding ways to help Texans, their families and businesses prosper.’
Payne is an active fundraiser, LGBTI advocate, and a former winner of International Mr Leather.
‘It’s time we stopped letting the Republican Party run unopposed in this state,’ Payne declared.
‘We need a governor who is not a career bureaucrat, but one with real world experience and dedication to making Texas a better, safer and healthier place for all Texans.’
Texas has seen 24 bills introduced to the Legislature that could see LGBTI rights severely infringed.
Texas is seeing an ‘all-out assault on LGBTI people’
One bill could see it legal to decline adoption services to gay couples. One could see it legal to deny them marriage licenses.
Another bill could see transgender Texans banned from using a public bathroom that matches their gender.
LGBTI rights activists say these bills, ‘more than any other time in state history’, are the greatest attack on their rights in Texas.
Chuck Smith, president of Equality Texas, said: ‘This is the most number of specifically anti-LGBT bills that we’ve ever faced…It’s an all-out assault on LGBT people.’