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Texas Gov. Candidate Announces Gay Policies

Hank Gilbert, a Democratic candidate for governor in Texas, will unveil a far-reaching plan tonight to introduce several pieces of gay rights legislation for his state, has learned.

Gilbert's campaign will release a 10-point policy proposal, which includes an LGBT antidiscrimination law in housing and employment, an end to discriminatory insurance practices, especially for transgender people, and repeal of the state's "defense of marriage" act.

"I was raised in a home where discrimination had no place," he said Wednesday. "I was raised to treat all people equally. For me, knowing that discrimination exists in Texas and doing nothing about it goes against everything I stand for. It also makes all those who remain silent passive participants in discrimination."

Other proposed policies include starting an anti-bullying campaign for LGBT students. In a policy proposal, Gilbert mentions Eric Mohat, a 17-year-old who was harassed so much in high school that he committed suicide.

Gilbert added that he wants Texas to be at the forefront of LGBT rights because his state "came to sit at the table of equality very late" when it came to civil rights for African-Americans and Latinos.

The announcement is scheduled to come Wednesday evening during a meeting of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

Gilbert is currently up against four other candidates -- Kinky Friedman, Farouk Shami, Tom Schieffer, and Felix Alvarado -- in the 2010 primary election in March.

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