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Anti-Gay Hate Group Blames Satan, Pawns For Demise Of Anti-LGBT Legislation In Texas


Yesterday we told you how an anti-gay marriage amendment died Wednesday in Texas, joining 20 other anti-LGBT proposals that failed to pass the state Legislature this year. 

The Texas Pastor Council, an anti-gay hate group that backed much of the legislation, sent out an email Thursday blaming two Republican senators for the demise of the anti-gay marriage amendment. The email from the Pastor Council's Dave Welch (above), goes on to say that the Legislature did "nothing meaningful to protect religious freedom, traditional marriage or oppose the radical agenda of the sexual perversity/gender confusion."

Welch blames "the pro-LGBT, anti-Christian corporate lobby" along with the "moral weakness" of Republicans in leadership, along with a Democratic Party "deeply controlled by the LGBT forces." 

Finally, Welch says the good news is that pastors all over Texas are no longer willing to be passive while "the enemy of our souls and his pawns influencing media, entertainment, education and politics assault God’s moral law and created order."

From the email:  

TXpcIt is an astounding and appalling reality that in one of the most Republican-dominated state governments in the U.S., with a strong majority in both House and Senate, that the Texas legislature did nothing meaningful to protect religious freedom, traditional marriage or oppose the radical agenda of the sexual perversity/gender confusion.  

The “why” is clear.

The political influence of the pro-LGBT, anti-Christian corporate lobby combined with the moral weakness of key Republicans holding leadership positions on House and Senate trumped the clear principles of the GOP Platform, the will of the Texas voters, pastors from all over Texas who stood and spoke boldly. That, combined with a Democrat party entirely and deeply controlled by the LGBT forces and every “D” Senator and Representative in their pocket, neutralized what should have been a pro-family legislative session.

The good news is that the only way for evil to triumph is for us to be silent, and we have proven that pastors all over Texas are no longer willing to be passive as the enemy of our souls and his pawns influencing media, entertainment, education and politics assault God’s moral law and created order.

We have, indeed, just begun to fight for God’s righteousness and justice.

But it gets even worse for the Texas Pastor Council. Thursday was also the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which prompted some of the anti-LGBT state legislation. And the Pastor Council led the unsuccessful petition drive to repeal the ordinance. One pastor affiliated with the group said recently that anti-LGBT groups have spent $500,000 on a lawsuit challenging the city's decision to reject their petition, which is currently on appeal

The pro-LGBT Texas Freedom Network issued a press release Thursday marking the occasion: 

DownloadTo mark today’s first anniversary of the Houston City Council’s passage of a comprehensive Equal Rights Ordinance, TFN President Kathy Miller issued the following statement: 

“The passage of the Houston ordinance was a landmark moment in an ongoing campaign to ensure equality for all Texans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. No one should be fired from a job, evicted from their home or denied public services simply because of who they are or whom they love. All Texans should be equal under law.

This year Texas legislators filed more than 20 bills promoting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We look forward to the day when the Legislature instead follows the example of cities like Houston and protects all Texans from discrimination.”

Houston was the last major city in Texas to pass a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as well as other characteristics such as race, religion, sex and military status.

Opponents organized a petition drive to put repeal of HERO on a citywide ballot. But the city and a state district court judge determined that opponents had failed to obtain the required number of petition signatures. Jurors in the court case found that the petition included many forged and illegible signatures. Opponents are appealing the decision.

Texas law does not include discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Finally Dies In Texas, Joins More Than 20 Other Anti-LGBT Proposals


An anti-gay marriage amendment died Wednesday night in the Texas Senate, joining more than 20 other pieces of anti-LGBT legislation that failed to pass this year. 

Recognizing they wouldn't have time to take up the amendment, Republican senators hastily introduced a non-binding resolution in opposition to same-sex marriage. The resolution is along the lines of a letter issued by the House Republican Caucus earlier this month.  

The Texas Tribune reports:

The body's 20 Republican senators and state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, voted for Senate Resolution 1028, authored by state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, that affirmed "the present definition" of marriage in the state. 

“This resolution is intended by those of us who signed it to demonstrate that we continue to support what the people of this state have expressed," state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said.

State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was among several Democrats who criticized the amendment. Hinojosa suggested Republicans were discriminating against gay people, including his own daughter.

During debate on the resolution, Lucio announced he'd withdraw the bill containing an amendment designed to undermine a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. From the Associated Press

The Senate deadline for passing bills was midnight Wednesday. But with less than four hours to go - likely enough time for Democrats to run out the clock if the bill came up - the proposal was dropped. Republicans instead only passed a resolution that reaffirmed their belief of marriage being between a man and a woman.

"Good legislation was sacrificed, but appropriately so to see this language fail," said Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman, whose unrelated bill was used by the Senate to carry the marriage-license amendment. "It is offensive to my constituents, it's offensive to me, and it's offensive to our constitution."

The Texas legislative session, which saw the most anti-LGBT proposals in the history of any state, doesn't officially end until Monday. But with the death of the anti-gay marriage amendment, the LGBT community appeared to be out of the woods:    

Senator Lucio pulls down #HB2977 that contained the "deny the Supreme Court" language. With that, hopefully the last of...

Posted by Equality Texas on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Texas Senate To Debate Anti-Gay Marriage Proposal After Bigoted Adoption Measure Stalls


A Texas Republican lawmaker says he dropped an anti-LGBT adoption measure Tuesday because he wanted the House to have time to consider an anti-abortion proposal before a midnight deadline. 

As we told you Tuesday, GOP Rep. Scott Sanford had introduced an amendment that would give state-funded, faith-based child welfare providers a license to discriminate against LGBT people. But Sanford ultimately withdrew the amendment. The Dallas Morning News reports: 

SanfordRep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney (right), has said the measure is needed but he pulled down his amendment to allow the House more time to get to a bill prohibiting insurance coverage of abortions in policies sold in the federally run Texas health insurance marketplace.

“The pro-life bills are really important to us,” he said. “In order to get to them, we need to pull down our amendment.”

Incidentally, the House didn't get to the anti-abortion bill, either. 

After Sanford dropped his amendment, GOP Sen. Donna Campbell tried to revive it in that chamber, but her effort also failed. From The Texas Tribune:  

CampbellState Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels (right), sought to add the amendment to a House bill sponsored by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, that would direct the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to study “kinship care” programs.

But Campbell quickly pulled the proposal down after state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, sought to kill the provision on a technicality. The Senate unanimously passed the bill, HB 2655, once the amendments were withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the Senate is set to consider an anti-gay marriage amendment Wednesday. As we reported Tuesday, the amendment is an effort to revive Rep. Cecil Bell's House Bill 4105, which aimed to undermine a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The amendment was added to another bill by a socially conservative Democrat, Sen. Eddie Lucio (below right), in the dark of night. However, even if it passes the Senate, the amendment doesn't appear to have much chance of making it back through the House before the session ends Monday. The House author of the bill is Democratic Rep. Garnet Coleman, a staunch LGBT ally.  

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d11aa95e970c-800wiFrom The Houston Chronicle

If the bill passes in the GOP-dominated Senate, which Coleman expects it to, it would need to return to the House, where the lower chamber's members would have to concur with the changes. Coleman said if he can't strip the anti-gay marriage off his legislation, then he would withdraw it completely.

"If I can't get it off, then the bill goes to bill heaven," Coleman said. "I don't support that legislation or that language." ... 

Lucio, a strong Catholic and social conservative, said Bell asked him to attach the language to the bill. Wednesday is the last day for the Senate to consider local and consent bills.

Equality Texas is urging people to call senators and ask them to vote against Lucio's amendment. 

The Senate convenes at 10:30 a.m. You can watch the proceedings live here

Texas House To Consider Horrific Anti-LGBT Adoption Amendment


The Texas House of Representatives is expected to consider a proposal Tuesday that would give state-funded, faith-based child welfare agencies a license to discriminate against LGBT people. 

GOP Rep. Scott Sanford (shown above with Sen. Ted Cruz) says his amendment is designed to protect adoption agencies like Catholic Charities, which has chosen to shut down rather than comply with nondiscrimination laws requiring them to serve same-sex couples in other states. 

Sanford's so-called "religious freedom" measure began as a bill, but died before a House deadline two weeks ago. Then, he introduced it as an amendment last week, but Democrats used a procedural tactic to block its consideration. Now, it's back for a third time as an amendment to Senate Bill 206, which is on Tuesday's House calendar. 

Of course, it's already legal for adoption agencies to turn away gay couples in Texas, which has no statewide LGBT protections. Major national child welfare groups have come out against Sanford's proposal, which would also run counter to proposed federal legislation, the "Every Child Deserves A Family Act." 

Dan Quinn, a spokesman for the pro-LGBT Texas Freedom Network, said of Sanford's amendment in an email:  

"Rep. Sanford's divisive and disgraceful political agenda has held hostage important legislation reauthorizing a state agency that helps abused and neglected children. He has repeatedly threatened to attach an amendment that would promote discrimination against LGBT families in matters involving foster care, adoption and child welfare placement services. Texas doesn't have enough foster homes, so why turn away qualified and loving families? And Sanford’s amendment is so broad that it would authorize child welfare agencies to discriminate against any family that doesn’t meet the organization’s religious or moral criteria — like interfaith couples or people who belong to a religion that’s different than a particular agency’s. It’s callous and shameful to put politics and discrimination ahead of the interests of vulnerable children."

More from Equality Texas, which is calling on people to contact House members and ask them to oppose the amendment:  

"If enacted into law, the Sanford Amendment would allow child welfare providers to discriminate against not just gay and transgender families, but also against people of other faiths, interfaith couples and anyone else to whom a provider objects for religious reasons.

"The only consideration of a child welfare agency should be the best interest of the child – not proselytizing for a single, narrow religious interpretation."

TxValuesNot surprisingly, the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values is supporting the amendment, and has created an infographic (right) suggesting that it would somehow help a 5-year-old whose parents were killed in a fire find a home:   

"In Texas, a large portion of our welfare providers, foster homes and adoption agencies are faith-based organizations. In other states, overbearing governments have essentially forced some faith-based organizations to close or stop services due to the organizations’ stance on Biblical marriage. This amendment would help ensure this does not happen in Texas."

The Texas House convenes at 10 a.m. Central time and likely will go until midnight because it's the last day for the chamber to consider contested bills from the Senate. With less than a week remaining in the legislative session, only one of the 20-plus anti-LGBT proposals introduced in Texas this year has passed. But Equality Texas ultimately withdrew its opposition to that bill, the so-called Pastor Protection Act, and two openly LGBT state representatives voted for it.  

Watch the House proceedings live here

Texas Church Reverses Course After Relegating Gay Couple To Side Chapel For Son's Ceremony: VIDEO


Earlier this month, we told you how a church in Florida had agreed to allow a gay couple's child to be baptized after initially turning them away, igniting a weeklong national firestorm.

Apparently, a church in Austin, Texas wanted to avoid a similar controversy.

Rich Jones and Adrian Mertz have both attended Shoreline Church since before they were married last year. They've continued to attend with their 4-year-old adopted son, Santino, and say they've been welcomed. 

But when Jones and Mertz requested to hold a dedication ceremony for Santino at the church, they were told it would have to be in a side chapel rather than the main sanctuary. The topic of homosexuality was too sensitive, church officials said, and the congregation wasn't ready to deal with it. 

However, after a reporter from a local TV station contacted the church about turning away Jones and Mertz, officials quickly changed their mind. 


The congregation issued this statement:

"We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused the Mertz family regarding the dedication of their child to God. We understand how our attempt to make a reasonable accommodation was misguided and hurtful. It is our intent to uphold human dignity, and in this regard we have failed. We are reaching out to the family to invite them to our next baby dedication."

Mertz and Jones were beside themselves with joy upon receiving the news. ... 

"Honestly I am just so happy and glad that we stepped out on faith. We've come to realize in order to expect change, you have to be part of the change and this just shed light on what Shoreline is really all about," said Mertz.

Santino's dedication is now set for June in the main chapel with all the other children. 

Watch KVUE-TV's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Texas Church Reverses Course After Relegating Gay Couple To Side Chapel For Son's Ceremony: VIDEO" »

Texas Republican Comes Out For Gay Marriage As State House Passes 'Pastor Protection Act'


The first Republican Texas lawmaker in history has come out in support of same-sex marriage. 

GOP Rep. Sarah Davis, who represents a Houston-area district and had previously expressed support for civil unions, came out for marriage equality in an interview Thursday about her decision not to sign a hateful anti-gay letter issued by the House Republican Caucus last week.  

The Texas Observer reports: 

“I just don’t agree with the sentiment of the letter,” Davis told the Observer. “I don’t feel the need to pass legislation or vote for legislation that prohibits two adults who love each other to be able to be joined in a civil union or marriage. It does not affect my marriage.” ... 

Davis noted that she’s received endorsements from two LGBT groups, Log Cabin Republicans and Equality Texas. She was the first Republican to receive Equality Texas’ endorsement, a decision that drew criticism from some LGBT advocates, in part because she hadn’t come out for same-sex marriage.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to vote, but I’ve spoken about the issue,” Davis said. “In situations where I’ve been asked, I’ve always stated my position, so I don’t think this is new ground that I’ve just staked out.”

Meanwhile, the Texas House on Thursday approved the so-called "Pastor Protection Act" in a 141-2 vote. The state's two openly LGBT lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, including Democratic Rep. Celia Israel, who said on the House floor: 

Israel.Celia"Let me reassure those pastors out there: Some fine day, my partner and I are going to get married in the great state of Texas. The Supreme Court will hopefully take care of that issue for us. When that day comes, rest assured to those pastors and preachers who take a more literal interpretation of the Bible, that my partner and I will not be going to them to bless our unions. I will be going to someone who loves us and respects us for who we are and the way in which we have taken care of one another. So if we see this issue as a reiteration of what is in the United States Constitution, which is a respect for religion, this Roman Catholic urges you to vote yes." 

The anti-LGBT Texas Pastor Council issued a hateful statement celebrating passage of the Pastor Protection Act:  

Screen shot 2015-05-21 at 4.32.59 PM"This bill is a small step of protection in a much larger war against religious freedom raging across America and well underway in Texas," said Dave Welch, President of Texas Pastor Council Action, an ethnically and denominationally diverse coalition involving pastors in all major cities in Texas. "We are very pleased that SB 2065 survived efforts to weaken its scope that does nothing more than puts in Texas law protections for pastors to do what we have been doing since the birth of this nation - exercise our faith in obedience to God and with the support of our Constitution and laws."

Welch said they plan to revisit other bills that died during the session, particularly if the U.S. Supreme Court "goes rogue" and overturns Article 1, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution defining marriage as a union only of one man and one woman. "We will not yield on inch of the rights given us by God, the freedoms purchased by the blood of patriots and part of our national DNA to those attempting to recreate our moral laws, culture and laws according to those with a deviant sexual lifestyle or gender confused." 


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