Gay Rights Hub




Log Cabin Republicans Accused Of 'Bullying,' 'Shaming' Their Way Into Western Conservative Summit

WCS

Earlier this week, we reported that the Log Cabin Republicans had been denied a booth at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this summer.  

After a media firestorm, the Colorado GOP has attempted to quell the controversy by inviting Log Cabin to share its booth at the event — a major conservative conference put on by Colorado Christian University and its Centennial Institute think tank. 

Not surprisingly, rather than apologizing for their bigotry and stupidity, organizers of the summit have responded by trying to play the victim. From The Denver Post

Party Chairman Steve House, who took over in March, made the announcement Thursday afternoon, one day after a firestorm over the snub by summit organizers to the Log Cabin Republicans.

"We're fine with the Colorado Republicans sharing some table space at the summit with all their affiliated groups. We're not fine with the shaming and bullying pressure tactics of Log Cabin Republicans' national office," said summit chairman John Andrews.

I was unable to find any specific examples of bullying or shaming by Log Cabin Republicans National. I did find a long thread of comments in support of LCR on the summit's Facebook page, as well as a few tweets like these: 

The bottom line appears to be that the Colorado GOP — along with many rank-and-file Republicans — has come to realize that alienating LGBT people and their allies is no longer in the party's best interest. But the religious right wing of the party, as well as most of its presidential candidates, have not. Of course, they're still willing to take Log Cabin's votes and money: 

"I hope the state party's sensible approach gives the local Log Cabin folks more reason to sign up" as delegates to the summit," Andrews said.

"We want to be fair to them if they'll be fair to us."

And by being "fair to us," Andrews presumably means not trying to stop them from bullying and shaming LGBT people. 


Houston, We Have A HERO: Judge Throws Out Petition To Repeal LGBT Protections

HERO

Anti-LGBT discrimination is now illegal in the nation's fourth-largest city, after a judge ruled Friday that a petition to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) doesn't have enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. 

Mayor Annise Parker suspended implementation of the ordinance — passed by the City Council last May — after anti-LGBT groups filed a lawsuit over the city's decision to reject their repeal petition. 

In February, a jury found the petition contained widespread forgery, and on Friday, after two months of deliberations, Judge Robert Schaffer upheld the city's decision. The Houston Chronicle reports: 

Ultimately, Schaffer on Friday ruled the final count of valid signatures was 16,684, leaving opponents short of the threshold required in the city charter of 17,249 signatures, or 10 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election.

"The jury's verdict and the judge's ruling are a powerful smack-down against the forces of discrimination and intolerance," said Geoffrey Harrison, lead attorney for the city, in a statement. "And maybe, just maybe, they'll reconsider their misguided ways."

The law, on hold during trial, is now in effect, according to a city spokeswoman. Mayor Annise Parker released a statement celebrating the verdict.

"I would hope that the plaintiffs would not appeal, they lost during a jury trial and today they also lost with the judge's ruling," Parker said. "Now all Houstonians have access to the same protections."

Parker also tweeted:

Opponents of the ordinance say they plan to appeal Schaffer's decision. The anti-LGBT Texas Pastor Council said in a release responding to the ruling:  

Schaffer’s ruling that the coalition fell 585 signatures short was a result of Judge Schaffer, who was supported in his election by the LGBT community, unfortunately accepting the constantly changing manipulations of the law by the City’s “legal machine” and Mayor’s team, said the coalition.  “We will not yield the safety and welfare, the voting rights and Constitutional freedoms of the citizens that have been stolen by the corrupt Parker regime.  The law and the appellate courts in Texas are very strong in preserving voting rights so are confident we will prevail,” they continued.  “The fact that the city’s own numbers of how many valid signatures we had submitted materially changed nearly a dozen times since August illustrates how desperate they are to keep this off the ballot.”

A coalition of LGBT groups supporting the ordinance issued the following statements:

"As a pastor and native Houstonian, I believe religious liberty is important, and just as important is the spiritual value of love. We are to love our God, and love our neighbor, NOT discriminate against our neighbor. The city has an obligation to protect the rights of all Houstonians to be free from discrimination and to be free to practice one’s religion. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance does both." Reverend Michael Diaz, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church. 

"Today, the City of Houston and our legal system have upheld the long-established process laid out in our City Charter. The Houston GLBT Political Caucus urges the City of Houston to immediately implement the legally passed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in order to prevent discrimination from occurring in our great city. Houston is a city where people are judged by how hard they work, the content of their character and not by who they happen to love." Maverick Welsh, President, Houston GLBT Political Caucus. 

"The time has come to put court battles in the past and begin protecting the citizens of Houston from all forms of discrimination. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which was supported by a broad coalition of businesses, faith leaders and many others, should be implemented immediately." Human Rights Campaign, National Field Director Marty Rouse. 

"The ACLU of Texas is proud to call Houston home, and we look forward to the day HERO is fully implemented because every resident of this great city deserves to be protected from unfair discrimination, whether on the basis of sexual orientation, race, gender, or religion.” Terri Burke, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. 

"The political activists who want to repeal this common sense ordinance reject the basic values we all share about equality and nondiscrimination. They have even argued for the right to discriminate against anyone, including LGBT people and religious minorities. That alone shows why it’s so important for the city to finally enforce these basic protections for everyone." Kathy Miller, Texas Freedom Network President. 

“The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance protects all Houstonians and with the favorable outcome of this trial, the City of Houston is now in the position to increase protections against discrimination for its residents. As members of a community that face ongoing discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, we welcome a local mechanism to protect all Houstonians from facing further discrimination based on their identities.” Brandon Mack, Co-Chair, Houston Civil Rights Strategy Group. 

Read the judge's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Houston, We Have A HERO: Judge Throws Out Petition To Repeal LGBT Protections" »


Texas GOP Lawmaker Wants To Ensure Taxpayer-Funded Adoption Agencies Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Sanford

Rep. Scott Sanford (above) has introduced a measure — similar to a proposal in Florida — that would allow child welfare providers to discriminate based on "sincerely held religious beliefs." 

The Texas Observer reports: 

On Wednesday, Sanford told a House committee that in some states where same-sex marriage is legal, organizations such as Catholic Charities have shut down rather than comply with laws barring discrimination against gay couples.

“Faith-based organizations have played a vital role in serving our nation’s orphaned and needy children since America’s founding, and this legislation protects their operations,” Sanford said. “States without these protective measures have had organizations cease to operate, placing more demand on government.”

HB 3864, which Sanford is calling the “Hope for Orphans and Minors Expansion Act,” or HOME, would prohibit the state from taking “adverse action” against child welfare providers that receive taxpayer dollars and act based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It would also protect the rights of state-funded agencies to provide religious education to children and to deny them access to abortions or birth control.

Opponents of the bill say it would also allow discrimination against LGBT youth in foster care. For example, a faith-based agency could force them into reparative therapy.  

Ken-paxton_2_jpg_131x197_crop_q100A representative from the office of Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) testified in support of the bill, saying that like bans on cell phone use while driving, nondiscrimination laws are an example of government overreach. One tea party lawmaker on the committee — Rep. Debbie Riddle — called the bill "fabulous" and repeatedly told supportive witnesses from Christian groups they were "doing the Lord's work." 

Meanwhile, in Florida, a similar proposal that died in the Senate last week has been resurrected and will be voted on Monday, according to Equality Florida.

The Human Rights Campaign and five leading national child welfare organizations issued a joint statement Thursday opposing the anti-LGBT adoption measures in Florida, Texas and other states. From HRC's release:  

Organizations that signed the statement, in addition to HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association. ... 

“We, as organizations dedicated to serving the best interests and well-being of children and youth, are deeply concerned about the spate of anti-LGBT bills that have been introduced in state legislatures around the country this year,” the statement says, “including measures that would allow discrimination in adoption and foster care, criminalize transgender people who attempt to use restrooms, and, under the guise of religious liberty, give service providers the power to deny child welfare services to the very people who need our care the most.”

Finally, in related news, a Texas Democrat delivered impassioned remarks on the House floor this week in support of a separate proposal to allow same-sex parents to have both names on the birth certificates of adopted children.

Watch state Rep. Rafael Anchia's speech, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Texas GOP Lawmaker Wants To Ensure Taxpayer-Funded Adoption Agencies Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples" »


McKinney, Texas Gay Man's Front Door Vandalized With Homophobic Slur, Image: VIDEO

Fag

Shown above is the front door of Eric Arthur, a McKinney, Texas, resident who — as you can see — was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime this week. 

Arthur, who's openly gay and has lived in McKinney — a conservative distant suburb of Dallas — for the last five years, says he hasn't had any problems until now.

ArthurPolice believe it was an isolated incident, and there have been no arrests. WFAA-TV reports: 

On Tuesday morning a neighbor alerted him to something on his front door.

"Open the door and immediately feel my stomach in my chest," Arthur said. ...

"[I'm] vulnerable, scared, confused… I think every emotion I could possibly feel at the time, it was happening," Arthur said.

Arthur's neighbor, who has a gay son, told WFAA: "That is just totally uncalled for… for something so idiotic to take place."

According to WFAA, the hate crime was one of several incidents of vandalism in the neighborhood of late, including "trampled garden lighting, sprinklers, and smashed potted plants in the front yard."

"If they feel it's OK to do that to your property, what's keeping them from taking it a step further?" Arthur said.  

In all likelihood this is the work of a mischievous teen. But based on the perpetrator's apparent fascination with male genitalia, we'd suggest their issues may run deeper than prejudice. 

Watch WFAA-TV's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...(warning:autoplay)

Continue reading "McKinney, Texas Gay Man's Front Door Vandalized With Homophobic Slur, Image: VIDEO" »


Michigan Car Repair Shop Owner 'Would Not Hesitate to Refuse Service to an Openly Gay Person' - VIDEO

Klawiter

Brian Klawiter has apparently had "enough" of liberals, gays, union workers, and anyone who isn't a gun-toting, red-blooded, conservative American.

Klawiter, owner of the diesel repair shop Dieseltec in Grandville, Michigan, posted the following rant on Facebook earlier this week that is quickly on its way to becoming infamous:

Enough is enough.

Our rights as conservative Americans are being squashed more and more everyday. Apparently if you are white (or close to it), you have a job, go to church, and own a gun... That translates into racists, privileged, bigot, conspiracy theorist. Too many of us say nothing. Well, freedom of speech isn't just for Liberals, THEY are the ones that need to learn to "co-exist", THEY are the ones who need to WORK to be "equal"

Therefore, in the spirit of freedom (whats left of it) and MY right to operate MY business as I see fit:

Guns ARE allowed at DIESELTEC, so much so in fact that we will offer a discount if you bring in your gun. ("On duty" cops are excluded because thats not their gun, thats my gun bought with my money, off duty absolutely!)

I am a Christian. My company will be run in a way that reflects that. Dishonesty, thievery, immoral behavior, etc. will not be welcomed at MY place of business. (I would not hesitate to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons. Homosexuality is wrong, period. If you want to argue this fact with me then I will put your vehicle together with all bolts and no nuts and you can see how that works.)

We, as a team, work hard for whats ours. We are not protected by unions or contracts. We absolutely MUST provide our customers with a service level that would make them come back or tell their friends about us. We don't have a "right", and we are not "entitled" to our pay. We must EARN it.

I am not racists, you are for assuming I am, however, I am really quick to judge... if it acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

It IS a free country and I support your right to your opinion, that being said, if you don't like what I have to say I reserve that same right to tell you to go cry to your momma (cause your daddy would probably smack ya', better yet, yes, go tell your dad.)

Speaking with West Michigan's Fox 17, Klawiter elaborated on why he decided to post the pro-discrimination message:

"I made my bed I need to sleep in it. I did choose homosexuality as an example when I spoke about immoral behavior, but that's definitely become the hot button issue...I operate my life on Christian values and for me to not take that into my business I think would be hypocritical."

Klawiter added that "until there's any laws passed otherwise," he will continue to pick and choose who he does business with. Dieseltec's Facebook page can be found here

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michigan Car Repair Shop Owner 'Would Not Hesitate to Refuse Service to an Openly Gay Person' - VIDEO" »


Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Site Will Send Your Gay Wedding Date To SCOTUS Ahead Of Marriage Ruling: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 12.48.59 PM

Jesse Tyler Ferguson's tietheknot.org is allowing users to create custom wedding invitations and then sends their invitations to every member of the Supreme Court.

As the Supreme Court decides on gay marriage over the next couple of months, the site aims to show the justices just how much their decision on the matter affects real lives by sending every single invitation they receive to every justice including Ruth Bader Ginsberg herself.

The card builder isn't running yet, but users can submit their email and the site will notify them later when it's up and running.

Watch the cute ad for the site, aiming to make a statement before the big decision in June, AFTER THE JUMP

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 12.48.03 PM

Continue reading "Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Site Will Send Your Gay Wedding Date To SCOTUS Ahead Of Marriage Ruling: VIDEO" »


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