04/18/2015

Colorado School Board Member Posts Anti-LGBT Hate Group Letter Calling Day of Silence 'Perverse Indoctrination'

Dayofsilence

Yesterday marked the national "Day of Silence," a day where middle and high school students across the country helped raise awareness about anti-LGBT bullying by remaining silent in school. Yesterday also marked the day a Colorado school board member attempted to do damage control after it was revealed she had posted a link on Facebook from a hate group encouraging a "walk out" on April 17 to counter-protest the anti-bullying day.

Chalkbeat Colorado reports:

WilliamsJefferson County school board member Julie Williams said late Friday that she was “sincerely sorry” and that she would remove a link on her personal Facebook page that she shared that encouraged families to keep their students home Friday and “away from perverse indoctrination” of the“homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.”

“To be honest with you, I didn’t read the article,” Williams said.  “I just saw it and thought I was sharing information with parents.”

The link, like most on Williams’ wall, was posted without comment. It directs Facebook users to a newsletter published by SaveCalifornia.com, but neither overtly endorses nor condemns the group and its message.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists SaveCalifornia.com as an active, anti-LGBT hate group.

From the linked newsletter:

The Day of Silence postures every person who identifies as a homosexual or cross-dresser as a victim of ongoing, unrelenting harassment and discrimination (being 'silenced'). While some incidents like this do occur, this event is an overwhelming exaggeration in an effort to manipulate our kids' natural sympathies. The result ironically is that youth develop favorable views about a controversial, high risk behavior. [...]

In reality, the Day of Silence is a one-sided campaign to manipulate acceptance of homosexuality by every student. Nationwide, parents are fed up with the political hijacking of their kids' classrooms. What makes it even more problematic is that the results of 'tolerating' this lifestyle without objection can be tragic for many young people. The risks of homosexual behavior are well-understood by public health officials, but are being ignored by some politically correct school administrations.

In an interview with Chalkbeat, Williams said she does not support the statements in the newsletter and said she believes in "choice" regarding "who you are and want to be and what you want to do."

Superintendent Dan McMinimee said Williams' Facebook page doesn't represent the position of Jeffco Public Schools and that the district "always strives to foster an environment that encourages students to feel safe, to learn, and to thrive, we respect students’ rights to participate in Day of Silence."

Posted Apr. 18,2015 at 9:00 AM EST by in Colorado, News | Permalink | Comments (10)


Conan Shows Us What Hillary Clinton Has Been Up To on Her First Week of the 2016 Campaign Trail: VIDEO

Clinton1

Turns out stopping by Chipotle unnoticed was only the beginning.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Conan Shows Us What Hillary Clinton Has Been Up To on Her First Week of the 2016 Campaign Trail: VIDEO"

Posted Apr. 18,2015 at 8:00 AM EST by in 2016 Election, Conan O'Brien, Hillary Clinton, News | Permalink | Comments (1)


04/17/2015

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"

Posted Apr. 17,2015 at 7:54 PM EST by in Gay Rights, Houston, LGBT Rights, Texas, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (6)


Bryan Fischer and Mike Huckabee Fantasize About The Military's Good Ol' DADT Days: VIDEO

Fischer_huckabee

Low troop morale? Blame Obama and the gays. Christians leaving the military? Blame Obama and the gays. At least, that's your train of thought if your founts of wisdom come in the forms of former AFA spokeshater Bryan Fischer and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Right Wing Watch reports Huckabee, who today revealed he will announce his presidential plans in Hope, Arkansas on May 5, said in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday that the Obama administration has “an open hostility toward the Christian faith,” and urged prospective military recruits to wait until the end of President Obama’s term to enlist.

He continued:

"When you have a president whose administration orders its chaplains to put its Bibles away, not to pray in Jesus name, not to counsel people on the issues of sexual morality; when you have this attitude that is more about promoting gay marriage and gay rights in the military than it is about being able to protect religious liberty for those people of faith, it’s going to be hard to find people that are truly devoted people of faith and Christian believers and Orthodox Jews and others.”

Fisher, meanwhile, made the baseless claim that reports of the military's low morale can be directly linked to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Said Fischer:

"The reason the morale is low in the military is because it's become a giant, social engineering laboratory and values that are absolutely contrary to the military ethos, to the military culture, are being forced on members of the military - crammed down their throats whether they like it or not." 

Hear the two wax nostalgically about a time when military men and women were forced to live a lie to serve our country, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Bryan Fischer and Mike Huckabee Fantasize About The Military's Good Ol' DADT Days: VIDEO"

Posted Apr. 17,2015 at 7:00 PM EST by in Bryan Fischer, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Mike Huckabee, Military, News | Permalink | Comments (14)


Former Texas GOP Chair: Gay Marriage Could Mean 'End Of America' If State Doesn't Act Before April 28

Adams

With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage later this month, anti-gay activists in Texas are becoming increasingly desperate. 

Last week, we told you how Dr. Steve Hotze, president of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, compared gays to murderers and marriage equality to the Holocaust during a hearing on a bill that would prohibit state funds from being used to issue same-sex marriage licenses. 

Tx2Now, former Texas GOP Chair Cathie Adams (shown above with Sen. Ted Cruz) — who is only slightly more bigoted than the current Republican Party chair — says if Texas doesn't do something to stop same-sex marriage before the high court hears arguments April 28, it could be "the end of America." 

Adams, who now heads the anti-gay Texas Eagle Forum, made the remarks during a speech on Islam this week to a Republican women's group, according to Right Wing Watch:  

She said that while she admired Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s defiance of the federal courts on marriage equality, “Alabama is Alabama.”

“Texas holds a whole lot more power and a whole lot more authority,” she said, “and if we don’t come out and do something before April 28, this could be the end of America.”

“If we don’t get this done by April 28, I don’t know that we’re going to be able to hold back what is happening,” she said. “And folks, if you are a believer, you understand what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. You understand. And we are on the threshold. “

“I mean, young people in schools, elementary all the way through universities, are being lied to that these people are ‘born this way,’” she continued. “No, they’re not. I’ve met friends who have come out of that lifestyle, I’ve met men who are willing and ready and begging for a bill to come up in the Texas legislature that they can testify in support of in order to defend the right of parents and defend the right of those individuals who choose to seek a way out of sexual perversion.”  

Last year, Adams helped add a plank to the state GOP platform endorsing so-called "ex-gay" therapy. LGBT advocates anticipated a bill mirroring the platform language in the current session, but apparently GOP lawmakers realized they had already done enough damage. Instead, a bill was filed to ban the discredited practice.  

Meanwhile, Adams and other anti-gay activists are calling on the Legislature to pass legislation seeking to exempt Texas from a high court ruling in favor of marriage equality. In recent days, with time running down in the session, anti-LGBT groups have issued action alerts calling on lawmakers to advance the bills. Apparently, they are intent on making Texas the next Indiana and haven't bothered to talk to these folks.

Watch video of Adams' remarks, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Former Texas GOP Chair: Gay Marriage Could Mean 'End Of America' If State Doesn't Act Before April 28"

Posted Apr. 17,2015 at 6:33 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Republican Party, Texas | Permalink | Comments (19)


Suspect In Nebraska Gay Pride Flag Arson Case Heads To Trial: VIDEO

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A Nebraska man arrested on suspicion of taking his neighbor’s pride flag off their front porch and burning it is officially headed to trial reports wowt.com. Cameron Mayfield attended a preliminary hearing with his defense attorney, James Martin Davis, in a Douglas County court room Wednesday morning. 

Davis asked that his client’s felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor charge, arguing Mayfield didn’t know the couple is gay and doesn’t know that rainbow flags symbolize the gay community. The prosecution objected, arguing that the rainbow flag has symbolized the gay community for more than 40 years; the judge rejected Davis’ request, noting that a hearing is to establish probable cause to a crime, not to ascertain guilt or innocence.

Mayfield now faces a felony arson charge and hate crime and is headed to trial at a later date. Omaha Police Department Burglary Detective Chad Simmons noted in his testimony that the Mayfield family had a sign posted in their yard that read "Protect Traditional Marriage" six months before the crime occurred.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.15.43 PMThe couple, Ariann Anderson and Jessica Meadows, filed a Harassment Protection Order against Mayfield after the incident; the court granted their request. The couple filed the order after police detectives informed the couple that Mayfield was making "delusional claims about stalking." At the time of the incident Mayfield's father told detectives that his son had recently lost his job and was drinking leading up to the incident. The couple has since replaced the flag and announced that they plan to marry again in their home state after a federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

After the hearing, Mayfield issued an apology on-air to the couple saying that it was a prank and that he doesn't "hate anybody or anything." The couple feels quite differently.

Said Ariann Anderson:

"Regarding Mr. Mayfield's comments: a prank is defined as a 'trick of an amusing or playful nature.' Mr. Mayfield's actions were neither amusing or playful. The events that night were frightening, especially considering that we have small children at home."

Watch Mayfield's on-air apology, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Suspect In Nebraska Gay Pride Flag Arson Case Heads To Trial: VIDEO"

Posted Apr. 17,2015 at 6:11 PM EST by in Arson, Gay Marriage, Gay Pride, Gay Stories, Hate Crime, Nebraska, Omaha, towleroad | Permalink | Comments (8)


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