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Houston Mayor Annise Parker Withdraws Subpoenas of Anti-gay Pastors

Following right-wing outrage, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced yesterday that the city would be withdrawing its subpoenas sent to five local pastors for "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession."

ParkerThe Houston Chronicle reports:

Parker said she was persuaded, in part, by the demeanor of the clergymen she met with Tuesday, saying they were concerned not about the ordinance or politics but about the subpoenas' impact on the ongoing national discussion of religious freedoms.

"That was the most persuasive argument, because to me it was, 'What is the goal of the subpoenas?' The goal of the subpoenas is to defend against a lawsuit and not to provoke a public debate," Parker said. "I don't want to have a national debate about freedom of religion when my whole purpose is to defend a strong and wonderful and appropriate city ordinance against local attack."

Anti-gay conservatives, meanwhile, are rejoicing.

Said Erik Stanley, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom:

“The mayor really had no choice but to withdraw these subpoenas, which should never have been served in the first place. The entire nation--voices from every point of the spectrum left to right--recognize the city's action as a gross abuse of power. We are gratified that the First Amendment rights of the pastors have triumphed over government overreach and intimidation. The First Amendment protects the right of pastors to be free from government intimidation and coercion of this sort."

PerkinsAdded FRC President Tony Perkins:

“Standing together across the nation, Christians have sent a strong message to Mayor Parker. While we are encouraged by this evidence that the Mayor is responding to pressure and withdrawing her unconstitutional subpoenas, this is about far more than subpoenas. As we have stated since the beginning of this intrusion into the private affairs of Houston churches; this is not about subpoenas, this is not about sermons, it is not even about biblical teaching on sexual immorality, it is about political intimidation and the bullying by Mayor Parker that continues.

Sunday's anti-gay extravaganza against Mayor Parker and her "radical agenda" is still expected to take place. 


Anti-gay Forces Unite to Oppose Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the 'Radical Agenda' of LGBT Equality: VIDEO

Houston

The right-wing freak out over subpoenas sent to Houston area pastors for "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession" is set to continue via live telecast next Sunday as anti-gay leaders and organizations from across the country join together to "stand with these pastors and stand against the radical agenda sweeping our nation."

Those participating in "I Stand Sunday" include would-be HGTV stars David and Jason Benham, Mike Huckabee, hate leader Tony Perkins, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, Rick Scarborough, Fox News' Todd Starnes, Christian litigation group Alliance Defending Freedom, National Organization for Marriage, and others. 

Watch a promo for the anti-gay extravaganza, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-gay Forces Unite to Oppose Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the 'Radical Agenda' of LGBT Equality: VIDEO" »


Rick Santorum: Young People Support LGBT Rights Because the Gay Community Has 'Silenced the Church' - VIDEO

Santorum

Former senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said the only reason young people support gay rights is because they have never heard any arguments to the contrary, reports Right Wing Watch.

Speaking yesterday during an interview with Tony Perkins, president of listed hate group Family Research Council, Santorum said that the anti-gay lobby is losing in the battle for LGBT rights because “[LGBT activists] have effectively silenced the church on a lot of those issues and young people don’t even know what the opposing view is on these issues.”

PerkinsOn the issue of pastors in Houston suing the city for rejecting their petitions to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance, Santorum said:

“I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is.

“One is going to battle the other and I can tell you that the statists, these secular statists, do not want the competition that comes from the church and so they are going to do everything they can to marginalize them, to force them out of the public square to be quiet.

“They’re going to use, as they have, the Johnson amendment, try to use the IRS and the tax code to do so, they’re going to use every lever of power the government has to keep this competition of ideas silent so they can win the argument.”

Listen to the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last year, Santorum claimed that same-sex marriage would "discourage" straight couples from marrying.

Continue reading "Rick Santorum: Young People Support LGBT Rights Because the Gay Community Has 'Silenced the Church' - VIDEO" »


Ted Olson and Tony Perkins Face Off Over SCOTUS and Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Olson_perkins

AFER lawyer Ted Olson and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins exchanged sharp words on FOX News Sunday in a panel covering this week's Supreme Court reverberations on marriage equality.

Perkins, the leader of a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, brought his usual "natural marriage" nonsense and related arguments which Olson too politely called a "canard".

Said Perkins: "You still have two circuits that have decisions coming up that look favorable toward natural marriage. I think the effect here is what you need to look at. I think the effect here is that the court did a back-alley type Roe V Wade judicial decision that let the lower courts do their evil bidding...The court has lit the fuse to a powder keg culturally that is going to have ramifications for years to come in this nation.”

Replied Olson: "We have a Constitution and a Bill Of Rights precisely because we want protections from majority rule. When the majority in a legislature or a popular vote take away rights of individuals that are protected by the Bill Of Rights, then we have an independent judiciary to rectify that situation. It's happened again and again and again throughout this country's history...There’s no heterosexual couple that is going to decide to get a divorce or not get married or not raise children just because another couple next to them is treated equally and with respect."

Watch it all go down, AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t jmg)

Continue reading "Ted Olson and Tony Perkins Face Off Over SCOTUS and Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


Stephen Colbert Highlights the Values Voter Summit and Bobby Jindal's Return to the 'Stupid Party' - VIDEO

Colbert

On a recent segment on his show, Stephen Colbert looked back on the "four day orgy of people fundamentally opposed to orgies" known as the Values Voter Summit. The anti-gay extravaganza, which took place in D.C. this past weekend, featured such notable opponents of equality as Michele Bachmann, Tony Perkins, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and many others. 

Colbert also announced during the segment that he would be throwing his support behind Louisiana Governor (and VVS attendee) Bobby Jindal for president - who despite a post-2012 election call for the GOP to "stop being the "stupid party," is now firmly back on the side of right-wing nuttery. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And if you missed our exclusive report by People for the American Way about the Republican Party's dubious "rebranding" while still maintaining a cozy relationship with the hate group-backed Values Voter Summit, check that out HERE.

Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Highlights the Values Voter Summit and Bobby Jindal's Return to the 'Stupid Party' - VIDEO" »


The Virulently Anti-gay, GOP-packed Values Voter Summit Has Begun: WATCH

Perkins2

Family Research Council's annual Values Voter Summit kicks off in Washington D.C. today and, as always, features a who's who of anti-gay activists, politicians, and media personalities devoting their time and effort towards denying LGBT individuals equal rights.

Confirmed speakers for the 3-day extravaganza include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Gary Bauer, Glenn Beck, Jason & David Benahm, Gen. William Boykin, Rep. Jim Bridenstien (R-OK), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R-TX), TLC's Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar, Erick Erickson, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Mike Huckabee, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Tony Perkins, Sandy Rios, Rick Santorum, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Todd Starnes, Mat Staver, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), and many more. 

SummitThe hate summit is being live-streamed online. You can catch the video feed, AFTER THE JUMP...

And if you missed our exclusive report by People for the American Way's Drew Courtney about the Republican Party's cozy relationship with the hate group-backed summit, check that out HERE. The report details  how the GOP, despite signaling it would "rebrand" after the 2012 election, continues to align itself with extremist fringe groups that "actively seek to put LGBT people back in the closet, quash access to legal abortion, and restrict the free exercise rights of non-Christian religious minorities."

Continue reading "The Virulently Anti-gay, GOP-packed Values Voter Summit Has Begun: WATCH" »


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