LGBTQ Rights

 

The freedom to marry became the law of the land, even here in Texas, in June of 2015. But the fight for equality didn’t end there. Texas remains a state where LGBTQ individuals can be fired from their job, denied a place to live or refused service at a business simply because of who they are or whom they love.  Far-right activists and politicians continue to work to preserve the right to discriminate and roll back gains made by the LGBTQ community at the local level.

Resources

Texans Equal Under Law

How Did the Tea Party/Religious Right Lose So Badly on LGBT Discrimination in the Texas Legislature? http://bit.ly/1Nq22Sj

New Poll Shows Long List of Proposed Texas Bills Promoting Anti-LGBT Discrimination Contradicts What Voters Want

Texas clearly doesn’t have a monopoly on right-wing nonsense. A group of Oklahoma lawmakers is issuing a proclamation that blames gays, abortion supporters and a host of other demons for the nation’s current economic crisis. Really.

You can check out the proclamation on the Web site of Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern. Kern has made news in the past for — among other things — claiming that homosexuality is a greater threat to national security than terrorism.

The proclamation claims that the nation’s current economic troubles “are consequences of our greater national moral crisis”:

“(T)his nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery . . .”

Then it lays the blame for this moral crisis at the feet of the President Obama for, in part, refusing to participate in a public National Day of Prayer ceremony and for honoring Gay Pride Month (disregarding, the proclamation says, “the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior.”)

The proclamation calls for Christian renewal for the nation and a return to living by biblical principles.… Read More

The US Pastor Council/Texas Pastor Council, which lately has been wading into the waters of electoral politics in Texas, again demonstrates that gay-bashing is one of the religious right’s prominent political weapons. This weekend the Houston-based group sent out a press release attacking Houston city officials for participating in a gay pride event. The group claims that official participation in the event put “the stamp of approval on pedophilia and myriad other sexual disorders.”

The Pastor Council’s grand pooh-bah, Dave Welch, thundered thusly:

“This event promotes and glorifies sexual deviancy that most people find immoral as well as destructive to family and marriage. . . . We will be initiating an open records request to see if one dime of taxpayers’ money was used.  We will also certainly communicate to our congregants which of those elected to serve the people chose instead to bow to a narrow and morally depraved special interest group.”

The Pastor Council, which also attacked various corporate sponsors of the event, hasn’t been very subtle about its support for Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s re-election bid next year. And of course, Gov. Perry has scored fairly high in the pastRead More

Our friends at Soulforce and Atticus Circle have launched an innovative — and much-needed — project to foster thoughtful discussion between faith communities and activists for gay and lesbian civil rights.

Between May 17 and June 28, 2009, groups of LGBT and allied people around the country will attend worship services at a church of their choice – a church that is not welcoming and affirming of openly LGBT members and guests. Each group will wear a lapel button that reads “gay? fine by me.”

Details about upcoming training sessions and how to participate in a  “Sundays of Solidarity” event are available here. Listen to Rev. Paul Dodd of Austin explain the need for more honest, civil dialogue between the gay and lesbian community and congregants in churches that oppose LGBT rights.… Read More

In 2005 the Texas Freedom Network opposed passage of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in Texas. We pointed out that same-sex marriage was already illegal in the state. The measure was simply another divisive, mean-spirited “culture war” distraction from issues far more important to working families, like good neighborhood schools and affordable health care. Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters on the religious right called the amendment necessary to “protect” marriage. Actually, the measure was more important for mobilizing social conservatives in advance of the 2006 state elections.

In any case, the amendment passed that fall. So we found this story in Friday’s Miami Herald to be a terribly sad reminder that the religious right’s “culture wars” have real casualties.

As her partner of 17 years slipped into a coma, Janice Langbehn pleaded with doctors and anyone who would listen to let her into the woman’s hospital room.

Eight anguishing hours passed before Langbehn would be allowed into Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. By then, she could only say her final farewell as a priest performed the last rites on 39-year-old Lisa Marie Pond.

Jackson staffers advised Langbehn… Read More

The Free Market Foundation, the Plano-based Texas affiliate of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, has a new pitch for donations — and don’t expect much in the way of truth.

Near the top of the list of whoppers in Free Market’s letter is a claim of victory in a lawsuit over a Bible class offered by the Ector County (Odessa) Independent School District in West Texas. “The district will permanently have a Bible course, with the Bible as the textbook, and may use additional outside resources as well,” Free Market crows in its letter. “Our victory was a huge setback for the ACLU’s national plans.”

Well, no. The American Civil Liberties Union sought to forbid the school district from using an error-riddled, blatantly sectarian Bible curriculum that promotes the religious views of Protestant Christian fundamentalists over everybody else’s. The ACLU succeeded. During mediation, school officials agreed to drop the curriculum of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools and develop an alternative set of class materials. So long as the district uses a curriculum that neither promotes nor attacks anyone’s religion, the district may continue to offer the course. (The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released a report about the National Council’s dreadfulRead More

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