DEFEAT OF HOUSTON EQUALITY ORDINANCE DAMAGES TEXAS

Governor, Lt. Governor Shamefully Pandered to Intolerance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 4, 2015

The deceitful, fear-based campaign used to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance at the polls on Tuesday will seriously damage the reputation of the City of Houston and the State of Texas, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said today.

Miller said that danger is particularly high because of the way Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick waded into the election over the local ordinance.

“It was disturbing to see our state’s two highest elected leaders shamefully peddling lies and scare tactics,” Miller said. “Their political pandering has branded Texas as hostile to basic human rights and inclusiveness. In lending the prestige of their offices to such a shockingly deceitful campaign, Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick aligned themselves with some of this state’s most extreme and intolerant voices. That can only hurt the state’s reputation among anyone or any business that might want to move here.”

The rhetoric used by HERO opponents was nothing short of incendiary. At one campaign event, a major funder of the anti-HERO campaign… Read More

The Week in Quotes (Oct. 25 – 31)

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond.

Presidential candidate Ben Carson, explaining why he thinks abortion should be outlawed even in cases of rape and incest.

During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do. And, you know, what if the abolitionist had said, you know, ‘I don’t believe in slavery. I think it’s wrong. But you guys do whatever you want to do.’ Where would we be?

Read the article

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April Miller and Karen Roberts, during their marriage ceremony Saturday. Miller and Roberts were the first to be denied a license by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis.

I will.

Read the article

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Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, on his rivals for his party’s presidential nomination.

Do you know how crazy this election is? Let me tell you something. I’ve about had it with these people.

Read the article

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TFN founder and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, named by Glamour Magazine as a woman of the year.

If you want to make… Read More

Obama, Biden, Clinton All Signal Support for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

With the Nov. 3 vote just days away, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) is getting support from major national leaders.

Today the White House released a statement announcing the support of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for protecting all Houstonians — regardless of race, religion, sex, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics — from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. From the White House statement today:

“While the Administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the President and Vice President have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love. We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality.”

In addition, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — who has also served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State — tweeted her support for HERO:

No one should face discrimination for who they are or who they love—I support efforts for equality in Houston & beyond. #HERO#YesOnProp1 -H

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2015

Religious-right groups have run a vicious… Read More

Helping End ‘Faith-Based’ Child Abuse

This guest post by Janet Heimlich, founder of the Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP), focuses on a new project designed to address the tragic connection that sometimes exists between religion and child maltreatment. Sadly, Texas is no stranger to this problem. The cautionary tale of fundamentalist preacher Lester Roloff and his homes for troubled teens is a case in point. TFN lobbied for years for the Texas Legislature to suspend the alternative (and lenient) licensing program the state maintained for faith-based child care providers like Roloff. That program was finally allowed to expire in 2001, and the Roloff Homes moved out of the state. Janet writes here about a new project that addresses the problem of child abuse in faith communities.

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A boy is beaten because he fidgets during a sermon. A girl is made to feel shameful about her “unclean” sexuality. A teenager is denied medical care because her community only believes in faith healing. When a religious leader molests a child, no one reports it.

Religion is a powerful and positive influence in the lives of many people. But we know that religion can sometimes be used to harm children. Fortunately, the Child-Friendly Faith Project is announcing a new program… Read More

Pay No Attention to the Hatemonger Behind the Curtain

You’ve probably been thinking, hey, what’s Steve Hotze up to these days? The prominent anti-LGBT zealot from Houston has, as the Houston Chronicle noted, been awfully quiet leading up to next week’s referendum to decide the fate of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The silence is unusual for the outspoken Hotze, who last made headlines in August when he went on anti-gay tirade that included a sword — yes, an actual sword — and compared of gay people to Nazis (and demanded that LGBT people be driven from Houston).

Hotze, instead, is letting his money do the talking. Campaign reports examined by the Houston Chronicle show that the group opposing the ordinance has spent about $140,000 more than it has raised. Hotze has made up the deficit by, no joke, putting it on his credit card and extending a $50,000 loan, according to the Chronicle.

But why is Hotze otherwise so quiet? Here’s a possible answer:

Hotze’s less public role in the campaign is a smart strategy, said University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus.

Hotze’s long public battle against gay rights could be a liability for the campaign when it comes to attracting more moderate voters, Rottinghaus… Read More

andrea grimes

There are a lot of ways in which mainstream reporters and editors who don't make the effort to do the right thing -- i.e. call people by their names and use their pronouns -- are in fact doing the wrong thing. bit.ly/2KP9ERl

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