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.

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Texas has an abundance of religious-righters who send countless e-mails circulating throughout the internets. We don’t want to give specific ranters publicity by identifying them, but we will occasionally post examples of their nonsense to show the kind of extremism that passes for discourse on the far right.

Today we note an e-mail attacking proposed congressional legislation that would expand protections under the federal hate-crime law to those attacked because of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. The Senate added this measure to the defense appropriations bill last week. Just before the Senate vote on the measure, this serial e-mailer (with apparently a rather long list of recipients) recycled many of the talking points far-right pressure groups have been using to try to defeat it:

“If the Senate approves the Hate Crimes bill (an amendment added to the Defense budget bill) and it becomes the law of the land, here is a practical scenario that could occur:

If a sexual pervert were having sex with my dog (bestiality) in my backyard and I did something violent to stop the pervert, I could be charged and convicted of committing a hate crime and would receive a longer… Read More

The religious right’s campaign against a stronger federal law on hate crimes has increasingly been, well, hateful. An e-mail blast from one Texas-based pressure group this morning calls on recipients to express

“opposition to the pending hate crimes legislation, also known as the “Pedophile Protection Act” due to its inclusion of pedophiles as a protected class under the proposal that protects homosexuals from hate crimes.”

Protecting pedophiles? That’s a lie, of course, as the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out months ago. Media Matters for America and Politifact also looked at how the “pedophile” meme got its hateful start.

We’ve seen a lot of far-right e-mails about the proposed hate crimes legislation in Congress. Over time the venomous language attacking it has evolved. At first was the absurd suggestion that clergy preaching against homosexuality would fill our nation’s jails if the legislation passed. The increasingly prominent message in recent months equates homosexuality with pedophilia.

We wonder how proud religious-right groups must be that they are sharing the same message as anti-Semitic white supremacists and hate mongers like David Duke, whose Web site blames the Anti-Defamation League for both hate crimes legislation andRead More

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.

Unlike… 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

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The contortions it takes for Texas Values to make an argument. "Houston voted against HERO two years ago and the A… twitter.com/i/web/st…

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