This, folks, is a case of a religious-righter being forced to follow her absurd argument to its unavoidable conclusion.

Kudos to Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen for making clear what opponents of the proposed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (ERO) are really saying when they argue for the religious freedom to discriminate against LGBT people. The ERO would bar discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, sex, military status and a number of other protected characteristics. Houston is the last major city in Texas without such a comprehensive civil rights ordinance.

Religious-right activists have focused almost exclusively on the ordinance’s protections for LGBT people. They argue that business owners and others have the right, because of their religious beliefs, to discriminate against someone who is gay or transgender. (Many mainstream faith leaders, we should note, have strongly supported passage of the measure.)

So check out the short exchange in the video clip above between Cohen and Becky Riggle, a pastor at Houston’s Grace Community Church. Riggle was testifying against the ordinance, arguing that it violates the religious freedom of business owners and others in Houston who think LGBT people are sinful. If a business owner has the right… Read More

President Obama’s declaration Wednesday that he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples has religious-righters practically foaming at the mouth. Here are just a few of the comments from right-wing extremists in Texas.

Dave Welch of the Houston Area Pastor Council says the president is an enemy of God:

“When marriage is everything, marriage is nothing. Obama and his radical allies of the sexual diversity agenda cannot redefine marriage, they can only undefine it and destroy it. Our prayer and commitment is that the people of this nation will continue to make it clear that we will not allow enemies of God and His design of marriage and family to destroy it on our watch. President Obama today not only came out against marriage, he came out against God.”

Steve Riggle, a Welch ally and senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Houston, went for a two-fer — attacking President Obama as well as Houston Mayor Annise Parker (already one of Riggle’s favorite targets):

“In November, the people need to speak once again, overwhelmingly, and tell President Obama by not giving him another term that we want our leader to believe in and support traditional… Read More

Religious-right activists in Houston have failed miserably in their efforts to undermine the city’s mayor, Annise Parker. They relentlessly attacked Parker during her successful mayoral election campaign in 2009 and re-election in 2011. In 2009, for example, they argued that the election of a lesbian mayor would lead to a “gay takeover” of City Hall and would be “destructive to the family.” They have called her a “sodomite,” complained about “moral perversion and sin flowing from city hall,” and charged that Parker is imposing a “‘San Francisco Style’ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, etc. agenda” on Houston. And now they’re attacking the mayor for exercising her right to free speech.

A megachurch pastor, Steve Riggle of Houston’s Grace Community Church, has publicly released a letter to Mayor Parker calling on her to resign if she doesn’t agree to stop speaking out in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Noting that Texans have approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Riggle says “it is very disturbing to me when you make statements as an elected official that are contrary to what the people have decided should be the foundational… Read More

Forrest Wilder

. @SenJaneNelson: Post-Planned Parenthood, the state women's health program "has more providers than we ever had." Our reporting: Nearly half of the approximately 5,400 providers didn’t see a single patient in the program in 2017. texasobserver.org/te…