Trans activist Kelli Busey on Forward Blitz Radio tonight to talk about Perry’s ‘Response’

Kelli Busey

Local trans activist Kelli Busey is among those who are stepping up to respond to Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response,” the day-long prayer meeting and fast Perry has scheduled for Aug. 6 in Houston. And Busey is taking to the Internet radio talk show Forward Blitz tonight to talk about Perry’s event, the people and organizations (like the anti-gay American Family Association) with whom he is partnering to present the event, what it means to the LGBT community, and how the community can respond.

From a posting about “The Response”on Busey’s blog, Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies: “Now, we don’t care that a bunch of fundamentalists are getting together to pray for the country. That’s the freedom that makes us unique. What we DO care about is the fact that he has teamed up with the American Family Association and a bunch of bigoted hateful people who are anti-gay and anti-every other religion.”

She also includes this passage from an AFA email that, Busey points out, explicitly dis-invites everyone but Christians: “This is an explicitly Christian event because we are going to be praying to the one true God through His son, Jesus Christ. It would be idolatry of the worst sort for Christians to gather and invite false gods like Allah and Buddha and their false prophets to be with us at that time. Because we have religious liberty in this country, they are free to have events and pray to Buddha and Allah on their own. But this is time of prayer to the One True God, through His son Jesus Christ, who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.”

Busey will be on Forward Blitz Blog Talk Radio tonight from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Listen here. You can call 424-675-8317 to join the conversation.

Busey has also pledged to organize a protest over The Response, although I haven’t seen any details on that yet.

—  admin

WATCH: AFA’s Alex McFarland says NY marriage vote shows why Perry’s Day of Prayer needed

Right Wing Watch reports:

During his radio show on the AFA’s American Family Radio with Marvin Sanders, McFarland lauded the Perry/AFA rally as “a very wonderful thing” to help America “turn back to God.” McFarland, who last said that homosexuality is “a learned response to emotional pain and sometimes molestation,” went on to say that the marriage equality vote in New York was a warning sign for the nation, noting: “righteousness exalts a nation, lifts up a nation, blesses a people, but sin is a reproach, and literally means an undoing, and we need to pray and I think Governor Perry.”

—  John Wright

Perry’s association with hate groups nothing new

Gov. Rick Perry’s planned Aug. 6 day of prayer and fasting, “the Response,” has garnered a range or reactions over the last month, from Houston clergy expressing concern about the blurring of lines between church and state, to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force decrying the rally as “profoundly harmful.” What almost every denouncement of “the Response” has in common is shock that the governor would align himself with the American Family Association, an organization listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

For those who’ve followed Perry’s political career closely, however, his connections with a notorious hate group are just par for the course.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a pro-bono legal firm and civil rights advocacy group. Since shortly after its founding in 1971 the SPLC has declared certain groups “hate groups” based on the groups’ perpetuation of inaccurate and harmful information about communities fighting for their civil rights. In the case of anti-gay groups the SPLC places organizations on the list of hate groups for “their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.”

Perry publicly aligned himself with the AFA as early as 2005, when AFA founder Don Wildmon was invited to participate in a signing ceremony celebrating the passage of Texas’ constitutional amendment defining marriage as between “one man and one woman.” The governor’s signature is not required on constitutional amendments. In fact, the executive branch of Texas government can neither propose nor approve constitutional provisions. That didn’t stop Perry from conducting a media event designed to take credit for the amendment’s passage. Perry selected Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Worth as the venue for the event, despite concerns that holding an (albeit superfluous) government ceremony in a religious facility strayed dangerously close to violating the separation between church and state. Also invited to the ceremony was former Louisiana State Rep. Tony Perkins, president of another group on the SPLC’s list, the Family Research Council.

—  admin

What’s Brewing: President Obama to nominate openly gay man for U.S. attorney in Texas

President Barack Obama

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. President Barack Obama is expected to nominate an openly gay man for one of four vacant U.S. attorney positions in Texas. The San Antonio Express-News reports that Obama will nominate U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lee Pitman of Austin as U.S. Attorney for the Western District, which includes San Antonio, Del Rio and El Paso. Interestingly, Pitman’s nomination is supported by anti-gay Republican Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison. Pitman, a Fort Worth native and graduate of Trinity Valley School, would face a confirmation vote in the Senate. He would not be the first openly gay U.S. attorney, but he would undoubtedly be the first in Texas. Read a detailed profile of Pitman here.

2. In the wake of reports about a Southwest Airlines pilot’s offensive rant over an open cockpit microphone, one California lawmaker is calling on the state to sever its contracts with the airline. Assemblywoman Fiona Ma says she’s not satisfied with the Dallas-based airline’s “slap on the wrist” of the pilot, but as Instant Tea reported Friday, the airline isn’t expected to revisit the disciplinary action.

3. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has released a video invitation to his Aug. 6. Day of Prayer funded by the American Family Association, the anti-gay hate group. Perhaps Perry is getting desperate since only one of 49 governors had RSVP’d affirmatively to his invite for the Day of Prayer as of last week. Watch his video invitation below, and then tell us whether you think “people adrift in a sea of moral relativism” is Perry’s new euphemism for gays.

Gov. Perry’s Invitation to The Response from The Response USA on Vimeo.

—  John Wright

Gov. Perry may be the answer to some people’s prayers, but will it earn him a gay glitter-bomb?

Tom Schlueter (via Twitter)

Right Wing Watch reports that one of the groups that’s endorsed Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer believes Perry is actually an answer to its prayers. In an article defending the event funded by the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group, the AFA’s own OneNewsNow quotes Tom Schlueter of the Texas Apostolic Prayer Network:

“One of the things that we have been asking the Lord for many, many years has been a time when one of our political leaders will rise up and make this kind of a call to the state or to the nation,” Schlueter told OneNewsNow.

Right Wing Watch goes on to note that Schlueter, pastor of Prince of Peace Church in Arlington, once tied Hurricane Rita to the vote on Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. So you can add Schlueter to the long list of whackos who’ve endorsed Perry’s Day of Prayer. But here’s our question: Will Perry’s love for anti-gay bigots be enough to earn him a glitter-bomb?

In case you missed it, GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann became the latest victim of a gay-rights glitter-bomb at a right-wing convention in Minneapolis on Saturday. Bachmann joins Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty among members of the Republican presidential clown car who’ve fallen victim to the latest fad in activism. And although Perry hasn’t officially declared that he’s running for president, Karen Ocamb at LGBT POV raises the possibility that Perry could be next.

There’s been quite a bit of debate about the effectiveness of these glitter bombs — which are now apparently being coordinated by “glitteratti” from GetEQUAL — in advancing LGBT equality. We won’t wade into that debate here, but if someone does decide to glitter-bomb Perry, we just hope they do a better job than they did on Bachmann in the video below.

—  John Wright

WATCH: The hatred of Gov. Rick Perry’s BFF, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association, which is funding Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer event at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Aug. 6.

Right Wing Watch has posted the above compilation of clips from Fischer’s radio show, featuring some of his most precious “issues analysis.” (Read RWW’s full report on Fischer here.)

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell took a look at Fischer’s hatred in the context of Perry’s decision to partner with the AFA for the Day of Prayer. Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at People for the American Way, has this to say in the video below: “In his [Fischer's] world, gays are Nazis who should be prevented from holding office in the United States. President Obama is a fascist dictator. The constitution does not apply to Muslims — they should be deported from the country. Native Americans deserve to be killed and thrown off their land because they didn’t convert to Christianity quickly enough. People can read our report and see that this is the kind of stuff that’s on Bryan Fischer’s show all the time, and it’s outrageous that Gov. Perry chose them to sponsor and pay for his divisive and exclusionary event.”

UPDATE: Fischer says he believes criticism of Perry’s AFA-funded Day of Prayer amounts to “a hate crime.” We’ve posted video of those remarks after the jump.

—  John Wright

Task Force: Perry’s Day of Prayer ‘a profoundly harmful act’ that ‘demeans our common humanity’

Last Wednesday we called attention to the fact that only one LGBT group had issued a statement condemning Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer, funded by the gay-hating American Family Association. We also said we had reached out to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force but received no response. However, a spokeswoman for NGLTF says she never received our email because it was caught by her spam filter. In any case, the Task Force has now joined the handful of other LGBT groups that have issued statements since then. Here’s the statement that was sent over today from the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, faith work director for NGLTF:

“A designated hate group is the primary backer of Gov. Rick Perry’s so-called Day of Prayer. How exactly does this help heal our nation? It does nothing to foster a much-needed sense of community, peace and well-being. What it does do is fuel discord and division at a time when many people are hurting. The AFA has taken extreme positions that make our families more vulnerable to violence, bigotry and economic distress. This is not an act of love; it is a profoundly harmful act. This event as planned demeans our common humanity and makes a mockery of the principles of fairness and faith.”

—  John Wright

Truth Wins Out, GetEQUAL Texas join list of LGBT groups condemning Perry’s Day of Prayer

Wayne Besen

Truth Wins Out, which fights anti-gay religious extremism, has joined the list of LGBT groups — which already includes the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, the Houston GLBT Poltiical Caucus and National Stonewall Democrats  — that have issued statements condemning Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer funded by the American Family Association.

“This opportunistic and divisive publicity stunt unwisely marries politics and fundamentalism at the expense of our nation’s unity,”  Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen said in a press release today. “This offensive event should be immediately canceled. If not, we will consider organizing a counter action to mobilize the masses who believe in a free and diverse nation that celebrates pluralism.

“It is time the Republican Party is held accountable for its partnership with one of the most insidious groups in America,” Besen added. “The American Family Association’s inflammatory rhetoric is dangerous, and it is unconscionable that Perry and the GOP are embracing such a fringe organization. Is this what the modern GOP stands for?”

GetEQUAL Texas has launched a petition calling on Perry to exclude the AFA and other anti-gay hate groups from the Day of Prayer. Sign the petition by going here.

“Having the AFA host this event only tells LGBT persons of faith that they are not welcome at this event which is in direct conflict of our Governor’s duty to represent all Texans,” GetEQUAL Texas states. “By signing this petition, we are demanding that Governor Rick Perry do his duty by excluding the AFA and any other hate group from this event as these groups go against the very fiber of the American spirit and Texas values.”

TWO’s full press release is after the jump.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Hearing today on Prop 8 judge’s sexuality; Gov. Perry defends Day of Prayer

Judge Vaughn Walker

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Prop 8 suppporters today will ask Judge Vaughn Walker’s successor to vacate his ruling declaring California’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, on the grounds that Walker is in a long-term relationship with another man. Chief U.S. Judge James Ware will hear arguments on their motion this morning in San Francisco, and he could rule right away or at a later date. The motion to vacate a ruling based on the judge’s sexual orientation is highly unusual if not unprecedented, and experts say it’s unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile, it’s also unlikely that same-sex marriage will be back on the ballot in California in 2012.

2. In an e-mail to The New York Times, Gov. Rick Perry defended his plans for a Christian-only Day of Prayer event funded by the American Family Association, a designated anti-gay hate group. “The A.F.A. is a group that promotes faith and strong families, and this event is about bringing Americans together in prayer,” he said in his e-mail, adding that “I have made it clear that I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman.”Ju

3. Sunday night’s Tony Awards ceremony was as gay as ever, with host Neil Patrick Harris performing “Theater is not just for gays any more” as the opening number, and the Broadway production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart taking three honors. Watch video below of the opening and read Arnold Wayne Jones’ full recap. For a full list of winners, go here.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Texas Rep. Wayne Christian again tries to outlaw LGBT resource centers

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

Rep. Wayne Christian

1. State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, again tried to ban LGBT resource centers from college campuses in Texas on Thursday, when he introduced an amendment to a school finance bill during the special session of the Legislature. The Texas Tribune has a full report on what it calls “one of the most emotional debates of the regular or special sessions.” Christian ultimately withdrew the amendment after House Democrats threatened to kill the entire school finance bill. The Austin American-Statesman and the Houston Chronicle also have reports up about this historic late-night battle over gay rights on the Texas House floor. We’ll have a full story shortly.

2. Equality Texas on Thursday joined the growing list of LGBT groups that have issued statements condemning Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to partner with the American Family Association, a designated anti-gay hate group, for a Day of Prayer event set for August in Houston. “Equality Texas believes all Texans should be treated with dignity and respect,” Equality Texas Executive Director Dennis Coleman said in the statement sent to Dallas Voice. “While we respect the right of religious freedom, we do not support any elected official who aligns himself with a group whose mission is to disenfranchise, marginalize and demonize LGBT Americans. We are proud of the results of our Equality Texas poll which clearly shows real Texans value equal rights for all Texans.” Equality Texas is also urging people to sign this letter from the Texas Freedom Network telling Perry to “Stop Using Faith As A Weapon.”

3. 30 Rock actor Tracy Morgan reportedly unleashed a homophobic tirade during a stand-up comedy show last Friday in Nashville, threatening to kill his son if he found out he was gay, blaming the media for making kids gay, and saying that bullied gay teens are “whiners.” Truth Wins Out is calling on Morgan to apologize.

—  John Wright