A Florida pastor may have called off his plan to burn Qurans on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But David Grisham, the leader of a militant evangelical group in Amarillo, tells the local CBS affiliate that he plans to publicly burn the Muslim holy book on Saturday. Grisham is the leader of Repent Amarillo, which gained attention in January when it launched a boycott of Houston after the city elected on openly gay mayor, Annise Parker:
According to Grisham, he has questioned why he should go through with his plan, but in the end, he feels it is right.
“Terrorism was seeded by the ideas in the Quran. It’s the Quran that has put our troops in danger. Burning one isn’t going to put our troops in danger. It’s the ideas contained in that book that put them in danger,” said Grisham.
Grisham is a security guard at a nuclear-bomb facility called Pantex, according to media reports. Repent Amarillo goes by the moniker “Army of God” and refers to itself as the “special forces of spiritual warfare.” The group has also gained attention for a campaign to shut down a local swingers club, as well as a “warfare map” posted on its website identifying its enemies in Amarillo.
Does it show the weakness of the Human Rights Campaign, or the institutional anti-gay sentiment in Target's executive suite that the company has refused to "right the wrong" of donating 0,000 in cash and services to MN Forward to help elect bigoted Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer?
After her smash performance in Dallas, the city she credits with launching her career, Lady Gaga took her tour to the Toyota Center in Houston … where she was booed, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The Houston paper said she gave a shout out to the cowboys in Houston and then mentioned Dallas and got booed. We know what she thinks of our fair city, so she couldn’t have done it just for the reaction. Maybe she just didn’t know there was any rivalry. Maybe she was just looking for Houston’s equivalent of the Round-Up (there isn’t one). No report that she went out and partied in Houston. Can’t really blame her.
Get Equal Now has sent the American Family Association a cease and desist letter after the anti-gay, right-wing organization called for a boycott of Home Depot.
Last week, AFA called for a boycott of the home improvement retailer because it sponsored several gay Pride events this year and offers domestic partner benefits to its employees.
Cd Kirven, a Dallas resident and co-founder of Get Equal Now, sent AFA president Tim Wildmon the cease and desist letter after speaking to several attorneys.
“In the process of attacking us, you are attacking our children,” Kirven told AFA.
Kirven said she had been formulating the plan for a while.
“When I heard the tea party calling the NAACP racists, I said, ‘Why can’t the LGBT community do that to the AFA or NOM?’” Kirven said.
She had the letter to AFA notarized and sent return receipt requested. Attorneys advised her to wait for a reply or, without a reply, wait a month, monitor the hate speech on their website and then file a lawsuit.
Several attorneys are interested in pursuing the case, according to Kirven. She said the LGBT community has not taken this approach before.
“I believe enough’s enough,” she said. “When you go after my son, I am going to defend him with every last breath.”
Kirven shares custody of her 5-year-old son, Trevor, with a former partner.
“I don’t want to see another kid commit suicide behind the intolerant behavior of AFA,” Kirven said. “NOM is next. The LGBT community is tired of the verbal and financial abuse of those organizations. Some of us don’t make it through the process. It has to stop. If the government won’t take action, Get Equal Now will.”
Kirven said the AFA says the LGBT community is damaging marriage. If that’s the case, she wondered why Massachusetts and Vermont, which both allow same-sex marriage, have two of the lowest divorce rates.
“We’re not damaging marriage. They’re the ones with a 75 percent divorce rate,” she said of heterosexual couples.
Kirven also filed a complaint against AFA with the Justice Department and has contacted the Southern Poverty Law Center about listing them as a hate group. SPLC lists other groups such as the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs as a hate group for its anti-gay activity.
Kirven is also encouraging people to send letters to Home Depot thanking them for supporting LGBT families. At Pride events, the company offers family-friendly areas where it gives out balloons to the children.
Here’s the text of Get Equal Now’s letter to the AFA:
“Good evening! I’m seriously concerned about the physical welfare of our childre because of your written and verbal harassment of the LGBT Community. One example of your successful intimidation tactics was American Family Association’s Boycott of the Ford Company in 2005 to 2008. Now you are leading an intimidation campaign against Home Depot.
“In protection of our families and our children, I’m serving American Family Association with a cease and desist order. If this intimidating, manipulative and high-pressure tactics do not stop then we will take the responsibility upon ourselves to protect that right by suing your organization for defamation. The constant attacks of the LGBT community and AFA’s fear mongering has to stop. You promote the damage your organization done to my community and those impatc lead to hate crimes, teen suicides and isolation of the LGBT community. This order demands that you stop the verbal abuse of our community on radio, television and in print.”
The letter to Home Depot is posted as a petition online and can be signed by going here.
After Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a civil unions bill, the San Francisco Chronicle asked the question “Should civil union veto mean Hawaii boycott?”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has prepared the state’s largest industry for the reaction with its warning, “Civil unions backlash begins.”
Most of the blame for the veto has been heaped on Hawaii’s Mormon population. Though just 5 percent of the population, Oahu is home to a branch of Brigham Young University and the church as always been active in Hawaii politics.
The blame, however, should be placed directly on the state’s Jewish Republican governor. Though same-sex marriage is performed in most branches of Judaism, Lingle belongs to the small, right-wing Chabad movement.
The Honolulu newspaper said a boycott wouldn’t hurt people and businesses in the state that support civil unions. More of them should have lobbied the governor to sign. An airline that’s a member of an LGBT Chamber of Commerce could have warned that a boycott might mean fewer flights a week to her state. Large hotel chains that market to the LGBT community could have lobbied the governor to support the bill. Restaurants, stores and other businesses that have relied, in part, on business from the LGBT community might have made more of an effort to let the governor know that discrimination doesn’t create a good environment for travel.
Rabbi Peter Schaktman from the state’s largest synagogue made his opinions clear. Schaktman was a Houston rabbi before moving to Honolulu in 2005.
“People who oppose civil unions from a religious perspective are asking the state to enforce their version of morality on their behalf,” he told the governor.
His synagogue’s website continues to invite same-sex and opposite-sex couples to celebrate their weddings at Temple Emanu-El.
June — National Gay Pride Month — is just a few weeks away, and LGBT people from around the world are making plans to head to San Francisco for one of the biggest gay Pride celebrations anywhere.
But one group of San Fran activists wants their fellow LGBT people coming in for Pride to join a boycott of certain hotels in San Francisco called by hotel workers to demand fair contracts and affordable health care. The activists staged a “flash mob” in the lobby of one of the targeted hotels, the Westin St. Francis, singing and dancing to an adapted version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
Whether you agree with the boycott or not, and whether you plan to honor the boycott if you are traveling to San Francisco, you’ve got to give the LGBT activists there props for knowing how to stage an informative and entertaining protest.
MovieLine.com has apparently been following the controversy over Dallas filmmaker Israel Luna’s latest flick, “Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives,” and Thursday posted this story about Tribeca Film Festival’s response to GLAAD’s call to action for the festival to remove Luna’s film from its 2010 line-up.
This is the statement from Tribeca:
“The filmmakers provided a copy of this film to GLAAD in February, and for weeks the organization had been supportive to the filmmakers. In fact, GLAAD representatives advised the film’s producer, director and cast on how to describe the film to its core constituency. Tribeca is proud of its ongoing commitment to bring diverse voices and stories to its audiences, and looks forward to the film’s premiere at our Festival next month.”