HISD trustee distributes anti-gay flier

Rodriquez Flier (excerpt)

Excerpt from the Rodriquez flier attacking Fonseco for his advocacy for LGBT people and his endorsement by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus (click to view full flier)

Houston Independent School District Trustee Manuel Rodriquez Jr. is under fire for an anti-gay flyer attacking his opponent, Ramiro Fonseca. Both seek the HISD District III seat held by Rodriquez. Rodriquez’s flyer attacks Fonseca for his history of advocating for LGBT people, and his endorsement by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus. The flyer also suggests that Fonseca being 52 and unmarried is a reason that Houstonians should not trust him to make decisions affecting children, and points out that he has a “male partner.”

The GLBT Political Caucus was quick to denounce the flyer, issuing a statement on Saturday. “Manuel Rodriguez is assuming the voters of District III share the same bigoted, hateful views he holds,” said Caucus president Noel Freeman. “Houstonians have proven time and time again that such views are not welcome in our City, and have consistently rejected candidates who espouse such hateful views. We urge the voters of District III to reject Manuel Rodriguez on election day.”

Other HISD Trustees have joined in the chorus of people speaking out against the mailer. “I denounce the reprehensible, mean-spirited, bigoted mailer that was sent out in the HISD, District III race,” Trustee Juliet Katherine Stipeche said via her Facebook wall. “I ask my colleagues to maintain and uphold HISD’s total non-discrimination policy and treat every person, including other candidates, with dignity and respect. Let us embrace diversity and equality and treat every person as we would like ourselves to be treated ” Stipeche is seeking re-election to her district VIII seat.

HISD District I member Anna Eastman echoed Stipeche’s comments. “My fifteen year old son could not comprehend why someone would think that distinction would change a vote for school board and would be used as such by a candidate.”

The GLBT caucus is urging people to contact the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle to encourage them to rescind their endorsement of Rodriquez in light of his campaign tactics.

HISD elections are part of the general elections taking place this Tuesday, Nov 8. Visit HarrisVotes.org to find your voting location and view a sample ballot.

—  admin

Knights of Columbus understand civil marriage distinction (*is something I could’ve written in 1958)

The first, most obvious reaction when looking at the following clip from the spring of 1958: Disbelief over the fact that the Catholics Knights of Columbus have been so darn focused on other people’s marriages for so darn long. However, when giving it a little more nuanced read, we actually see something to really like about this religious group’s 52-year-old definition of marital acceptability:

March of 1958

201011091704

So what do we like about it? Well, look back up to the first four paragraphs. Right at the beginning, the mid-20th century scribe spells out a key point: “Civil marriage laws are necessary, of course, in a society which includes the unreligious as well as the religious.” A key point that is obviously true. A key point that is fundamental to an America where religious ceremony is ALWAYS an ancillary (even if oft-utilized) component of civil marriage. A key point that is severely lacking from this current camp’s modern war against same-sex marriage.

We can actually accept the above take. Respect it, even. Because while the 1950s Knights would surely be standing as staunchly against same-sex marriage as their modern counterparts, had they had the foresight to envision as much, they were not expressing a desire to use their strong personal convictions to change the civil marriage laws that they admit, right up front, are necessarily separated from religion. And that’s not a minor distinction, either. It really shows what a departure from tradition the current marriage war really is. Because at its heart, nothing has fundamentally changed in the fifth thru tenth paragraphs: The Knights of Columbus were expressing their personal theological convictions then, and they are expressing their personal faith convictions now. What’s changed is the first part. What’s changed is their willingness to respect civil law independent from faith conviction in the same manner that we on the pro-equality side are willing to respect faith conviction that’s kept off of our civil rights!




Good As You

—  admin

Cornyn, Sessions to get awards from Log Cabin

Frankly we’re tired of talking about how the Log Cabin Republicans plan to roll out the red carpet this coming Wednesday for anti-gay Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and anti-gay Congressman Pete Sessions, R-Texas. But as if merely inviting these two to their national dinner wasn’t bad enough, it turns out Log Cabin also plans to bestow awards upon them. Yes, you read that right — AWARDS. According to a press release on the Log Cabin website, the group will present both Cornyn and Sessions with the Barry Goldwater Award, “which recognizes leaders in the Republican Party who have served their nation with distinction in the model of the late Senator Barry Goldwater.”

Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin notes that Sen. Goldwater famously denounced “don’t ask don’t tell,” saying: “You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.” Goldwater was also supportive of his gay grandson. Cornyn and Sessions? Not so much.

Maybe if they rename it the Heidi Fleiss Award …

—  John Wright