Gov. Perry, President Obama weigh in on proposed BSA policy change

The Human Rights Campaign took out a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News on Monday to encourage the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board to add a nondiscrimination policy.

Today the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board will begin discussing a proposed policy change to allow local troops to decide to let in gay Scouts and leaders.

A decision on whether remove the national gay ban is expected Wednesday.

Lesbian former den mother Jennifer Tyrrell will be at the Scouts’ Irving headquarters at 11 a.m. to deliver petitions started by her, gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver, gay former Scoutmaster Greg Bourke, and Eric Andresen, father of a gay Scout denied his Eagle Award. The petitions have garnered 1.4 million combined signatures.

The issue has brought about heated debates on both sides as some people are against the decision while others think it doesn’t go far enough. The Human Rights Campaign took out a full-page ad in today’s Dallas Morning News, above, encouraging the board to go beyond removing the no-gays requirement and adding a national nondiscrimination policy.

Gov. Rick Perry chimed in this weekend while addressing hundreds of Scouts at the state House during the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State.

Perry, an Eagle Scout, told reporters his views on homosexuality haven’t changed his writing his book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, and hoped the national position would remain the same.

“Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make scouting this very important and impactful organization,” Perry said.

President Barack Obama also spoke about the issue during a pre-Super Bowl interview, calling scouting a “great institution” that should welcome gay members and leaders. He said the organization provided youth with lifelong leadership and character building training and “no one should be barred from that.”

Watch the clip of Obama below.

—  Anna Waugh

‘The Response’ returns, but without Perry

GetEqual at The Response

Get Equal protests at The Response last August in Houston

Remember The Response? The amalgam of Republican Party politics and  right-wing anti-LGBT “Christianity” Gov. Rick Perry used to launch his presidential campaign is back, but this time without Perry. The event’s organizers, including  hate group The American Family Association, have announced they plan to hold four more prayer rallies modeled on the August event in Houston, but are being careful to distance themselves from partisan politics in general and Perry’s flagging presidential campaign specifically:

“Though Governor Rick Perry initiated The Response in Houston, these upcoming state-wide gatherings will not be affiliated with any particular presidential candidates. The Response is committed to prayer above politics, to seeing the church moved to stand for righteousness and to pray for God’s mercy for America.”

Perry continues to sag in the polls, and his recent gaffs and apparent lack of basic English language skills make him an increasingly unattractive candidate for Republican voters, so it’s not surprising to see The Response scurry to flee the sinking Perry ship.

At the same time the locations of the four mini-Responses are interesting: Iowa, South Carolina, Florida and Arizona. All are key states during the Republican primary. So while The Response may have ditched Perry it’s clear that at least one of the things they’re praying for is a viable Republican presidential candidate.

—  admin

Rick Perry killed the gay Jesus

Yesterday I suggested that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — who issued a hateful statement condemning a planned production of the gay-themed play “Corpus Christi” at Tarleton State University last month — was merely doing the dirty work of Gov. Rick Perry. Well, today, we have further evidence of Perry’s likely involvement behind the scenes.

Steve Hotze, president of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, wrote a note shortly after the play was canceled. The note was posted on the Web site of the right-wing blog Texas GOP Vote. Here’s what the note said:

“Greetings! Thank you for getting the information about the blasphemous, homosexual play, “Corpus Christi,” to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst. Please be sure to thank Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for issuing a press release condemning the play. With much appreciation for your support in this matter.

“We also owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Perry for his behind the scenes work to stop the play at Tarleton State. Ray Sullivan, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, was notified of the play on Thursday and after discussing it with the Governor, the necessary steps were taken to ensure that its performance was canceled.”

Despite the note, which was uncovered by Tarleton State student reporter Rachel Dudley, school officials continue to deny that Dewhurst and Perry had anything to do with the cancellation. Meanwhile, those same officials are blocking public access to thousands of e-mails they received about the play by demanding that the student publication Texan News Service pay $2,627.50 for copies of the records. Tarleton State has also suspended the Texan News Service’s access to the the university’s YouTube account, which was used by student journalists to post stories about the controversy involving the play. Shocking!!!

Hat tip: Texas Tribune.

—  John Wright

Eric Johnson becomes District 100 representative

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson was certified winner of the District 100 race and becomes representative as soon as he is sworn in.

In the March primary, Johnson received 75 percent of the vote against incumbent Terri Hodge. He faces no opponent in November and will serve next term.

However, Hodge resigned from her seat, leaving a vacancy. Gov. Rick Perry declared a May special election and Johnson filed for the seat.

As of this week’s filing deadline, Johnson was the only on to file for the seat. Because there was no opponent, Dallas County election administrator Bruce Sherbet declared Johnson the winner. According to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, this can only be done in special elections and is done to save local governments money.

Although the legislature is not scheduled to meet the for the rest of this session, his appointment gives him seniority dating from the 2008 session. Also, he begins constituent services upon his taking office.

—  David Taffet