#IAmDone stages rally against pastor’s hate speech in Fort Worth

_MG_5014

About 50 people organized by #IAmDone, a new direct action group created in the wake of the June 12 murders at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, staged a peaceful protest across the street from Steadfast Baptist Church in Sansom City on Sunday morning, June 26, speaking out against hateful comments made by the pastor of the church.

The main goal of Sunday’s protest, said organizer Karen McCronklin, was “to make a peaceful response to a hateful statement.”

On Thursday, June 16 — just five days after a gunman armed with an assault rifle murdered 49 men and women at Pulse, and injured more than 50 others — Steadfast Baptist Pastor Donnie Romero posted a video on YouTube, in which he defended hate speech by another homophobic preacher, Roger Jimenez of Sacramento, Calif., and said that the men and women killed in Orlando deserved to die.
“These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles,” Romero sad in his video. “They’re the scum of the earth and the earth is a better place now and I’ll take it a step further. … I’ll pray to God like I did this morning, and I will again tonight, that God will finish the job that that man started.”

That kind of hatefulness, said McCrocklin and others at the rally, cannot go unchallenged anymore.”When this kind of hate speech happens, we’re going to take a stand against it,” organizer Steve Atkinson said.

After #IAmDone first announced plans to protest outside Romero’s church, the pastor said publicly that he and others in his congregations carry guns and would not hesitate to use them to defend their church. That put the #IAmDone organizers, already on high alert for violence in the wake of Orlando, in an even more protective stance, and even more determined to meet Romero’s hate with peace.

Protest organizers worked with police in Fort Worth and Sansom Park to make sure the protest was as peaceful and safe as possible. The group then gathered in a parking lot about a block away from the church and marched with a police escort to a spot just across the Jacksoboro highway from the church.

Protestors sang “Jesus Loves Me” as they waved a rainbow flag and a transgender Pride flag, along with posters bearing messages of pride and love.

One poster bore photos of iconic Dallas couple Jack Evans and George Harris, and the words “This is what love looks like.” Evans and Harris were together more than 50s years, and were the first same-sex couple legally married in Dallas County last year. Evans died Friday after a lengthy illness.

In addition to chants and singing, McCrocklin read aloud the names of those killed in Orlando and the Rev. Stephen Sprinkle with Brite Divinity School at TCU led the group in prayer.

Among those attending the protest were Dale Blackwood and Clint Nelson, Sansom Park residents who have been together 17 years. The owners of the dry cleaners they use — Morenos — brought a flat of water for protestors, as did the owners of River Oaks Café. Alan Small, another Sansom Park resident, brought his three children to join the protest.

Another man, who identified himself as a former Baptist minister who is now an atheist, said he hadn’t known about the planned protest when he decided to come and protest Romero’s remarks. “I was really surprised to see all these people here,” he said. “I expected to be here by myself. But I am glad everyone came out.”

#IAmDone was created to be able to organize quickly to answer hate with peaceful direct action. Organizers said they expect to stay busy once the Texas Legislature convenes in January. Most of those involved — McCrocklin and her partner, Marla Custard, Atkinson and his husband, Ted Kincaid, spouses Patti Fink and Erin Moore, and others — are longtime activists in the LGBT community.

Check the #IAmDone Facebook page for information.

See photos of the rally below.

—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING NEWS: Armed man ‘in town for Pride’ arrested in Santa Monica

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 1.09.16 PM

Screen cap of a photo in the Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times is reporting that Santa Monica police there have arrested a man after finding assault rifles, ammunition and possible explosives in his car.

Police responding to calls about a possible prowler near Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street found the man, who told them he was waiting for a friend, and that he was in town for the L.A. Pride celebration in West Hollywood. When officers inspected his car, which has Indiana license plates, they found several weapons and a lot of ammunition as well as tannerite, an ingredient that could be used to create a pipe bomb, the LA Times notes.

A city official in West Hollywood also confirmed the arrest and stressed that officials were beefing up security at the gay Pride event, the Times reports, noting, “One source in West Hollywood said there was discussion of calling off the parade but that officials decided to go forward, with heavy security including undercover officers in the crowd.”

Authorities have said they know of no links between Omar Mateen, the man who killed 50 people and wounded at least 53 more in a shooting early this morning at Pulse, an Orlando, Fla., gay bar.

—  Tammye Nash

Criticizing candidate for Hitler costume is just being too politically correct

Biedermann

Kyle Biedermann, right

“Defined benefits must go. Way too expensive. But teachers don’t want to hear the truth.”

That’s what Kyle Biedermann, a candidate for the Texas House, wrote on his Facebook page.

Biedermann is running against Rep. Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels), who isn’t conservative enough for the self-described “conservative Christian Republican.”

Yes, that’s the problem in Texas. Teachers throughout the state are overpaid.

“Why do we still have sanctuary cities in Texas?” Biedermann wanted to know.

We don’t.

Oh, and that Nazi uniform he was photographed wearing?

He told the San Antonio Express News that it wasn’t an issue until he entered the campaign and everyone got so politically correct.

“What would be offensive about that photograph?” he wanted to know.

Hey, the costume party was for charity and nothing says giving like Hitler.

—  David Taffet

Enough with the hate. Here are a bunch puppy photos

It’s Monday and I’ve spent the entire day writing about assholes.

Screw that. The day is over.

Here are a bunch of photos of puppies.

You’re welcome.

—  James Russell

Let them eat cake: rep offers free cake in honor of same-sex marriage ban

Freshman Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, is offering free cake to constituents.

A sponsor of Rep. Cecil Bell’s bill barring any salary to government employees who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Keough’s cake celebrates a decade of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage.

Today was also Texas Faith and Family Day, so serving cake after a long day of eating the red meat social issues important to GOP primary makes sense.

I highly doubt all of Keough’s constituents are God-fearing Christians concerned the Apocalypse will emerge from Cathie Adams’ hair. I also doubt are all Republicans, much less Republicans who voted for his opponent in last year’s Republican primary.

But according to one observer, “regardless of your politics,” tweeted one person, seen below, “I 100% support offering free cake to your constituents. #FreeSpeech #txlege”:

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 4.58.07 PM

 

No matter how much I may want cake, I really don’t want to eat a cake celebrating the state’s refusal to recognize my friends’ marriages.

Haters gonna hate. And haters can eat their fucking cake too.

In fact, let them eat cake.

—  James Russell

Eighth annual Starbucks auction supports AIDS Foundation Houston

Love it or hate it Starbucks is an ubiquitous fixture of urban life, combining the “where everybody knows your name” charm of the local bar with the “first taste is free” seediness of the corner drug pusher. For the Montrose at Hawthorn Starbucks (3407 Montrose) that position at the intersection of community and addiction carries with it a major social responsibility. Which is why for the last eight years the employees of Montrose’s most fabulous Starbucks have sponsored a silent art auction to raise funds for AIDS Foundation Houston.

This years auction is March 2 from 5-9 pm. The organizers  are still seeking donations from local artists and businesses to help round out this year’s selections. Visit sbuxauction.weebly.com for more information on the auction and how to donate.

—  admin

Takei, Aiken adding gay fabulosity to new “Celebrity Apprentice”

George Takei

I have sincerely admired George Takei ever since 2005 when he publicly came out as a gay man. And I have been a real fan for the last several months, ever since I “liked” his Facebook page and got the chance to see and appreciate his unique sense of humor.

But I am not a big enough fan to watch George in his new gig, because his new gig is being a cast member of the new season of Donald Trump‘s Celebrity Apprentice. And I hate Donald Trump and I hate Celebrity Apprentice way to much to ever watch the show, even for George T. I made myself a promise after listening to Trump’s “presidential campaign” tripe that I would never watch this show, because I never want to do anything that might even remotely put money in his bigoted pockets.

So, love ya George, but I just can’t watch that show.

There will be at least one other gay in the cast to keep George company: Clay Aiken of American Idol and Spamalot fame. And other “gay interest’ cast members are ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson and equal-opportunity-insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli.

I’m not gonna list the whole cast here. You can go over to FoxNews.com to get that (where, by the way, the describe Takei as “Star Wars actor George Takei”). Let it suffice to say that the cast does include Mafia princess Victoria Gotti and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

—  admin

Don’t forget the thrilling season finale of “The A-List: Dallas,” with guest star Ann Coulter

For those who love to hate A-List: Dallas, you’ll either be sad or glad to see the show’s season come to an end tonight. And by the previews, boy does it. Taylor Garrett needles at the community with his friendly exchange with conservative pundit Ann Coulter. Castmate Chase Hutchison is naturally infuriated but then also has to deal with Garrett lip-locking on his sorta beau Levi Crocker. As the season comes to a close, I’m fascinated that we never got to see the incident that happened at Jack’s Backyard. Remember this whole to-do?

I tweeted a couple of the A-Listers about what to expect on tonight’s episode. Hutchison was kind enough to reply.

“Tonight’s episode is definitely going to piss a lot of people off, including myself,” he tweeted back. “Everything comes to a head tonight; relationships, politics, friendships… And having Ann Coulter being part of the show was enough to make my blood boil with Taylor. But I do like that very different views are being shown, as much as some of those views disgust me. It will be worth watching for sure.”

Fellow reality star, Drew Ginsburg from Bravo’s Most Eligible Dallas chimed in as well with his response to tonight’s episode.

“Supporting Ann Coulter is a like a Jew supporting the Nazis,” he tweeted.

The Hayyy List is hosting a watch party tonight with cast member James Doyle at Axiom Sushi, or you can seethe or snicker on your own. Either way, here’s the preview clip after the jump to get you going before tonight’s episode.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Iconic LGBT activist Ray Hill files for Texas House seat

Ray Hill

Ray Hill

Long time Houston LGBT activist Ray Hill filed paperwork this week to run for the 147th Texas House seat against incumbent Garnet Coleman, D – Houston. The iconic (and iconoclastic) Hill said that he and Coleman agree on many issues but that he had “some issues  that aren’t on the table in Austin.”

Specifically Hill has concerns with the legislature’s approach to criminal justice issues. “The Texas legislature is a serial world class red-necking competition,” says Hill. “What they are doing on criminal justice is wrong and it doesn’t work… we need a serious rethink.”

Coleman has a strong history of supporting LGBT legislation. For the last three sessions he has attempted to pass anti-bullying legislation that would require school districts to report instances of bullying using an enumerated list of motivating characteristics that include both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, he has also filed legislation to remove the the crime of “homosexual conduct” from the Texas penal code (a law that has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court), to equalize age of consent laws in Texas and to add gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crime law. In the 82nd legislature earlier this year Coleman authored seven pieces of legislation designed to create greater equality for LGBT people, including the first ever filing of legislation to standardize change of gender marker procedures for the transgender community and the first effort to repeal the state’s constitutional prohibition against marriage equality.

Hill recognizes Coleman’s historic contributions, “The incumbent and I agree on a lot of issues,” says Hill, “but we don’t tell young gay people ‘if you work real hard and go to school and do your best you can grow up to have straight friends in Austin who like you.’ No, we tell them ‘if you work hard they can grow up to be Mayor of Houston, or City Supervisor of San Francisco.'”

When asked why the community would be better served by him than Coleman, a 20 year legislative veteran, Hill replies “I understand how government works. A freshman legislator can’t do anything more than irritate, but that’s about all any member of the minority party can do. On that level the incumbent and I are on the same level… I think we need somebody obnoxious [in the legislature] who’s going to purposefully rub the cat hair the wrong direction.”

Since being elected to the legislature for the first time in 1992 Coleman has been unopposed in 5 of his 9 primary reelection bids. No primary challenger to Coleman has pulled more than 21% of the vote.

—  admin