Anti-violence group plans ‘Phelps-a-thon’ during Westboro Baptist Church’s visit to Tucson

Phelps clan in Dallas

The Phelps clan is headed to Tucson.

In response, the Arizona Legislature passed and the governor signed legislation banning protests within 300 feet of a funeral. In some show of compassion (maybe in fear for their lives), the clan decided not to protest the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was murdered. However, they still plan to picket the funeral of U.S. District Judge John McCarthy Roll.

When the clan visited Dallas to picket downtown at the Holocaust Museum and Congregation Beth El Binah at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, a fundraiser was held called “When Hell Freezes Over.” The goal was to replace the $3,000 ice maker at the community center. They raised move than $11,000.

The Wingspan Anti-Violence Project will be doing the same thing this week. They are holding a Phelps-a-thon.

Although we wish them luck, the circumstances are completely different. The group came to Dallas for no reason whatsoever and everyone who participated made a joke of the appearance. There was plenty of time to prepare stupid signs and costumes to welcome their afternoon of hate.

In Arizona, people are mourning. They are dealing with loss and healing. No one is in the mood for a jolly old time to mock the haters. The focus is on funerals and people in hospitals. Reaction to Phelps is a mere afterthought. But the gesture is appropriate. Let their visit to promote hatred after a violent incident raise money to decrease violence.

—  David Taffet

WorldNetDaily selling Holocaust revisionist literature

HateWatch branded this book “Holocaust revisionism” a good decade ago. It’s amazing that a well-read conservative Web site would promote this kind of thing.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Annise Parker tells youth, ‘It Gets Better’

Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s staff has been encouraging her to do an “It Gets Better” video. She took the opportunity to do so during a presentation at the Houston Holocaust Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

The museum presented her with a Guardian of the Human Spirit Award, a platform for acknowledging dedicated Houstonians who have worked to enhance the lives of others and to better humankind.

On its website, the museum listed among the reasons she was given the award was her expansion of the city’s nondiscrimination policies:

One of her early official acts was to issue one of the most comprehensive non-discrimination orders in the nation. The order prohibits discrimination and/or retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity at every level of municipal government, including hiring, contracting and/or access to city facilities and programs/activities.

Her acceptance speech includes her thoughts on the recent rash of publicized suicides by teens who had been bullied. Her office noted the lighting that makes Parker look radioactive. Prior to her appearance, the content of the speech changed several times and it wasn’t until the last minute that Parker decided to include the “It Gets Better” piece and asked that it be recorded.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center dedicates ‘Hell Freezes Over’ Fred Phelps Memorial Icemaker

RCD executive director Cece Cox
Councilmember Pauline Medrano

Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano and Brent Rubin from State Rep. Eric Johnson’s office were on hand Friday morning to dedicate the Fred Phelps Memorial Icemaker. Members of Congregation Beth El Binah joined Resource Center staff to cut the ribbon and scoop the first buckets of ice.

The money for the icemaker was collected during the Phelps clan’s July visit to Dallas. They picketed Congregation Beth El Binah at Resource Center Dallas and other Jewish groups around the city.

The fundraiser was dubbed “Hell Freezes Over” and $11,000 was collected. The previous known record for a Phelps event was about $10,000 in New York City.

“Inspiration comes from the strangest sources,” said Rafael McDonnell of Resource Center Dallas. “Without the inspiration of the visitors from Topeka, we would never have been here today to dedicate our new icemaker.”

“Eric’s very impressed by what you’ve done in regard to Fred Phelps’ visit,” said Rubin. “How you’ve gone one step beyond and made good come from a crummy situation.”

“There are lessons to be learned from this,” said Medrano. “Everybody can make a difference in the midst of bad news.”

During a city budget crisis, she said she was delighted to be at the Resource Center celebrating the agency getting money from other sources. She thanked Phelps for helping the city take care of people with AIDS.

Josh Manes represented Beth El Binah. He was happy to see the government representatives celebrating at the Center.

“I remember a time when the city would have supported Phelps,” he said.

The plaque on the ice machine reads: “This machine is dedicated to the participants of ‘Hell Freezes

Over.’ Thank you for showing how the power of caring and compassion can triumph over hate. August 6, 2010.”

In one of their silliest choices of protest sites, the Phelps clan began their day of nonsense at the Dallas Holocaust Museum. The museum marked record attendance that day as a result of the Phelps publicity.

Phelps was invited to attend the dedication ceremony by e-mail. He did not respond to the gracious invitation.

—  David Taffet

‘Hell Freezes Over’ tops $10K

Rafael McDonnell of Resource Center Dallas reports that the final total for “Hell Freezes Over,” the fundraiser held in response to the Fred Phelps cult’s visit last week, topped $10,000.

The “Westboro Baptist Church Memorial Ice Machine” was ordered Tuesday and was paid for with proceeds of the fundraiser.

With several hundred dollars collected at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, the money raised in Dallas may be a record for fundraising at a Phelps counterprotest.

McDonnell shared some of the notes that accompanied the donations. One of his favorite came from Gary Duncan of Jani-King:

Rafael,

Love the idea of the name of your campaign. Very clever. Those Westboro people make my blood boil! Best of luck with your campaign.

Others donations were made in memory of or in honor of members of the community:

Hello good people.

I am a lifelong friend of Paul Doolan.

Take good care of him; he is precious.

Please use the enclosed check for the “Hell Freezes Over” campaign.

There was this beautiful note in memory of a son who died of AIDS:

In memory of my son, Mark D. Raymond, who would have been 50 years old had he lived. And my protest against the so called “Christians” in this land who manage to get so much media coverage. Congratulations in keeping your heads up and making the event positive for the Center.

And this one from someone who read about the visit:

Please accept this small donation to help you raise money for the much-needed ice machine.

While I do not live in the area of the Resource Center, I do know about the work the Center provides to citizens of the Dallas area, especially those living with AIDS. I commend you for asking people to donate up to one dollar for each minute of protest time. I am sure the article in The Dallas Morning News moved others as it did me to act and support your cause.

One donation was made in honor of activist Latisha McDaniel’s work in the community:

We wanted to make this contribution in your honor b/c of the selfless dedication w/ which you have continued to help others move past their own prejudices both within & outside the GLBT community. You actively seek to create positive change in the world around you, not to merely complain about the problems you see. You have also continually sought to build bridges between the straight & GLBT communities so that we can progress together, respecting each other’s contributions to society. You have challenged those around you to talk about difficult subjects in a safe & open atmosphere. You have become an inspiring voice of reason, compassion & passion on human rights issues that many have come to respect. We anticipate you becoming one of our city’s great leaders in the future & look forward to continuing to serve a supportive role in your dreams towards making a difference in the lives of others.

Diane Litke is president of Congregation Beth El Binah, the target of the Phelps clan picket at RCD.

“I’m glad being a target could be so productive for the Resource Center,” Litke said.

—  David Taffet

RCD’s Phelps clan fundraiser may have set record

Counterprotesters braved the rain outside Resource Center Dallas — and the donations poured in. To view our slideshow, go here. And to watch our video, go here. (Eric Dickson/Dallas Voice)

Resource Center Dallas has now brought in about $9,600 for “Hell Freezes Over,” which reportedly makes it one of the top-grossing Phelps clan counterprotest fundraisers of all time.

According to RCD’s Rafael McDonnell, a New York visit from the crazies at Westboro Baptist Church once netted $10,000 for an LGBT group. Phelps-a-thon.com, a website that tracks fundraising around the cult’s pickets, reports totals from $250 raised at a JCC in Indianapolis to $4,500 for Driving Equality during a Boston visit.

Before the group arrived at Resource Center Dallas, the agency had collected about $5,000 for “Hell Freezes Over,” designed to raise money for a new ice maker. During the rainy half hour the clan spent outside RCD on Friday, another $2,700 poured in. Donations collected later at Congregation Beth El Binah, the Phelps clan’s intended target, as well as money sent over the weekend, increased the total. Another $1,800 is pledged but not yet received, bringing the Resource Center total to $9,600.

In addition, the target of the Phelps clan’s first picket on Friday, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, raised money, gained new members and set a one-day attendance record.

With the museum’s total, fundraising for Dallas may have surpassed the New York total. The museum’s development department says they will update us later today.

In their quest to always find new and bizarre targets, the cult recently announced they will picket Comic Con in San Diego on July 22. The reason? Idol worship.

And the reference to the group as a cult, rather than a congregation, refers to a quote from an interview with Nate Phelps in April with the Canadian news show “The Standard,” where he called his father a sociopath and Westboro Baptist Church cult-like.

—  David Taffet

Equality March Texas Holocaust Candlelight March

This is a video of the candlelight march and reception at the Melrose to remember LGBT victims of the Holocaust. The march was held on Jan. 27. The march was held to bring awareness to the proposed Uganda genocide law that targets LGBT people and their friends and families.

—  David Taffet

Holocaust vigil for LGBT victims

Holo1

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Equality March Texas organized a vigil to remember LGBT Holocaust victims.

Holo2

The vigil began at the Highland Park fountain and proceeded down Oak Lawn Avenue to the Legacy of Love monument.

—  David Taffet

Holocaust march in solidarity with the LGBT community of Uganda

Latisha McDaniel
Latisha McDaniel

Equality March Texas will hold its first Holocaust Remembrance march on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Organizer Latisha McDaniel said, “The event is meant to recognize the sometimes forgotten victims of the Holocaust, the LGBT community. Many members of our community don’t even know the full meaning of the pink triangle and what happened to the people who wore that patch. It is extremely important not forget this horrific part of our history especially with the imminent legislation in Uganda and Rwanda. The persecution is far from over.”

There will be a march from the Highland Park fountain where Oak Lawn Avenue becomes Preston Road to the statue at Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road. Afterward there will be speakers at the Warwick Melrose Hotel.

McDaniel said that marchers should park near the Crossroads and a shuttle will run from Cedar Springs to the start point of the march from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The march will begin at 7 p.m. and it will take 20 to 40 minutes to get to the Melrose depending on speed of marchers and traffic.  The presentation at the Melrose will begin at 8 p.m.

In case of rain, go directly to the Melrose Hotel.

—  David Taffet