Kingdom Baptist makes the news in Fort Worth

Queer LiberAction activist Rick Vanderslic, left, gets up close and personal with a member of Kingdom Baptist Church in a November 2009 protest outside Fort Worth City Hall

Folks in Fort Worth’s LGBT community are more than passingly familiar with Pastor Joey Faust and his congregants from Kingdom Baptist Church. Faust and his flock have been bringing their Bibles and their megaphones to every LGBT gathering in town since at least late 2009 when they showed up to protest outside City Hall as the City Council was inside voting to approve expanding the nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for transgenders.

(Dallas Voice staff writer John Wright took the photo above during that protest as Kingdom Baptist member squared off against Queer LiberAction activist Rick Vanderslice.)

The Faustian flock often showed up to “evangelize” during subsequent Queer LiberAction events in Fort Worth, and most recently, the Kingdom Baptist folks showed up at this year’s Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade, held on Main Street in downtown Fort Worth for the first time.

Now, Kingdom Baptist has made the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which today posted an article on its website about the street preachers and those who make it a point to confront and “mock” them.

Faust told the Star-Telegram that members of his congregation — who number about 100 and worship in Venus, near the border between that town and Mansfield — have been going to downtown Fort Worth on Friday nights to preach on the streets for about 10 years. He said they do it because the Bible tells them to, and that the Bible also warns they will face “mockers” as the end times draw near. And they aren’t just preaching about the sins of being LGBT; apparently they have a long list of targets, according to the Star-Telegram, from “baby killers” to “party animals.” They even warned moviegoers recently that the animated movie Puss In Boots, and all the movies showing at the Palace 9 theater, had “something Satanic” in them.

The Fort Worth newspaper says that folks out for a night on the town in Fort Worth are starting to fight back. Some stand around and make fun of the street preachers, and others write letters of complaint to Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

But as irritating and insulting — and idiotic — as we might find them, Faust and his flock have every right to stand on the streets and preach, as long as they don’t get too loud and violate the noise ordinances. I say let ’em preach, because I have every right to ignore their rants. I just hope, for their sake, they don’t ever try to confront my wife; she’s not as calm and peace-loving as I am.

—  admin

The gays go to the Mega March

Staff writer David Taffet shot these photos Saturday featuring some of the LGBT folks who participated in the Mega March for Immigration Reform in downtown Dallas. He’ll have a full story on gays and immigration in Friday’s Voice.

The LGBT groups that participated in the Mega March that are in the video include Rainbow LULAC, Equality March Texas and Queer Liberaction Denton.

The video begins at the Meyerson Symphony Center where the LGBT marchers gathered. They joined the main march from Cathedral Guadalupe on Ross Avenue to Dallas City Hall.The march ended with speakers and the playing of “America the Beautiful” by lesbian writer Katharine Lee Bates.

Si se puede!

—  John Wright

RCD urging people to call DART

Resource Center Dallas is urging people to contact DART board members in response to the transit agency’s alleged discrimination against a transgender employee. Representatives from RCD and other groups this week asked the DART board to add gender identity and expression to the agency’s nondiscrimination policies. Here’s RCD’s Facebook message:

If you live in the DART service area, Resource Center Dallas urges you to contact your representatives on the DART board and urge them to take action. The next board meeting is Tuesday, March 9. DART’s Customer Response Center is 214-749-3333. Please pass this along.

Also, a quick clarification to my story in today’s Voice: LGBT advocates who attended this week’s DART board meeting were Pamela Curry, a friend of the employee’s; Patti Fink of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance; Erin Moore of Stonewall Democrats; Rafael McDonnell of RCD; Latisha McDaniel of Equality March Texas; and Blake Wilkinson and Corbin Bates of Queer LiberAction.

—  John Wright

Freedom to Marry Day — Part II

Blake Wilkinson of Queer LiberAction and Dallas County Clerk John Warren square off inside the marriage license office last year.
Blake Wilkinson of Queer LiberAction, left, and Dallas County Clerk John Warren square off inside the marriage license office last year.

Last week same-sex couple Kay Mathews and Wendy Churitch renewed their vows in front of the Dallas County Records Building in a demonstration to mark Freedom To Marry Day. But the Records Building was closed because of the weather, so they were unable to go inside and request a marriage license from the County Clerk’s Office. Which brings us to tomorrow, when Mathews and Churitch, along with activists from Queer LiberAction and Equality March Texas, will take care of unfinished business. The group will gather in front of the Records Building at 9 a.m. before marching inside. This portion of the demonstration resulted in a heated exchange last year between QL founder Blake Wilkinson and County Clerk John Warren (shown above). And especially given some of the other Freedom to Marry demonstrations around the country last week (like this one and this one, for example), it’ll be interesting to see how Part II plays out.

—  John Wright

Weather won't stop Freedom to Marry protest

Despite the possiblity of inclement weather, Queer LiberAction’s Freedom to Marry Day event is going forward tomorrow outside the Dallas County Records Building, according to a press release we just received. And QL has announced the couple that will celebrate its union in a public wedding ceremony before applying for a marriage license from the clerk’s office. They are Kay and Wendy Churitch, who’ve been together for eight years and were legally married in Iowa last August. The wedding ceremony will be officiated by the Rev. Daniel Kanter, senior minister at First Unitarian Church of Dallas. The event starts at noon at 509 Main.

UPDATE: It’s unclear whether the protesters will be able to go inside to request a marriage license. The Dallas Morning News reports that a decision about whether county offices are closed tomorrow will be made by 5:30 a.m.

—  John Wright

Freedom to Marry Day, 2010

Kim Davis, right, and Rose Preizier
Kim Davis, right, and Rose Preizier

Last year on Feb. 12, Kim Davis and Rose Preizier were married in a ceremony outside Dallas’ Records Building during a Freedom to Marry Day event staged by Queer LiberAction. The newlyweds, backed up by supporters from QL, then marched into the Records Building to request a marriage license.

They were denied the license, of course, since Texas has a constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

The amendment is still on the books this year, but that won’t stop Queer LiberAction and Equality March Texas, two direct action groups that are working together to once again mark Freedom to Marry Day with a wedding and a march into the Records Building to demand a marriage license for the newly joined couple.

This year’s Freedom to Marry Day event starts at noon on Historical Plaza, outside the Records Building. And this year, it seems, the LGBT activists are going to have some unwelcome guests at the wedding.

According to an e-mail I received today from our good buddy “Pastor Joey” Faust of Kingdom Baptist Church in Mansfield, “Many Christians (including Kingdom Baptist Church, and Pastor Faust) are planning on protesting this wicked event.”

The e-mail goes on to explain that Christians “should be the light and salt of this world,” and that they are called on by the Bible to “hinder evil by reproving it and exposing it.” Pastor Joey also reminds readers that Kingdom Baptsit is the group that staged the counter-protest outside Fort Worth City Hall last year when LGBT activists gathered outside to encourage the City Council to vote for including protections for trans people in the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, and that Kingdom Baptist was also “responsible for the Protest Gay Day event at the Texas Ranger’s stadium a few years ago.”

So, if you can, get down to Historical Plaza on Friday at noon and help make sure that the couple getting married that day have more well-wishers in the crowd than Pastor Joey and his group can muster up to try and ruin the day.

—  admin

Fort Worth Weekly gives Queer Liberaction some major face time

FWWeeklyClick on over to this week’s issue of Fort Worth Weekly and read their in-depth article, Putting the Spurs to Cowtown, about Queer Liberaction’s impact on the community during the Rainbow Lounge debacle. The article touches on their appearance at Fort Worth City Hall,  FW LGBT leaders response to the group and background on the outspoken Blake Wilkinson. Here’s how it starts:

Most Fort Worth citizens were introduced to Queer LiberAction, a lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender activist group, on the evening news last summer. Footage of the packed July 14 city council meeting was broadcast on TV stations all over North Texas. It featured Mayor Mike Moncrief, gavel in hand, facing off against a wiry young man with long thin sideburns who wouldn’t sit down or shut up. (In the age of viral video, the entire episode was uploaded for the world to see on YouTube). Amid the mayor’s stern warnings of “Take a seat,” and “Don’t interrupt,” and “Do you want to be removed?” the young man waved a piece of paper and claimed to speak for the crowd:

“Sir, we respectfully ask to be put at the top of the agenda. We’re tired of being put at the bottom of the list. Hundreds of people are here tonight to talk about what happened at the Rainbow Lounge two weeks ago.”

The article is a decent balance of both QL and the FW community. And of course, don’t forget the comments section. They make for an added bonus.

—  Rich Lopez

Milk Box next weekend in Sundance Square

Queer LiberAction will be bringing the Milk Box back to Sundance Square next Sunday, Nov. 29, starting at 5 p.m.

The last time QL set up the Milk Box at Sundance Square, a large contingent of folks from Pastor Joey Faust’s Kingdom Baptist Church in Venus (Texas, not outer space, though sometimes it’s hard to tell) showed up and the two groups got into something of a confrontation.

And on Nov. 10 outside the Fort Worth City Hall — as the council was inside preparing to approve an amendment to its nondiscrimination ordinance to protect trans people — QL’s Rick Vanderslice got into a shouting match with a Kingdom Baptist congregation member.

QL spokesman Corban Bates said the group fully expects Faust and his Baptist flock to show up again next Sunday. But QL will be ready for them and will stand their ground in exercising and protecting their free speech rights.

—  admin

DVtv: Fort Worth City Hall protests

I’m not sure what my favorite part of this video is. It could be when the anti-gay protester states that incest causes transgenderism, or when I ask Pastor Joey Faust whether his church is really in a double-wide trailer, or when Faust blames gays for the Fort Hood tragedy, or the confrontations involving Queer LiberAction’s Rick Vanderslice. I’m not used to the video camera — and you can tell — but as always DVtv Segment Producer Israel Luna does a great job piecing it all together.

—  John Wright

Christian counterprotesters crash QL Milk Box

Blake Wilkinson, founder of Queer LiberAction, said the group’s Milk Box community forum in Fort Worth on Sunday was crashed by surprisingly aggressive anti-gay counterprotesters. Wilkinson said when about six or seven QL members arrived for the Milk Box, the counterprotesters had already seized the planned site, at the corner of Houston and Third streets. To avoid a confrontation, the QL’ers moved down the block, but then the group of about 15 counterprotesters started coming toward them in a threatening manner. “It got to a point where we just had to leave,” said Wilkinson, noting that there were no Fort Worth police officers present. “I think people were getting concerned for their safety. We definitely felt outnumbered.”

Wilkinson said the counterprotesters were from Kingdom Baptist Church of Mansfield. This appears to be the same church that’s led by Pastor Joey Faust, who sent out a press release earlier today encouraging anti-gay protesters to attend tomorrow night’s City Council meeting, where an LGBT protest is planned. In fact, it appears as though Faust may be one of the men in the above video from yesterday. After the jump, read QL’s full press release about the incident.

—  John Wright