What’s Brewing: Gov. Perry’s Day of Prayer linked to Uganda bill calling for execution of gays

(From “Protest of Rick Perry’s Prayer Event” on Facebook.)

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The Human Rights Campaign is calling on members to write letters to their governors asking them to decline Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s invitation to a Day of Prayer at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Aug. 6. The Day of Prayer, dubbed “The Response,” is being bankrolled by the American Family Association, designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, HRC notes that David Lane, who’s listed as fundraising director for the Response, played a major role in last year’s recall of three Iowa state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of major equality. HRC also says the Day of Prayer involves leaders associated with the International House of Prayer and Lou Engle’s TheCall, which “played an active role in supporting anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, where legislation under potential consideration would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death in some circumstances.” HRC’s full press release from Wednesday afternoon is after the jump. To take action, go here.

2. Also issuing a statement Wednesday about Gov. Perry’s Day of Prayer was Michael Mitchell, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats: “If there is a worse partner than the American Family Association for Texas Governor Rick Perry’s day of prayer event, I certainly can’t think of one,” Mitchell said. “As a certified hate group hell-bent on rolling back every bit of progress lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have made, this is certainly not going to be an uplifting event for LGBT Texans, especially those of faith. Rick Perry’s presidential aspirations seem to be getting the best of him. Rather than organize an event worthy of all Texans, he has chosen to ally himself with the deep pockets of the AFA. Let’s hope the 49 other governors he has invited turn down their invitations. We would urge all Texans who care about the rights of LGBT people to steer clear of this event.”

3. Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, acknowledged in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that one of the purposes of the Response is to pray for an end to the increasing acceptance of homosexuality in American society:

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, rejected the label of “hate group” and characterized his organization’s position on homosexuality as representative “of a lot of people who have traditional values.”

“They want somebody to speak for them,” he said. “We try to do that. We are reaching the Christian community with the truth about what is going on in our country.”

He acknowledged that a stated purpose of the August prayer event initiated by Perry – to pray for an end to the “debasement of our culture” – refers to the increasing acceptance of homosexuality by American society.

—  John Wright

Thousands rally against gay marriage in Calif.

JUDY LIN  |  Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thousands of Christian conservatives spent 12 hours Saturday, Sept. 4 praying and fasting in front of the state Capitol at a gathering organizers described as spiritual repentance “when there is no hope for a nation.”

The daylong religious event titled, “TheCall to Conscience,” was led by Lou Engle as well as other pastors and speakers to protest gay marriage, pornography and abortion. Many of those attending slapped red “Life” stickers over their shirts and set up blankets and folding chairs facing a large stage with banners that read: “Only One Hope God.”

People close to the front of the stage held up their hands when called to prayer. They jumped and danced to musical performances between sermons. The gathering filled the west lawn of the state Capitol and hundreds of people spilled into the next block, but the rest of Capitol Mall’s five-block-long lawn went unused despite large screens and barricades set up for the occasion.

Offering stations were set up throughout the area.

Ken and Antoinette Rodrigues, who described themselves as born-again Christians, drove in from Fremont to attend Saturday’s rally after their daughter-in-law saw it over the Internet.

“It’s a little more blunt than I anticipated, not that I’m opposed to that, but the things they are speaking, it’s bold, very bold,” said Antoinette Rodrigues, 48. “But I feel that it’s very appropriate and timely.”

Engle said it was the 17th fast hosted by TheCall in 10 years. Previous events have been held in New York, Boston and Nashville, Tenn., as well as in other parts of California such as Pasadena and San Francisco. It follows a similar prayer march and rally to a Houston abortion clinic back in January.

The Sacramento event, Engle said, helped to highlight immoral laws being passed out of the Capitol and called on traditional marriage to be restored.

“If marriage is going to be upheld between a man and a woman, which we believe is the best for families and children and society, then right now, it seems we need divine intervention,” Engle said in an interview between appearances on stage. “That’s part of the reason we’re coming here, to pray, but also to take a stand and be a prophetic voice to stand for truth.”

Last month Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. The measure approved by 52 percent of California voters in November 2008 amended the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex unions five months after the state Supreme Court legalized them.

The state has until Sept. 11 to challenge Walker’s ruling. Both Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have said they don’t plan an appeal.

Telephone calls to Equality California weren’t immediately returned Saturday.

—  John Wright