A member of Westboro Baptist Church protests outside the LGBT Trailblazers luncheon in Houston on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Noel Freeman)
On Saturday, while Gov. Rick Perry was throwing his prayer rally “The Response” inside Reliant Stadium and GetEQUAL was staging mock funerals at the front gate, the Harris County Democratic Party sat down to a quite luncheon honoring LGBT Trailblazers. The highlight of the luncheon was the videotaped acceptance speech by Houston Mayor Annise Parker (WATCH IT BELOW). In 2009 Parker became the first out LGBT person elected mayor of a major American city after years of community service as an activist, city council member and city controller.
Parker was unable to accept her award in person due to previously scheduled city business. Via pre-recorded message she thanked the luncheon’s co-chairs, Robert Shipman and Brad Pritchett, and the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats, who took the lead in organizing the event.
Parker’s son, Jonon Tyler, accepted the award on behalf of his mother. Tyler talked about the thrill of riding with Mayor Parker in the 2010 Dallas Pride Parade, about how the crowd seemed to swell with hope and pride at seeing her. “When we see Mayor Annise Parker, we see the best in ourselves,” said Tyler. “We’ve only seen the beginning; the best is yet to come.”
Also honored as LGBT Trailblazers were Judge Steven Kirkland, City Councilwoman Sue Lovell, Judge Phyllis Frye and Linda Morales. Judge John Paul Barnich received a posthumous award.
A billboard truck paid for by the Freedom from Religion Foundation sits outside Reliant Stadium on Saturday during ‘The Response.’
Han Will and Katherine Godby from First Congregational Church of Fort Worth.
Houston’s Kirby Drive winds past the front entry to Reliant Stadium. At one point, just past the stadium, the road makes a slight curve. The main gate to the stadium’s parking lot is here, and the combination of Kirby Drive’s curve and the thoroughfare-like entrance gate creates a three-way intersection centered around a small concrete traffic island. On Saturday, this intersection became a carousel of non-LGBT groups protesting Gov. Rick Perry’s day of prayer and fasting, dubbed “The Response.”
Each corner was claimed by a different group that feels “The Response” violated values it holds dear. On one corner, the American Atheists — who objected to the response as state promotion of religion. On the next corner, the Freedom From Religion Foundation which, due to its strategic location, was positioned to yell at idling cars waiting for entrance to the stadium. On the last corner, a group of Lyndon LaRouche supporters, who toted a 6-foot poster of President Barack Obama portrayed as Hitler. Finally, cordoned on the concrete island by crowd-control fencing: Westboro Baptist Church. Positioned at the axis of discontent, WBC managed to draw the ire of all the other groups, and every attendee to “The Response” who drove by.
The most fervent shouting matches were between the Atheists and Westboro Baptist Church. Small cadres of Athiests would hurl taunts like “Your imaginary friend doesn’t scare me.” Which would cause the protesters from WBC to launch into another round of what seemed to be their favorite song: “God Hates America,” set to the tune of “God Bless America.”
Westboro Baptist Church protests in New York City.
The first day of marriage equality in New York ended without incident although several groups in Manhattan staged protests, according to an email from the New York LGBT group Connecting Rainbows.
Members of Westboro Baptist Church, the hate group with the most experience protesting LGBT rights, were cordoned off inside a small police barrier on the street outside the governor’s New York City office. They flashed new signs like “Fags cannot marry,” along with “Thank God for 9-11,” specifically designed to enrage New Yorkers.
Others demonstrating on behalf of discrimination included a large Hispanic group led by State Sen. Ruben Diaz, the only Democrat to vote against equality, as well as a Hasidic (Jewish ultra-Orthodox) group.
The Hasidic group held signs that read, “LGBT Education will cost us billions” and “Redefining marriage bashes bible believers.” Religious groups were given strict exemptions in the New York marriage equality law. It’s unclear what the group meant by “LGBT Education.”
The Hispanic group was the largest. Several hundred marched from Cuomo’s Midtown Manhattan office to the United Nations. In June, the U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution that seeks equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation.
Anti-LGBT protesters also appeared in Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, according to the Buffalo News.
Margie Phelps, the daughter of Fred Phelps, reports on Twitter tonight that Westboro Baptist Church will picket Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” — a day of prayer and fasting set for Aug. 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The Response is of course sponsored by the American Family Association, designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Westboro Baptist is also listed as an anti-gay hate group by the SPC. So it’s pretty clear that Perry will have to do a better job of uniting homophobic bigots — and build a bigger tent of hate — if he wants to win the GOP presidential nomination.
Last night we told you that picketers from Westboro Baptist Church were outside the American Airlines Center on Sunday, prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals, protesting the league’s recent crackdown on anti-gay slurs — or, according to WBC, Commissioner David Stern’s decision to “cram the homosexual lifestyle down the throat of America.” Looks like KDAF-33 was the only station to report on the picket, and their video is below. If anything, Westboro’s picket should only strengthen the NBA’s resolve to become more LGBT-friendly. Perhaps it will even help spur one of the league’s teams to join baseball’s San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox and film an “It Gets Better” video. How ’bout it, Mavericks?
Daryl Presgraves, a spokesman for GLSEN, sends along word that Westboro Baptist Church picketed outside the American Airlines Center in Dallas before Game 3 of the NBA finals tonight. The photos above and below were posted on Twitter by Westboro members. According to a schedule on WBC’s website, tonight’s picket was partly in response to the NBA’s recent decision to fine two players for using the word “faggot”:
WBC will picket the NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat to warn this nation that they need to tear down their idols and worship only the true God, Jesus Christ. The people of Doomed america set up these spoiled, rebellious basketball players and other celebrities as little gods that they emulate then curse the real God, Jesus Christ because He does not supprt their vile sins.
1 Chronicles 16:26 “For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.”
Like the ancient Israelites, this nation has turned their collective back on the the Lord their God and refused to obey. The prefer to worship their powerless idols and pay false prophets to lie to them. They would rather live like these filthy celebrities by fornicating, divorcing & remarrying, and supporting fag-filth than to hear about God’s standards – to the peril of their never-dying souls. Nevertheless, WBC will kindly warn them to flee the wrath to come by repenting and obeying. Doomed americans cannot continue to live for the devil then expect to get to heaven. Hell and damnation awaits these idolatrous fools.
Additionally, the NBA has an official policy of kissing fag ass. Players in the league can be fined for disagreeing with the sodomite mantra ”It’s OK to be gay.” The ancient citizens of Sodom & Gomorrah also chose to side with the fags against God and look what it got them – Total Destruction at the hand of an angry God!
Presgraves notes that the NBA also recently filmed a “Think Before You Speak” PSA that’s been airing during the NBA playoffs. Watch the PSA and view more photos from the picket below.
Lisa Lampanelli zings Westboro; Harold Camping gets it wrong again
Last Friday, I wrote here about how insult comic and “queen of mean” Lisa Lampanelli would be performing at the Topeka, Kansas Performing Arts Center, and how Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church loonies had announced they would protest outside the center because Lampanelli is pro-LGBT. So then Lampanelli announced she would donate $1,000 for every protester who showed to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an AIDS/HIV service organization in New York.
The Phelps clan did show up outside the Performing Arts Center, and Lampanelli’s people counted 44 of them. But the Westboro bunch claimed there were 48 protesters, so Lampanelli decided to donate $50,000. She is supposed to go to GMHC tomorrow (Wednesday) to present them with a check.
Below is an interview with Lampanelli published online today by The Village Voice in which she explains what led up to the situation in Topeka and how she even took her audience outside during the performance there to make fun of the Westboro protesters, including getting a gay couple to make out in front of them. Here’s video from the Village Voice website:
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli — known for her equal opportunity insults against every group, minority or not and known as well as an LGBT rights supporter, despite her gay jokes — is performing tonight in Topeka, Kan. And of course, Fred Phelps and his bunch of loony-tunes from Westboro Baptist Church have announced they plan to protest outside the Topeka Performing Arts Center while Lampanelli is performing inside.
Taking a page, perhaps, from Resource Center Dallas‘ playbook, Lampanelli has announced that for every protester who shows up tonight, she’ll donate $1,000 to New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the country’s oldest AIDS/HIV service organization.
This has the potential to be a big money maker for GMHC.
Last July, the Phelps clan protested outside Resource Center Dallas because that’s where the primarily LGBT Congregation Beth El Binah holds its services. (The Phelps Phools protested outside Dallas’ Holocaust Museum and the Jewish Community Center that same day.) But instead of asking counter-protesters to come out to face off against the Westboro Baptist group — which often uses such encounters to provoke counter-protesters into doing something the WBC folks can sue over), RCD asked people to pledge donations to the center for every minute the WBC protesters remained outside the center. RCD ended up with more than $10,000, money that was used to purchase a new freezer to store food for the center’s meals program.
Personally, I am not a big fan of Lampanelli’s brand of insult-based comedy. It’s just not my cup of tea. But if I lived anywhere near Topeka, I would damn sure buy a ticket and go see her show tonight. Because anybody willing to open up their own pocketbook to turn Westboro Baptist’s hate into a positive thing for a worthy cause is somebody I am willing to support.