Anti-Trans Petition Won’t Be on Houston Ballot, But Plenty of Anti-LGBT Candidates Will


A petition aimed at enshrining a transgender bathroom ban in the Houston City Charter isn’t likely to appear on the November ballot.

FlyerHowever, a slew of anti-LGBT candidates who oppose the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) — which will appear on the ballot — have lined up to run for council seats in what appears to be a reincarnation of the city’s 1985 anti-gay “Straight Slate” (right).  

After the city twice rejected the anti-trans petition from activist Dave Wilson, he filed a lawsuit and convinced a district judge to order officials to count his signatures. After the city appealed, Wilson sought a ruling directly from the Texas Supreme Court. However, justices failed to take up the case in time for the petition to be appear on the November ballot.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Wilson, a Houston Community College trustee, warned that he will continue to push the issue in district court.

“I’m not gonna give up,” Wilson said. “I’ll be back. I will get this on the next election.”

The city has long contended that Wilson’s effort too closely resembles a repeal petition pertaining to the city’s equal rights ordinance that is already on the ballot. His effort is too late and should not be considered, they have said, because those seeking to repeal an ordinance must submit their petition within 30 days of the law going into effect; City Council passed the ordinance in May 2014.

Meanwhile, numerous candidates who oppose HERO filed to run for City Council seats before last Monday’s deadline. As we’ve mentioned, this November’s election is looking more and more like one from 30 years ago during which mayoral candidate Louie Welch said the best way to control AIDS would be to “shoot the queers.”

From the Chronicle:

With the latecomers, the fight to repeal HERO now is poised to extend into all of the at-large and most of the district council races, in addition to the mayor’s race.

At first glance, the lineup harkens back to the “Straight Slate” of 1985, when conservative power broker Steven Hotze organized challengers to run against incumbent council members who supported job protections for gays employed by the city.

However, members of the anti-HERO campaign and other prominent conservative activists disputed suggestions of a widely-coordinated effort, saying the candidates ended up on the ballot for a variety of reasons.

“We have been approached by candidates who oppose the bathroom ordinance,” said Jared Woodfill, spokesman for the anti-HERO campaign. “And we have encouraged people to run who oppose the bathroom ordinance, as have other organizations who have the same goal of defeating the ordinance.”

Maverick Welsh, president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, told the Chronicle he isn’t worried:

“I think it actually helps our slate,” Welsh said. “This isn’t 1985.”

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Bill Maher and Rick Santorum Get Into It Over Climate Change: VIDEO

rick santorum, bill maher

Things got heated on Real Time last night when Bill Maher confronted longtime climate denier Rick Santorum about his anti-science record.

Maher brought up Pope Francis’s recent papal letter calling climate change a moral issue and a “principal challenge” for humanity:

“The Pope made a very strong statement, very strong statement in support of my position on climate change not yours. And your position when you heard that was ‘let’s leave the science to scientists’….I’m not a Catholic, I’m an atheist but I like the Pope better than you do.”

Maher continued to push Santorum’s buttons on the Overtime segment, joking that Ronald Reagan was the GOP presidential long-shot’s “boyfriend.”

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Rowan County Attorney Files Official Misconduct Charge Against Anti-gay Clerk Kim Davis

kim davis

The Rowan County Attorney’s Office has filed a charge of official misconduct against clerk Kim Davis for her repeated refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a federal order.

The Morehead News reports County Attorney Cecil Watkins said the Rowan County government and his office had no other action against Davis.

“No authority exists for her removal or suspension from the office by Rowan County government,” said Watkins. “Kentucky State Government is the only entity that can move to have Kim Davis removed as Rowan County Clerk.”

The charge has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office. The county attorney’s office is prohibited from prosecuting Davis because they are involved in current litigation with Davis.

The federal judge’s stay on his order expires on Monday. Davis has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay on the order while she continues her appeal.

In related news, fellow renegade clerk Casey Davis biked across the state to visit Davis on Friday and raise awareness for other clerks who are refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling.

WKYT reports:

davis4The two of them, who are not related, but say they are brother and sister in Christ, spent about 30 minutes inside the Rowan County Clerk’s office.

“I don’t hate these people. Kim doesn’t hate these people. Kim is not trying to keep them from getting what they want,” Casey Davis said. “I mean, I’ve ridden a bike across how many counties? They can drive in a car much easier today and go get that if that’s what they want.”

Watch a WKYT and CBN News report on the latest Davis drama below:

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Sarah Palin’s Interview with Donald Trump Is Like an ‘Onion’ Article Come to Life: VIDEO

sarah palin

Sarah Palin interviewed Donald Trump for the conservative One America News last night and the results were mostly just a bunch of hot air.

Introducing Trump as a “fighter” and “avant garde,” Palin proceeded to lob a series of easy questions about the economy and taxes to the billionaire blowhard. She also brought up the media’s “gotcha questions” thrown Trump’s way recently, pointing to the recent Bloomberg interview in which the “truth talker” was asked (and declined to answer) what his favorite Bible verse was.

All in all, the exchange was light on fireworks but well worth a watch, if only to get a better understanding of why Trump is resonating with the GOP electorate.

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Campus LGBT Group Responds Beautifully After ‘Fags’ Carved In Sponsored Bench

bench, UTPA

An LGBT group at one Texas university had the perfect response after someone carved a gay slur in a bench it sponsors on campus.

Someone carved “fags” into the bench sponsored by the LGBT Alliance at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, previously known as the University of Texas Pan American, in Edinburg.

KGBT-TV reports:

Police received a report on Thursday morning about the damaged property, which they believe occurred after Wednesday, Aug. 12.

“UTPA takes the safety of all student very seriously,” the university said in a statement released by a public affairs representative.

“In compliance with the timely notice provisions of the Clery Act, students faculty and staff have been notified of this incident,” the statement read.

The LGBT Alliance had this to say Friday about the incident on its Facebook page:

“Yesterday we were informed that our organizations bench by the University Chapel was vandalized with hate speech. We want to thank the University for their prompt response in taking it down. To many of us, this is just dirt off of our shoulders. It’s a sad reality that hate and ignorance are still expected occurrences in our lives. But to the students who are struggling with their identity, the students who are working up the courage to walk through our meeting doors, the students who are afraid of the consequences of living true to themselves, this act of hate means so much more. So because of that, we will continue to advocate, to meet, and to educate on campus and around the RGV. And we ask that UTRGV ensures that diversity is not only tolerated, but promoted and celebrated.”

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WATCH: Focus on the Family Highlights Anti-gay Rally for Lawless Kentucky County Clerks

focus on the family

Anti-gay organization Focus on the Family attended and shot a promotional video at an anti-gay rally at the Kentucky state Capitol last Saturday where Rowan County clerk Kim Davis was a key speaker for the event.

Focus on the Family’s video promotional video asks, “will you stand with them?” in support of Kim Davis and clerks like her in their lawless actions.

Earlier today, we reported Davis had filed an emergency request for a stay on a federal order calling on her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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LISTEN: Houston Minister Delivers Powerful Response To Disgusting, Anti-LGBT Radio Ad


The other day we told you how opponents of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) released a disgusting, transphobic radio ad. The ad featured a young female narrator who said she hopes to get pregnant and have her baby in Houston, but she’s concerned about the impacts of HERO. She said the ordinance will allow men to enter women’s restrooms, which she called “filthy, disgusting and unsafe.”

Today, the coalition supporting HERO — which will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot as Proposition 1 — responded with its own advertising spot, in which a Houston minister tackles head on the transgender bathroom myth.

YesOn1From Project Q Houston:

Houston Unites’ response features the Rev. Will Reed, pastor of Servants of Christ United Methodist Church, who emphasizes that in addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, HERO prohibits discrimination based on 13 other characteristics, including race:

“As Christians, my wife and I believe in treating others the way we want to be treated, that’s what we’ve taught our children.

“Recently, we’re hearing about HERO – Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, and concerns some have raised about privacy in public bathrooms,” Reed says in the ad. “What’s being lost is that it’s already illegal to go into a bathroom to harm or harass someone. This law won’t change that.

“We looked into it, and HERO is actually about providing a needed local tool to protect Houstonians from discrimination based on their race, religion, age, gender, military status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability,” Reed says. “And Houston is the only major city in Texas without these protections against discrimination in jobs, housing and public places. In most cases, without local protections, Houstonians literally have to make a federal case out of it to get legal help with discrimination. That’s why we’re voting ‘yes’ on (Proposition 1), to keep Houston’s equal rights ordinance. We’re all God’s children and we should all be protected from discrimination.”

The two ads represent the first media battle in what is expected to be a multi-million dollar war over LGBT protections in the nation’s fourth-largest city.

According to the pro-HERO Houston Unites, its ad will air on seven stations for at least two weeks. The coalition notes in a press release that more than half of the discrimination complaints filed under HERO thus far were based on race:

“Pastor Reed makes clear that the Equal Rights Ordinance includes all Houstonians, no matter one’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy,” said Fran Watson, faith outreach director for Houston Unites. “Most of us in this city want to treat everyone fairly and equally and voting ‘yes’ on Prop 1 is a way to do just that.”

Also this week, the City Council voted to approve the final wording for Proposition 1, which will state:

“Are you in favor of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, Ord. No. 2014-530, which prohibits discrimination in city employment and city services, city contracts, public accommodations, private employment, and housing based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy?”

WelchThe anti-LGBT Texas Pastor Council responded to the council’s vote in an email:

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Rev. Dave Welch stated, “Recognizing that Mayor (Annise) Parker has attempted every possible means of silencing the voters of the city, repeatedly violating the law while doing so, we are pleased that ‘We the People’ will finally have the opportunity to speak on whether Houston should criminalize people of faith, suppress religious freedom and allow men in women’s restrooms.”

He added that, “We believe that this ordinance reflects only a personal agenda by Mayor Parker and “my people” as she describes the LGBT community and not what is good, just, decent and best for Houston.  However, we have been willing to put it before the people to decide and we will do all we can to make sure those who revere and  respect our founding principles, God’s design of marriage and family and simply basic freedom get out and vote.”

Listen to both ads below.

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