|T-shirt worn by 'I Stand Sunday' supporter. It says "WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE TO HOMOSEXUALS"|
Anti-gay groups led by the Family Research Council held their "I Stand Sunday" event in Houston last night and, as predicted, it was a drag.
Earlier this year, the city of Houston passed an equal right ordinance which included lgbts. Opponents quickly labeled it a "bathroom bill," playing up to fear and ignorance about the transgender community. They also attempted to get enough signatures to force a referendum. However they failed due to many signatures being thrown out because of illegal irregularities.
They then sued the city and in the process of preparing for this lawsuit, the city's lawyers subpoenaed the sermons of pastors who was involved in the petition gathering process.
And that's when the fun began.
Led by Fox News personality Todd Starnes (who has a history of creating false religious panics), anti-gay groups and their allies blew the situation up into a nationwide freak out, accusing Houston and its mayor, openly gay Annise Parker of attempting to silence or scare Christians, especially pastors.
Mayor Parker said she thought the subpoenas overreached and rescinded them. However, that didn't quell the controversy because once anti-gay groups get a moral panic going, they tend to milk it for all its worth.
The 'I Stand Sunday' event, led by the Family Research Council, included speakers such as Fox News personalities Mike Huckabee and Todd Starnes, reality tv star Phil Robertson from "Duck Dynasty, and a video message from Texas Senator Ted Cruz
However, the message of the event was confusing. One moment speakers were talking about how the so-called religious liberty of Christians were being threatened and in an instant, they would shift to demanding that Houston put the equal rights ordinance to a vote even though they had not legally gathered enough signatures.
All and all, it was a confusing hodge podge of general jingoistic nonsense about America's founding fathers, our so-called Christian heritage, with a few Bible verses and customary red meat speeches thrown in.
To be honest, how lgbts and our allies highjacking the twitter feed of this event was the only true exciting thing to happen. A day before the event, activist Scott Wooledge of Memeographs and several others (disclosure - myself included) used the #IStandSunday hashtag to put out the facts about the Houston controversy as well as a few other facts about the speakers. Soon, a large scale offensive took place on the #IStandSunday hashtag which ended up probably more interesting than the event itself. Other tweets also included were photos of same-sex couples and their children and pictures from other events held in Houston whose messages served to combat the negativity of the 'I Stand Sunday' event.
The following were some of the tweets:
#IStandSunday for #SundayService #SpreadLove pic.twitter.com/wPhpSsCIJF
— Fran Watson (@franjwatson) November 2, 2014
— Liberty (@LibertyS999) November 2, 2014
Anti-Gay Group's #iStandSunday Hashtag Backfires, Becomes Pro-LGBT Campaign On Twitter - http://t.co/E1IxaZyV01
— STOP-Homophobia.com (@WipeHomophobia) November 3, 2014
Every speaker at #IStandSunday warns that their First Amendment rights are being violated. Doesn't this event prove exactly the opposite?
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 3, 2014
Religion is not a blank check for discrimination. We Stand For Love #IStandSunday pic.twitter.com/R9CteQXz5h
— GetEQUAL Texas (@getequal_tx) November 2, 2014
#IStandSunday Speakers don't speak for ordinary Christians; Collective rhetoric is frighteningly extremist. #LGBT http://t.co/CX4apJmjKP
— Scott Wooledge (@Clarknt67) November 2, 2014
#IStandSunday because true Christians don't bear false witness against their lgbt neighbor pic.twitter.com/WW0mCM1ZIc
— Holy Bullies (@holybullies) November 2, 2014