Monday, November 03, 2014

'I Stand Sunday' event was fraudulent misdirection

'I Stand Sunday' was actually an event defending election fraud

The sponsors of last night's 'I Stand Sunday' would have you to believe that the event was simply about defending their freedom of religion against encroachment by an city government.

However, thanks to Carlos Maza of Equality Matters, who analyzed the event, we now know that there was something else going on. According to him, the sponsors and speakers of this "Christian" event was attempting to defend and force through election fraud:

Texas conservatives failed to submit enough valid signatures to put Houston's city-wide non-discrimination ordinance up for a public vote in November. Now those conservatives, led by Fox News, are pressuring the city to accept signatures determined to be improperly collected or otherwise irregular in order to "let the people vote" to repeal the measure.

In August, opponents of Houston's recently enacted Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) reportedly submitted more than the seventeen thousand signatures needed to qualify put the measure on the November ballot. However, upon review of the petition under the City Charter, City Attorney David Feldman determined that thousands of the signatures failed to meet the legal requirements set by local and state law for a voter referendum

 . . .  On November 2, thousands of conservatives met in Houston at the "I Stand Sunday" rally to demand that the city government allow for a public vote on the ordinance, despite the failure of the repeal petition. The event, which was hosted by the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council (FRC), was widely promoted by Fox News and featured speeches from Fox's Todd Starnes and Mike Huckabee.

At the rally, speakers demanded that the city of Houston "let the people vote" on the ordinance, accusing openly gay Mayor Annise Parker of violating the religious liberty of HERO's opponents by refusing to count their improperly collected signatures.

And just how improperly colllected were those signatures? Maza goes into great detail:

The city of Houston declared the signatures in question invalid after several weeks of reviewing the thousands of signatures submitted. City Secretary Anna Russell's published a thorough report on the petition effort, finding that over half of the submitted signatures failed to meet the City Charter's requirements to be considered valid. Pages of signatures were disqualified for being improperly notarized, including signatures collected before the allotted start date, and including unregistered and non-Houston area voters.

 . . .   A public policy analyst helping lead an independent review of the signatures called them a "mess," adding "they are the worst petitions I've ever seen."

In audio captured by TransAdvocate's Cristan Williams, one petition circulator was found illegally gathering signatures on government property and knowingly accepting a signature from an unregistered vote.

So that was the gist of last night. In spite of all of the posturing and great speeches about America's "Christian heritage" and "standing up to persecution," the entire thing was just a puppet show, a performance of histrionics put on by a crowd of ecclesiastical liars for the benefit of a bunch of willfully gullible folks who cling so hard to their Bibles that they refuse to recognize that they are being taken for a bad ride which will only end in an upsetting crash.

Go here for more details, including video of the 'I Stand Sunday' event.

'Top 5 lies told about lgbt non-discrimination laws' & other Monday midday news briefs

A sad lesson to carry away from the 'I Stand Sunday' event:
The Top Five Myths About LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws Debunked - This an old piece by Equality Matters but after last night's religious hot mess, it bears repeating and as well as another reading. 

Phil Robertson Helpfully Announces That He Won't 'Take A Leak' In The Women's Restroom - Speaking of which, this idiot's appearance at the event last night made it nightmarishly surreal. I mean we are talking "Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair" surreal. 

Kyrgyzstan's 'Homosexual Propaganda' Law Proposal Sparks Gay Community Fears - Oh good grief! Another country?! 

 Transgender man says police threatened genital search during traffic stop - There is NO excuse for this type of humiliation.

  'We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Homosexuals' - Let's talk more about that lovely t-shirt from the above tweet. In fact, let's make people REMEMBER that t-shirt from the above tweet.

Lgbt activists, allies add a bunch of truth to 'I Stand Sunday' event

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: