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The Violent Response of Governor Rick Perry’s The Response



Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry on August 6 co-hosted the oxymoronic “non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting,” known as “The Response,” with his million-dollar financial supporter, the American Family Association. While only 30,000 attended, the violent results of their evangelical experience were felt by some, immediately. Jay Morris explains, in this first-hand account.


On Friday, August 5th, I left the office, rushed to pick up fellow activists, headed to our designated meet-up spot in San Antonio and loaded up the pick-up truck to head to Houston, Texas. We had been planning this trip for some months knowing that we could not let Governor Rick Perry’s alliance with a hate group go unchecked. Activists from all over Texas were converging on Reliant Stadium to respond to The Response.

READ: Texas Governor Rick Perry And The Hate Group

There was a lot of excitement on the road to Houston, and I’ll admit there was a lot of nervousness as well. Most of us in the Texas-sized pick-up truck had stood in the middle of crowds of evangelicals before. Instead of experience calming us, it perhaps made us even more nervous as we had seen mob mentality escalate into fits before.

On Saturday morning, we met up with other GetEQUAL TX organizers near Reliant Stadium. Few of us had slept more than three hours the night before, and several had not slept at all. We covered ourselves in sunscreen, discussed our positioning and marched toward the west entrance of Reliant Stadium where we would set up shop for the day. Few, except for the Houston Police Department, paid much attention to the crowd of people carrying rainbow flags and a coffin as they pulled into the stadium parking lot to join the Texas Governor and the hate group, The American Family Association.

By 9:00 a.m. we were already experiencing the discomfort of the heat. Our spot on the West side of the stadium provided us some shelter from the scorching sun, but sweat still beaded up on our faces and soaked our clothing. It was around this time we held the first of our three funeral processions of the day, honoring the lives of those LGBTQ people who had been murdered or taken their own lives as a result of the hate spewed by organizations like the American Family Association.

Shortly thereafter, we encountered the very hate we were there to protest against, a man in a different Texas-sized pick-up truck who continued to circle the stadium, passing us, squealing his tires and revving his engine, causing black exhaust clouds to plum around us. After a few times of this, he took it a step further, jumping the curb and pushing several of us back away from the street with his vehicle. In spite of the large police presence, this assault went unnoticed by the authorities (or perhaps it was simply disregarded.)

As you’ll note by the above video, our first procession was led by a band, which just happened to appear at the event and agreed to lead the procession. By the second procession around 10:00 a.m., we were band-less, but our voices would not be silenced. We rounded up our group and some others who were standing by, locating a lone drummer, and prepared them all to sing “We Shall Overcome” as we marched down Kirby Avenue honoring and remembering our fallen brothers and sisters.

Near noon, we held our third and final procession of the day, and as we strolled down Kirby Avenue, many others joined behind:

Immediately after this procession, we entered the cross-walk and headed to pack up the coffin, signs, rainbow flags and other items. Several participants of The Response were leaving for lunch or other affairs. As if to prove our point that their rhetoric leads to violence, a man in yet another Texas-sized pick-up truck turned out of the parking lot, punched the gas and came barreling at us, missing us by only a foot or two. The miss was likely intentional as we were sitting ducks in the cross-walk had he wished to actually harm us, but his message was clear – he will protect his heterosexual privilege at all cost, even violence.

WATCH: Rick Perry’s Love Of Hate Group Examined By Lawrence O’Donnell

After lunch, several of our organizers headed back to the stadium for the close of the event. One of them, John Dean Domingue, was met by a Response attendee who, in her zeal to save his soul, thought it acceptable to begin pushing him toward the stadium saying, “Have you been inside? You need to come inside.” John Dean later noted that before the event, those arriving weren’t very hostile at all, but upon leaving they were much more apt to push their views on the protesters by shooting the finger, shouting and otherwise shoving protesters.

This was The Response generated by the supposed prayer event. Perhaps fear, violence and intimidation are exactly how the American Family Association, presidential want-to-be Rick Perry and the evangelical hate machine will confront the crisis faced by America. If so, we can expect more crises and more murdered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should Perry and his evangelical lot get their prayer of a presidency answered.


Jay Morris is a State Lead for GetEQUAL​.org, a founding member of the Direct Action Network San Antonio, a writer for Ignite San Antonio Magazine, and blogger at jaysays​.com. You can find him posting randomness on Twitter or engage him in conversation on Facebook.

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Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee



U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.

The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.

“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee,, five separate times.”

The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.

READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing

The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.

“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”

CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.

You can read the letter below or at this link.

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Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing



U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) is being criticized for having the parents of a victim of the Parkland school massacre removed from a GOP-led House committee hearing on “ATF Overreach” after he deemed them “out of order” for remarks they made while a Member was speaking. Minutes later, Capital Police pinned the father to the ground in the hallway and arrested him.

“See this is, exactly what we have to avoid!” Rep. Fallon, chairing the joint hearing, angrily declared as he pointed his finger after the father, Manuel Oliver, made a remark that was inaudible. “Which is some minority of folks trying to silence dissent. Dissent shouldn’t be kryptonite.”

“There’s a decorum that should be adhered to,” Fallon, who recently refused to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, said as he chastising Oliver.

After another, louder outburst, Fallon mockingly asked, “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another January 6.”

READ MORE: ‘Unlawful Incursion’: Manhattan DA Schools Jim Jordan for Demanding He Testify in Ongoing Trump Investigation

Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) responded, “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but I think they’re trying to express their frustrations.”

Angrily again, Rep. Fallon interjected.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa,” he shouted as he banged the gavel.

“Member’s out of line,” Fallon said (incorrectly. The term is “out of order.”)

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Fallon had both Manuel and Patricia Oliver removed.

ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in the hearing, tweeted video and said bot Manuel and Patricia Oliver “appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers.”

“Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday on Capitol Hill after he appeared to shout at a Republican lawmaker who was speaking during a hearing on gun regulations,” NBC News reports. Patricia Oliver, his wife and the mother of their 17-year old son, Joaquin Oliver, who was one of 17 people who died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was not arrested.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs

On social media critics expressed anger at Fallon.

“Rep. Pat Fallon (R) thinks parents of slaughtered children should just sit down & shut up as Republicans maintain outrageously dangerous gun laws. He had this parent expelled rather than just giving a warning, which is the usual,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Texas Rep. Pat Fallon: You are the EXACT problem with the gun violence and why it keeps being the leading cause of death in children today,” wrote another.

According to the NIH, gun violence is the leading cause of childhood death.

Still another Twitter user blasted Fallon: “What disgraceful & despicable behavior by Representative Pat Fallon. Exercising your right to free speech is being an insurrectionist? The man lost his son. Have you no compassion? I think he has more than earned the right to be heard by Congress. Such an abuse of power.”

And one called Fallon “feckless.”

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‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid



The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”

“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”

READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case

“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”

Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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