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Anti-Gay Donor Quietly Bankrolling Campaign To Repeal Equal Rights Ordinance Spends Up To $350,000

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Longtime activist has compared gays to murderers, same-sex marriage to Holocaust

The largest individual donor to the campaign to repeal Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance has compared gays to murderers and same-sex marriage to the Holocaust. 

Longtime anti-gay activist Dr. Steve Hotze, who’s kicked in up to $350,000 for the anti-HERO campaign, has also said same-sex marriage will lead to teachers encouraging kindergarteners to try anal sex. And he recently wielded a sword on stage at an anti-gay rally, while pledging to drive “homofascists” out of Houston and back to San Francisco. 

However, despite his key financial role, the anti-HERO campaign has kept Hotze muzzled, silencing his rabidly anti-gay views while it maintains a laser focus on the more politically advantageous transgender bathroom myth. 

“If they see he is connected to this, it may be that it turns off certain voters that may know his position on this is extreme,” University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus told The Houston Chronicle. 

According to the Chronicle, Hotze has loaned the anti-HERO campaign $50,000 and bought $96,225 in radio ads. He is also believed to have made another $200,350 in credit card expenditures to purchase radio ads.

Hotze’s contributions suggest the anti-HERO campaign, despite a barrage of anti-trans ads, is as much about opposition to gay rights as anything. 

Thirty years ago, Hotze sponsored the infamous “Straight Slate,” a group of anti-gay Houston City Council candidates led by mayoral hopeful Louie Welch, who said over a hot mic before a televised debate that the best way to combat AIDS would be to “shoot the queers.” And the Straight Slate has been reincarnated this year, in the form of several City Council candidates running based on opposition to HERO. 

But with gay acceptance growing, the anti-HERO campaign has chosen instead to single out transgender people, masking Hotze-style homophobia behind the fear-mongering lie that sexual predators will use the ordinance to enter women’s restrooms and prey on children. 

“Most Houstonians, like most Americans, have gay and lesbian friends,” Richard Carlbom, manager of the pro-HERO campaign, told the Chronicle. “Most people don’t know a transgender person that they know of. The lack of familiarity means it can be easy for people to have questions or concerns or be made to be afraid, and that’s exactly what the other side does.”

HERO, which will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and 13 other characteristics in employment, housing and public accommodations. The HERO ballot fight, which caps an 18-month legal battle since the council first approved the ordinance in May 2014, has become a national and international story in the mainstream media, with both the Associated Press and The Guardian publishing stories over the weekend. 

The AP noted that nondiscrimination laws have replaced marriage equality as the No. 1 priority for many LGBT groups. Texas is one of 28 states with no LGBT protections, and Houston is the largest city in the country without a nondiscrimination ordinance. 

“The vote in Houston will carry national significance,” Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow told the AP. 

Watch the latest ad from the coalition supporting HERO, Houston Unites, below. 

 

EARLIER:

Conservative Republicans Of Texas Declare War On ‘Homofascists’ And Marriage Equality

‘They Want To Let Sodomites Queer Our Country’: How Christian GOP Activists Lobbied TX AG On SCOTUS

Gay Marriage Will Lead To Teachers Encouraging 5 Year Olds ‘To Participate In Anal Sex’ Warns Doctor

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

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Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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News

‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’

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Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.

“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”

McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:

Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.

S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”

Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”

ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”

More:

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”

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