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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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OPINION

Donald Trump Jr. Bombs at CPAC – and Gets Scorched for Lying That ‘Radical’ Dems Have ‘Banned the Muppets’ From TV

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If Donald Trump, Jr. was hoping to get support for a political run he did not receive it at Friday’s Conservative Political Action Conference. The son of the former president was the last speaker of the day, but had to address a room with more empty chairs than he probably expected. There was no attempt to be “socially distant” at CPAC, and it was definitely not “standing room only.”

The conservative crowd did not seem terribly impressed or thrilled with Trump Jr.’s remarks. At one point, when he compared CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter (who he called Brian Slettler) to “Mr. Potato Head,” claiming that everyone makes that comparison (almost no one makes that comparison, except for this guy and a Fox News host), he got enough pushback that he had to try to defend his ugly attack.

Jr. also tried to pull off jokes like, “Liz Cheney is less popular than her father is at a quail hunt,” referring to the former vice president accidentally shooting an acquaintance in the face – in 2006, 15 years ago. There likely were attendees in the room who literally were too young to know what he was talking about. When some groaned he declared, “fact check: true.”

Trump Jr.’s speech was his usual mix of lies, half-truths, and self-victimization, accentuated with a big lie about something incredibly irrelevant: “The Muppets” (no offense meant to any Muppets.)

“This month, this month alone, they’ve banned The Muppets,” Trump Jr. lied, blaming “the radical left” for the cancellation that did not happen.

“Right. I mean, if there’s things that you thought were sort of above cancellation, you would be wrong. There is nothing, the radical left won’t cancel. ”

He was probably referring to Disney +, where almost every Muppet episode can now be seen. Entertainment Weekly reports that two episodes are missing, one because Disney could not secure the rights to the music in an episode, and one because the guest star of that episode is now a convicted sex offender and was “found guilty of possessing child pornography.”

BBC News adds that Disney has added a content warning to the beginning of some episodes over “negative stereotypes.”

That’s not cancelling The Muppets, although Trump’s father has made clear he doesn’t like warning labels on his content either.

Watch:

A few responses:

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THIS IS TODAY'S GOP

MAGA Crowd at CPAC Rewards Josh Hawley With a Standing Ovation for Voting to Overturn a Free and Fair Election

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Conservatives continue to reward Republicans who fought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was one of the most prominent proponents of the “Big Lie” that Donald Trump actually won the presidential election. Hawley refused to accept the outcome of the election even after the Electoral College voted to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in December.

Hawley continued his efforts to overturn the election even after the fatal January. 6th insurrection by supporters of Trump who believed Hawley’s misinformation.

While the senator has been harshly criticized in Missouri, he was cheered on Friday when he bragged about siding with the insurrectionists while speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.

Many in the crowed even gave him a standing ovation.

Watch:

 

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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM

GOP Lawmakers Lie to Skip House Votes – So They Can Attend Conservative Conference in Orlando

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Four of the Republican Party’s most extreme House lawmakers have submitted signed letters claiming they must vote by proxy due to the ongoing health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. But as CNN’s Manu Raju reports, all four are in sunny Florida attending or even speaking at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Several Republicans in the House have skipped Friday’s votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf, signing letters saying they couldn’t attend ‘due to the ongoing public health emergency.’ But those members are scheduled to be at CPAC,” Raju reports.

“The members include Rep. Matt Gaetz,” Raju adds, “as well as some of Trump’s staunchest defenders who are listed as speakers, like Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Ted Budd of North Carolina.”

Here’s Rep. Matt Gaetz on Thursday at CPAC, apparently unconcerned about the coronavirus as he walks maskless in the halls laughing with supporters:

Republicans were initially vehemently opposed to voting by proxy when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi approved it. But now they are abusing the procedure, and apparently lying to invoke it.

 

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