Party Chair Opposes Push To Hold Convention In Less LGBT-Friendly City â€“Â Leaders Aim To Revive Indiana-Style Religious Freedom Bills
Social conservatives in the Republican Party of Texas are calling for the state GOP to move its 2016 convention out of Dallas over the City Council’s recent decision to strengthen transgender protections.Â
However, state party chair Tom Mechler opposes the idea, saying it would be too expensive to find a new site at this late juncture.Â
Former Harris County GOP chair Jared Woodfill, a veteran anti-LGBT activist who served as spokesman for the campaign to repeal Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, was the first to call for the party’s 2016 state convention to be moved. Others, including former state GOP chair Cathie Adams, who now serves as president of the anti-LGBT Texas Eagle Forum, have since joined the effort.
But Tom Mechler, current chair of the Texas GOP, said it would cost the party $800,000 to break its contract in Dallas, money he says would be better spent supporting Republican candidates. Mechler said although the decision ultimately rests with the State Republican Executive Committee, moving the convention would also diminish the party’s say in electing the next president.Â
“I share the concerns of a vast majority of Republicans who oppose the ordinance which the Dallas City Council voted on, but I am concerned about proposals that will toy with the health and fiscal stability of the Republican Party of Texas,” Mechler said in a statement provided to the conservative news site Push Junction. “The Dallas City Council has taken an action which many find offensive, but we need to stand united with the Dallas County GOP in their fight to turn the county Republican. We cannot allow the liberals to push us out of a city that is important to the RPT by passing an ordinance that we oppose. Their recent action should strengthen our resolve to move forward. We will stand by the women in our party to ensure their safety and will do so at the convention. And, we will come to Dallas with a Republican grassroots army that is so large and determined to win, the liberals will rue the day they picked a fight with our party.”Â
Contrary to Mechler’s statement, the Dallas City Council is nonpartisan, and the proposal to strengthen transgender protections passed unanimously with support from several conservative members (including Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, the daughter of Dallas Cowboys Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubauch, a prominent GOP donor). Nevertheless, it’s hardly surprising that Mechler would advocate using LGBT rights as a wedge issue. After all, he once wrote a letter to the editor of The Amarillo Globe-NewsÂ threatening to cancel his subscription if his hometown newspaper published a photo of a same-sex couple kissing.
At the 2016 convention, Mechler is expected to face a challenge for state party chair from Woodfill, who finished third when Mechler was elected to the position last year. Woodfill wants the convention to be moved to Houston, where voters overwhelmingly defeated an Equal Rights Ordinance last month based on opponents’ fear-mongering lie that it would allow men to enter women’s restrooms and prey on victims.Â
A week after the Houston vote, the Dallas council thumbed its nose at anti-LGBT bigots by strengthening the city’s transgender protections, which have been in place since 2002. Not surprisingly, hate groups including Texas Values and the Texas Pastor Council were outraged, and they’ve pledged to try to repeal the Dallas ordinance. But those groups face a much higher bar for getting a referendum on the ballot in Dallas, even if they were to commit rampant forgery like they did in Houston. And that could explain why anti-LGBT activists are focusing their efforts on moving the convention.
Earlier this week, Woodfill sent out a missive from the Eagle Forum’s Adams.Â
“The Republican Party of Texas should take a principled stand concerning a recent immoral decision by the Dallas Mayor and City Council Members to allow men in women’s bathrooms,” Adams wrote.Â “We the people cannot acquiesce to this cruel hoax. It will take time, but the citizens of Dallas will strive to overturn this draconian action perpetrated upon our families.”
Bonnie Lugo, aÂ member of the State RepublicanÂ Executive Committee, also wants the convention moved,Â andÂ she’s accusing Mechler of refusing to release details of the party’s contract with Dallas. Adams and Lugo have also said they believe the City Council’s decision to strengthen transgender protections somehow voided the state GOP’s convention contract.Â
Mechler responded that the contract is available for any SREC member to view, and he notes that the Harris County GOP â€” which Woodfill led until he was defeated for re-election in 2014 â€” overwhelmingly rejected a resolution to move the convention.Â
Needless to say, many LGBT Democrats in Dallas likely would be thrilled to see the GOP convention moved. In 2014, the Republican Party of Texas endorsed “ex-gay” therapy in its platform, which also states:Â “Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nationâ€™s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples.”Â
Ultimately, though, the transgender convention controversy isn’t even the most embarrassing issue the Texas GOP is facing.Â
TheÂ Houston Chronicle reports that one SREC member plans to introduce a resolution that would place a non-binding measure on the Republican Primary ballot in support of Texas seceding from the union.Â Â
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Watch: Fourth Grade Student Says Uvalde Police Told Children to Yell ‘Help’ – Shooter Shot One Child Who Did
What appears to be an increasingly clear understanding of how police in Uvalde, Texas handled the Robb Elementary School mass shooting – by not going inside for at least one hour – is being made even more horrific by reported actions of police once they finally entered the school.
One fourth grade child spoke with local CBS affiliate KENS 5, describing what happened inside the school at one point.
The shooter “shot the next person’s door. We have a door in the middle. He opened it. He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, he said, ‘It’s time to die,'” the boy told KENS 5.
“When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” the child, whose name is not being released, told KENS 5. “I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”
“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” the boy said. “The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.”
(Transcript via KENS 5, video below appears slightly edited.)
Some have noted that since the 1999 Columbine, Colorado school shooting when 12 students and a teacher were slaughtered, police practice has been to storm the school to not give the shooter time to kill more children, and to allow those wounded to get medical attention to hopefully save more lives. That does not appear to have happened.
Presuming the child’s recollection is accurate, it appears one or more officers telling children to yell “help” may have led to at least one child being wounded or killed.
A fourth grader who survived the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde described how it ended.
“The cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came and shot her. Then the cops barged in.”https://t.co/COaVdedhnv pic.twitter.com/A0VOrNKvye
— KENS 5 (@KENS5) May 26, 2022
CNN Reporter Refuses to Accept Texas Official’s Claims About Uvalde Shooting: ‘Why Don’t You Clear All of This Up Now?’
There is an increasing concern among legal experts, security experts, and law enforcement experts about the way police in Uvalde, Texas handled the Robb Elementary School massacre where 21 people were shot and killed, and another 17 reportedly were wounded.
Two days after the mass shooting witness accounts, photos, and videos are circulating that appear to show police waited between 40 minutes and one hour before either entering the school or confronting the shooter, who was killed not by police but by federal agents on the scene. Some are suggesting that valuable time may have led to more death.
NBC’s Kerry Sanders is reporting that one of the children lived through the shooting but died in the hospital, underscoring why it matters that police took an hour to breach that classroom.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) May 26, 2022
Law enforcement also appear to not have a grasp on exactly what happened, with numerous reports revealing some officers were focused on subduing not the gunman but parents desperate for police to take action.
A mom of two children at #Uvalde was put in handcuffs after urging police and law enforcement to enter the school.
Once freed from her cuffs, she jumped the school fence, ran inside and sprinted out with her kids.
— Peter Schorsch 🇺🇦 (@PeterSchorschFL) May 26, 2022
There are also concerns that not only police inaction may have led to more death, but police action may have as well:
A fourth grader who survived the shooting said officers assaulting the barricaded room told kids to call for help before they had incapacitated the gunman, which led to him shooting a kid who called for help https://t.co/rJP1B2hPC7 pic.twitter.com/6bHgb2risi
— Evan Hill (@evanhill) May 26, 2022
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a well-known MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst rightly says “we’re clearly going to have to wait” for accurate information, but notes what the public is being told “Doesn’t make sense.”
While reporting about Uvalde still feels confused & we’re clearly going to have to wait on accurate ones, this detail stands out. If there were deputy US Marshals present, why were they arresting parents? Why weren’t they launching an assault on the shooter? Doesn’t make sense. pic.twitter.com/0XPF86N9hf
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) May 26, 2022
One reporter apparently agreed that information being given to the public did not make sense.
CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, who attended Thursday afternoon’s Uvalde press conference and was not ready to accept what he apparently felt was police stonewalling.
“You guys have said that he was barricaded,” Prokupecz said, referring to the shooter. “Can you explain to us how he was barricaded and why you guys cannot breach that door?”
“So, I have taken all your questions into consideration. We will be doing updates,” replied Victor Escalon, from the Texas Dept. of Public Safety, according to a Mediaite transcript. “We will be doing updates to answer those questions.”
“You should be able to answer that question now, sir,” Prokupecz, clearly not satisfied, responded.
“What is your name?” Escalon asked.
“Shimon Prokupecz from CNN. We’ve been given a lot of bad information, so why don’t you clear all of this up now and explain to us how it is that your officers who were in there for an hour, yes, rescuing people, but yet no one was able to get inside that room,” Prokupecz continued.
“Shimon, we will circle back with you. We want to give you the why. That’s our job. Give us time. I’m taking your questions back to talk to the team,” Escalon replied.
“We’ve been given a lot of bad information so why don’t you clear all of this up now and explain to us how your officers were in there for an hour but yet no one was able to get inside that room?” pic.twitter.com/VIgTazT3I9
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 26, 2022
‘Demon Seed’ Doctor and Far Right Radio Host Call to ‘Lock Up’ Men Who Have Gay Sex to Prevent Monkeypox
As a small handful of monkeypox cases have been documented in the United States the far right is using that disease to target LGBTQ people. In a segment on Stew Peters’ radio show, he and “Demon Seed” Dr. Stella Immanuel called for the imprisonment of men who have sex with men, presumably to slow the spread of monkeypox.
As with HIV/AIDS, monkeypox is not a “gay disease” but some recorded cases are believed to have been transmitted by men who have sex with men. The far right has been attacking the LGBTQ community all year, with the rise of the false “groomer” label made popular among extremists by Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis.
“So one of the answers would be, don’t have gay sex, repent for your homosexual lifestyle, and go find Jesus,” Peters says as Immanuel, the hydroxychloroquine-pushing physician and pastor who believes demons having sex with women causes tumors and other illnesses, agrees.
“The real pandemic here is promiscuous sex among gay men – sex, orgies, and participating in satanic depravity,” Peters continued, as Immanuel again agreed. The chyron reads: “Gay Sex Detonates Monkeypox Bomb.”
“So, stop that, as a matter of fact we should make a law against homosexual sex. We should just say that that’s not allowed, it’s a criminal offense, and we should lock these people up.”
Again, Immanuel agreed.
While discussing monkeypox, Stew Peters and Stella Immanuel agree that “we should make a law against homosexual sex. We should just say that that’s not allowed, it’s a criminal offense, and we should lock these people up.” pic.twitter.com/gCla3wOi33
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) May 26, 2022
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