Parishioners smiled and waved at protesters at the Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, after Pastor Roger Jimenez told his congregation that he there was no tragedy in the Orlando nightclub shooting that left 49 dead and 53 hospitalized.
“I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out,” said Jimenez.
About 100 people protested Wednesday night outside of a Sacramento Baptist church after a pastor praised the Orlando mass shooting during his sermon. It was supposed to be a silent protest, but dozens of people shouted and sang as parishioners, with Bibles in hand, tried to make their way through the crowd.
Yellow tape and Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies kept protesters back and didn’t allow them inside. Pride flags and posters filled the parking lot of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento as protesters tried to get the attention of Pastor Roger Jimenez.
During his sermon Sunday, Jimenez talked about sodomites and said it is “unnatural to want to be with some of the same sex.” As he continued to speak, Jimenez said he was upset more people didn’t die. The sermon was recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Jimenez briefly came outside but turned back around as protesters continued to shout.
LGBT activists have known the names Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel for years. Staver and his cronies have spent years working to subvert the rights of LGBTs in the areas of marriage and public accommodation.
But now, CBS News has not only put Staver and company in the spotlight, but revealed in no uncertain terms the true nature of their mission: to control the “fire” of LGBT rights.
Demonstrators against the so-called bathroom bills were out in force in South Carolina — their chants echoing those in other states where they say legislatures have have enacted laws enabling bigotry.
But while they protested, the conservative group, that’s helped author many of those measures protecting religion over sexual orientation, was working at its Orlando area office on new ways to uphold what it says is really at stake.
“It is only about being free to pursue your faith,” said Mathew Staver. “We have no interest in discriminating against anyone.”
Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which has affiliated attorneys in all 50 states — drafting bills, advising lawmakers and defending clients in what they believe to be the great cultural clash of our time.
CBS News first met Staver when he defended a Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who said it was against her religion to hand out marriage licenses to homosexuals. Lately, Liberty Counsel has been helping to draft legislation for conservative lawmakers in at least 20 states.
Their bills began cropping up in state legislatures soon after the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage last year.
An objective observer could conclude that they want to push back against that ruling.
“Well I certainly want to push back against that ruling,” Staver said. “It was a wrong ruling. It has no basis in the constitution.”
Where are they going with this?
“The Supreme Court in the 5-4 opinion on marriage in 2015 lit the house on fire,” Staver said. “All we’re trying to do is control the fire at this point in time.”
And he is unfazed by corporate threats to pull out of states in protest against his work.
The Human Rights Campaign shares these facts you should know about North Carolina’s brand new, virulently anti-LGBT law:
• The law eliminates existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such provisions from being passed by cities in the future. This means that only statewide non-discrimination laws are allowed, and the law passed doesn’t include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
• The law forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity. Additionally, access to facilities in all government agencies must be based on biological sex as well. That includes public universities.
• North Carolina is the first state in the country to enact such a law attacking transgender students, even after several similar proposals were rejected across the country this year.
• Because the law directly contravenes Title IX, North Carolina’s federal funding – at least 4.5 billion dollars- is put at risk.
• The law also prevents cities from regulating in areas like living wage laws, benefits and hour regulations for workers in the city, city contracting, and even child labor regulations.
Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota has vetoed House Bill 1008, which would have made South Dakota the first state to ban transgender students from using school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
“Thank you Governor Daugaard for meeting with transgender people to see through their eyes that they are our friends, family, and neighbors, worthy of the same fair treatment and dignity as everyone else,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation. “The more people get to know about the real lives of transgender people, the more empathy prevails. All students, including transgender students, should be able to fully participate and have a fair opportunity to thrive in school.”
The state legislature could vote to overturn Daugaard’s veto. But, at least for now, the votes are lacking in the state Senate which voted in favor of the bill 20-15, which falls short of the necessary two-thirds threshold.
Congrats South Dakota! And thank you, Gov. Daugaard.
UPDATE: It looks like the bill’s sponsor doesn’t want to do a veto fight. From Rep. Fred Deutsch’s response:
“HB 1008 was intended to be a practical solution to our evolving social values on gender issues. Unfortunately emotions on both sides of this issue have dominated the news coverage and the recent debate. I still believe an objective reading of the proposed law is consistent with my intent to be non-discriminatory and fair to all students and parents.
However, because I think the national focus on South Dakota should be on our positive business environment, strong labor market and the excellent work our schools do, I am going to ask my legislative colleagues to concur with the Governor’s veto. Further focus on this issue will detract from the other significant accomplishments of the legislature this session.”
This past weekend I wrote about The Ali Forney Center, which serves homeless LGBT youth in NYC, is working to raise funds to buy virulently anti-gay Pastor David James Manning’s ATLAH World Missionary Church, after it was announced that the property is up for auction due to past due taxes and utility bills.
With a goal of $200,000 the fundraising page shows over $151,000 donated at this time.
Manning has posted another of his hate-filled rants on YouTube saying the building will never be used to help LGBT youth because “this ain’t no bathhouse!”
From the video:
“This is the lord’s house! This ain’t no damn bathhouse! It ain’t no fag house! And before you can ever own this property – hook or crook – own this property. Men who are fags with testicles will be carrying babies in their testicles and giving birth to them through their anus. That’s how impossible it is for you to get this house. When you start carrying a baby in your bags and birthing that baby through your ass, then you can own this house! But until I see you pull a baby out your ass, you ain’t gonna pull this church out from underneath us. And boom shaka-laka goes right there! And all you fags can go to hell! I’m James David Manning, everybody. I’m the lord’s servant!”
“I imagine we are going to hear a lot of ranting and raving from Rev Manning until the auction,” says Ali Forney Center director Carl Siciliano. “And he has good cause to be ranting. The Ali Forney Center has been overwhelmed with support since we announced our bid to site a housing program for LGBT youth.”
The AL.com editorial board in Alabama has a scathing op-ed addressing misguided, anti-gay State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and his latest attempts to stop same-sex marriage in his state.
Just an excerpt – from the folks who know him best:
It is time Roy Moore realized that he is wrong. He is wrong on this issue, he is wrong in thinking he might ever be governor of Alabama, he is wrong in seeing himself as of presidential timber, he is wrong in thinking that he matters.
Already, there are citizen calls for his impeachment. He will soon go into retirement and be remembered as a bigot, disrespectful of the law and of his fellow human beings. That might be the only memory he has earned in his time in public office. And, hopefully, Alabama’s citizens will be remembered as the ones who showed him the door.
Edge Media reports that a Canadian college professor was fired this week after he allegedly made a violent and anti-gay Facebook comment, officials announced Wednesday, according to the CBC.
Officials from St. Lawrence College said they received a complaint about business professor Rick Coupland, regarding a Facebook comment he allegedly made. The school’s spokeswoman said the comment was “deeply concerning.”
Screen shots of Coupland’s alleged post made their way on social media and shows him sharing a link to a story about a rainbow flag being raised in St. Petersburg, Fla., with his added comment: “It’s the queers they should be hanging, not the flag.”
According to Gay Star News, it was a former student who made the complaint to the college and posted screenshots of the comments to social media. The website also notes that Coupland later updated his status saying, “I have to get off Facebook for awhile. I’ve been called into work and told to bring a representative re: my comments on FB. Please pray for me and my job…”
The CBC reports the teacher’s Facebook profile has been deleted.
St. Lawrence College said Coupland’s remarks do not reflect the school’s values, noting it has a strict policy regarding the conduct of its employees. On Wednesday, the school confirmed that it had fired the professor.
Last week the creators of ChebuRussia TV published a video that documented how people in Moscow reacted to two young men walking around the city holding hands. The video has more than eight million views by now.
This experiment was widely discussed in Ukraine as well, and some speculated on whether the reaction to a similar couple in, say, Kyiv would be different.
Bird In Flight decided to see for themselves and filmed Zoryan and Tymur walking in crowded public spaces.
We can see that most of the people have a neutral opinion, they show no particular interest. This proves that the confrontation is between the two minorities.
The only problem is that one of the minorities is excessively aggressive. I think that law enforcement should start the so called ‘safari’ on aggressors, because the latter are discriminating against Ukrainians, popularizing violence and are making it clear with their actions and statements that law enforcement is insignificant to them and the aggression will remain unpunished.