LGBT activists counter HERO haters with 3 events

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Gay Houston plans to counter a mega rally of anti-gay haters on Sunday with a trio of events this weekend to support the city's beleaguered Equal Rights Ordinance.

Opponents of HERO are flocking to Grace Community Church for I Stand Sunday, an hours-long celebration of religious intolerance, fueled by subpoenas issued to five pastors in the HERO repeal petition lawsuit. That erupted into a national controversy for Mayor Annise Parker, who later withdrew the petitions over calls that she and the city were bullying the religious leaders.

Now they want their chance, so the anti-gay Family Research Council is hosting the event. Among the headliners are the five pastors who received the subpoenas and a parade of anti-gay national figures, including Mike Huckabee, FRC President Tony Perkins, Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd, Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty,” and David and Jason Benham.

But LGBT activists and HERO supporters aren't sitting on the sidelines. A trio of events is planned on Saturday and Sunday to counter I Stand Sunday, with what appears to be the largest – Houston LGBT Positive Impact Day – taking place on Sunday afternoon. There's also a press conference on Saturday and vigil on Sunday.

GetEqual kicks of the LGBT response on Saturday with a press conference at First Unitarian Universalist Church.

This weekend, fair-minded Houstonians will gather at a local church to spread a message of love, welcome, and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

Over 50 local congregants from area churches will gather together on Saturday, November 1, to speak out in favor of extending legal protections for LGBTQ people in Houston. An aggressive and mean-spirited battle has broken out across the city after a handful of local pastors sued the city after a non-discrimination ordinance was passed by City Council. Tomorrow’s press conference will offer a message of welcome and will show all Houstonians that there is more than one religious voice when it comes to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

On Sunday, Positive Impact Day takes place at Montrose Grace Place, which is housed in Grace Lutheran Church. Organizers are pitching it as a way to help LGBT people in need.

On Sunday night, the opposition to HERO will be meeting in rally full of hate and anger. Our community will be meeting, too, but with a very different goal.

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, we’ll be meeting at Montrose Grace Place (at 2515 Waugh, housed in Grace Lutheran Church). Grace Place provides services for LGBT homeless youth. Please bring gently worn or new winter clothing items, toiletries, sleeping bags and other winter necessities, which we will donate to Grace Place. While the HERO opposition is creating noise about taking rights away, we’ll be creating a positive effect on the lives of people in Houston.

But we’re not only going to be creating a better present for people in our community Sunday – we’ll be working for a positive future, too. Wear comfortable shoes, because after you drop off your donation, you can pick up a walk list to go speak to voters in the surrounding neighborhoods to make sure they get out to vote for candidates who share our values. We’ll be pushing the endorsement card of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC.

The HERO movement has always been about creating a better future for all Houstonians. We’ll be doing that Sunday, and the contrast between our efforts and the negativity of the opposition will send a strong message. Please join us.

On Sunday evening, GetEqual hosts Stand For Love – Light It Up near the Gulf Community Church.

This weekend right-wing extremists are traveling to Houston to turn the community’s commitment to protecting the rights of all people into a platform for hate and intolerance. GetEQUAL Texas members from Houston and across the state are coming together to counter their message of hate with a call to “Stand For Love.”

Join us on Sunday evening, outside of the Gulf Community Church as we light up the night with our message of love.

[h/t Lone Star Q]

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