LGBT activists to anti-gay haters: ‘Stand For Love’

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Gay Houston countered an anti-gay rally that drew thousands on Sunday with their own counter-protest and a clothing drive to help homeless LGBT youth.

A crowd estimated at 6,000 people filled Grace Community Church for “I Stand Sunday,” an hours-long collection of anti-gay leaders who rallied against Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. City attorneys inflamed conservative activists when they subpoenaed five pastors suing the city over the failure of their HERO repeal petition. Parker withdrew the subpoenas last week, but the rally went on. Speakers included Fox News host Mike Huckabee, Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty.”

They offered up a host of outrageous and often anti-gay venom as they also pushed for a public vote on HERO – the petition failure notwithstanding. Some “I Stand Sunday” attendees also wore t-shirts that read, “We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service to Homosexuals.”

LGBT activists took action, first by hijacking the event's #IStandSunday hashtag and then with a press conference on Saturday, a clothing drive on Sunday and a counter-protest across the street from Grace Community Church. GetEqual organized the press conference on Saturday at First Unitarian Universality Church. On Sunday, LGBT activists donated clothes to help homeless LGBT teens during “Positive Impact Day” at Montrose Grace Place.

The church thanked participants after the event:

Please know that the people of Montrose Grace Place are screaming and shouting THANK YOU. Thank you for being #‎HEROs and making this #‎IStandSunday stand for love and community. Thank you for making #‎ServiceSunday a day that will not be forgotten. Thank you for helping to change the hateful narrative. #‎SpreadLove

Also on Sunday, GetEqual rallied with supporters during “Stand For Love – Light It Up” to counter the anti-gay rally. They held signs that spelled out “Stand For Love.”

“You cannot use your faith as a blank check to discriminate against others,” Tiffani Bishop of GetEqual Texas, told the Houston Chronicle.

Photos by Rob Martinez Photography

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