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And here comes the nastiness

I really thought that we’d make it through this election without there being any nasty anti-gay stuff. I guess I was naive to think so, because here it comes.

A cluster of socially conservative Houstonians is planning a campaign to discourage voters from choosing City Controller Annise Parker in the December mayoral runoff because she is a lesbian, according to multiple ministers and conservatives involved in the effort.

The group is motivated by concerns about a “gay takeover” of City Hall, given that two other candidates in the five remaining City Council races are also openly gay, as well as national interest driven by the possibility that Houston could become the first major U.S. city to elect an openly gay woman.

Another primary concern is that Parker or other elected officials would seek to overturn a 2001 city charter amendment that prohibits the city from providing benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees.

“The bottom line is that we didn’t pick the battle, she did, when she made her agenda and sexual preference a central part of her campaign,” said Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, numbering more than 200 senior pastors in the Greater Houston area. “National gay and lesbian activists see this as a historic opportunity. The reality is that’s because they’re promoting an agenda which we believe to be contrary to the concerns of the community and destructive to the family.”

I don’t know what election Dave Welch has been following, but that’s not at all how Parker has run her campaign. She’s run on her years of public service, her vast experience and knowledge of the issues, and her sterling qualifications for the office. Unless you think that simply by being gay she’s made her sexual preference a central part of it. Which says a lot more about Dave Welch than it does about Annise Parker.

One of the reasons why I had hopes that this election would steer clear of this hatemongering is because I believed Gene Locke to be a better person than that. I may have to re-evaluate that assumption as well.

[Locke] has made recent efforts to court some of the staunch social conservatives who are either actively planning on attacking Parker’s sexuality or strongly considering it.

He appeared at the Pastor Council’s annual gala last Friday and was encouraged several times by State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, a featured speaker, to stand for conservative values.

Locke has also met with and sought the endorsement of Dr. Steven Hotze, a longtime local kingmaker in conservative politics and author of the Straight Slate in 1985, a coterie of eight City Council candidates he recruited who ran on an anti-gay platform.

The only decent and proper thing to do with Steven Hotze is to stay as far away from him as possible. I’d heard these rumors about Locke courting Hotze for weeks now, and didn’t want to believe them. Once again, clearly I was wrong. It’s simply not possible for Locke to have sought out these people without knowing who they are and what they do. For shame.

The irony, of course, is that it’s Locke who is on record supporting a referendum to provide same-sex benefits to City employees, which is something that Parker herself says she has no current plans to do. So one wonders what everyone involved in this sordid little affair will make of that.

Former Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Paul Bettencourt, another Republican close to Hotze, said that if Locke wishes to unite a strong African-American base with social conservatives, they will need his assurance that he will not seek to overturn the charter amendment.

Responding to the same debate question as Parker last month, Locke said same-sex benefits allow governments and businesses “a competitive advantage” and said he “would favor that,” although it would not be the first thing on his plate.

“That’s not going to motivate us to come out and vote for somebody,” Bettencourt said of social conservatives. “You cannot get the positive good conservative turnout if you’re trying to undo charter amendments. It’s a line drawn in the sand. You just can’t have it both ways.”

In other words, what Bettencourt is saying is if you want these folks to vote for you, you’ve got to bring the hate. It’s what they care about, and they’re very clear on that point. So the choice is yours, Gene Locke. Do you want to win so badly that you’ll abandon this position, which your supporters have been touting – in that blog post I linked to above, Grace Rodriguez says Locke would be stronger on gay rights issues than Parker would be – so that you can motivate these people to vote for you? You knew what you were doing when you sought out Steven Hotze. Your spokesperson may claim that you want to be Mayor for all of Houston, but that’s not what Steven Hotze wants. What will you do to win his approval? Martha has more.

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27 Comments

  1. Baby Snooks says:

    What’s odd about this, again, is that Annise Parker has stated very clearly that she doesn’t believe the mayor’s office should be used to further equality for gays and lesbians while Gene Locke has stated very clearly that he does. Something everyone has overlooked but then everyone is merely looking at the lesbian and the African-American. That comes next with the Repubilcans. Can’t have a lesbian, can’t have an African-American. They shouldn’t have wasted their votes on Roy Morales and voted for Peter Brown instead. Which is what most probably will wish they had done by the time December 12th rolls around.

    As for Gene Locke, his signs are in the trash. Where he is as far as I’m concerned. I won’t vote for Annise Parker. But I won’t vote for him either. The word that comes to mind with regard to his seeking an association with a man who has come to represent the worst of “Christianity” in this community is putrid. Gene Locke stinks to high heaven. And the stink, really, will never go away.

  2. John says:

    How many of these “oh so fine and upstanding” churches are even in the city of Houston? I looked at their website (which is actually Beaumont Area Pastor Council according to google) and does not seem like any of these bigots are even in the City of Houston. Also I love how silent (or is the word spineless) Gene Locke is being in all of this. If he does this Annise is going to win by at least 60%, I say bring it on and see how it works. Plus all of Gene’s big money supporters from River Oaks have a lot of gay friends and relatives I wonder how much they will continue to open their checkbooks for him now

  3. Baby Snooks says:

    Plus all of Gene’s big money supporters from River Oaks have a lot of gay friends and relatives I wonder how much they will continue to open their checkbooks for him now.

    ________________________

    Actually some of them are behind it. Anything to get him elected.

  4. John says:

    Are you kidding me?? No way they are behind it, if so give a name. You think the Sarofim/Lanier money is in support of this? If so do a little checking on Louisa Sarofim and see how much she would support her family doing this

  5. Baby Snooks says:

    Louisa Sarofim supported Peter Brown. Fayez supported Gene Locke. And where Fayez goes, the “mini-mes” go.

    Get a copy of the membership roster of Second Baptist. Most of the high rollers who support Gene Locke are also holy roller members of Second Baptist. And Ed Young will sit there and say nothing. Even though of course he is behind a lot of it. Why take the heat when so many others can take the heat for you?

    Second Baptist. Home of the two most notorious pedophiles in Houston. The O’Brien brothers. One of whom was sent to prison for molesting the child of a man he had also molested. But of course to the members of Second Baptist, they were framed as a result of a “homosexual conspiracy” which would be laughable except many do believe it.

    The O’Brien brothers of course donated the stained-glass panels everyone prays under each Sunday. Sums up the hypocrisy of Ed Young and his flock.

  6. Baby Snooks says:

    Once upon a time a witch named Sybil Leek came swooping in on her broomstick and landed in West U and several years later as she was swooping out on her broomstick she made the comment that Houston reminded her of a karmic cesspool.

    Looks like the karmic cesspool is about to overflow finally into the streets. Some of the better streets as well as the back streets.

  7. DocAmazing says:

    I’m curious–does “Hotze” rhyme with “Nazi”?

  8. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    I think that every elected official and organization that has endorsed Locke needs to seriously reconsider their endorsement. Locke is now courting the votes and support of a group that apparently objects to ANY Gay person being elected Mayor. Regardless of issues, regardless of experience, regardless of any other issue.

    Could you imagine the response to an independent expenditure that argued that people should vote against a candidate solely based upon that candidates ethnic origin, race, religion, or disability? And could you imagine the response to a candidate that actively seeks out those that ran the campaign? Something to think about.

    Locke cannot walk away from this after meeting with that group. If he really isn’t behind this, he needs to publically condemn (by name) those that advocate that being Gay should be a bar to holding elective office.

    Is Houston really this bad? God, I hope not.

    Houston, Hotze/Locke is about to make your reputation the issue in this election. Stand now against Hotze/Locke or be ashamed in December.

  9. Xenocrates says:

    It’s truly amazing that in this day and age, we are still practicing discriminatration and hatred against those who are different. I mean, we went through the 1960’s and realized that blacks and whites could drink from the same fountain and the world would not come to an end. I really have to think that anti-homosexual bias is the civil rights cause of the 21st century. The fact of the matter is that one comes into the world with certain characteristics; gender, skin color, ancestry. We can change absolutely none of these things about ourselves, and it is the height of arrogance to demand that of another. If you are born gay, black or Latino, you must be accepted on that basis. I hope that some day we will realize that these differences should be celebrated, not become cause for suspicion or disrespect.

  10. Baby Snooks says:

    Is Houston really this bad? God, I hope not.

    ______________

    Actually it’s worse. I’m waiting to see if John decides to toss the first pitch in the All Star Scandal game.

  11. Baby Snooks says:

    Actually it will be the second pitch. The first was tossed in the Houston Chronicle. Fun Game. Outing. And everyone will be out.

  12. Randy says:

    Annise is the pot calling the kettle black… Her scurrilous personal attacks about Peter Brown’s age in the last ten days before the election set the stage for more mud slinging. Huge mailings, TV ads and continuous mud blogger attacks coordinated the “is he dithering or is he just confused” flaky mantra. This was disgusting as members of a political party (Democrat) opposed to all types of discrimination, including age discrimination, attacked another about age.

  13. John says:

    Gene Locke’s people are that bad, and desperate.

  14. Baby Snooks says:

    I’m curious–does “Hotze” rhyme with “Nazi”?
    __________________________

    I missed this one. I will be polite and simply say it is “ho”tze. Any conclusions you draw about “ho” are yours. I will say the family is sort of fascist. Socially as well as ideologically. Life in Tanglewood. With the Bushes. The stories some could tell. Some may finally tell.

  15. Baby Snooks says:

    The irony, of course, is that it’s Locke who is on record supporting a referendum to provide same-sex benefits to City employees, which is something that Parker herself says she has no current plans to do.
    ________________________________

    It is odd. Many in the gay and lesbian community in fact supported Gene Locke because of his position which was startingly the opposite of hers and both were the opposite positions many expected they would take. I doubt many, if any, will support Gene Locke now – Stephen Hotze is his Rick Warren. A lof of people wonder if Barack Obama would have been elected had he embraced Rick Warren before the election instead of after. Rick Warren not only offended gays and lesbians but women. And Stephen Hotze does as well. He is not only anti-gay he is anti-abortion. And both believe in “chattel” law. Which offends many women who are anti-abortion. There are some interesting parallels to be drawn. In any case, he lost my vote. Annise Parker never had it. So I simply won’t vote. The way a lot of people who supported Gene Locke feel.

  16. […] watching Rice beat Tulane, the Gene Locke campaign released the following statement regarding the homophobic attack on Annise Parker. “As I have previously stated, I reject any association with the style of […]

  17. Eric says:

    The article is incorrect… There are three gay council runoff contenders.

  18. garychapelhill says:

    being gay has nothing to do with “sexual preference”. I’m not sure what that means, actually. Unless you’re suggesting being gay is a choice of course. If you’re going to write a blog in support of gay rights, try to steer clear of right wing framing and terminology.

  19. Less is better says:

    I hate to pop your pretty balloon. Being a red neck Arkansas hillbilly with some weird ideas, I can assure you that anything they say they believe.

    If you spend your life being interested in what a buncha ignorant assholes say, you are fucked.

    I don’t care what momma told you, or papa told you, or the teacher told you, or the preacher man told you, you ain’t getting out of here alive. Enjoy everything as much as you can. That is the only revenge.

    Find what YOU enjoy and do it until you burn out. You really and truly are not getting out of here alive, whether you live fast and die young or stretch it till the 90s is totally irrelevant. Enjoy what you find and pass the fun stuff along. Capishe? I’m pushing 65 and I was stunned to make it to 25. Now if my translator can get me seedy weed from Chile, I’m cool. $100 for a kilo, yeah, I can clean.

  20. Baby Snooks says:

    If you spend your life being interested in what a buncha ignorant assholes say, you are fucked.
    _________________________________

    Unfortunately we live in a city where quite a few are interested and believe whatever they’re told. We will find out, I suspect, on December 12th how many there are. It’s a shame that the mayor’s race has been reduced to a referendum on “gay rights” but that is what it appears to have been reduced to and in the oddest way since Gene Locke has gone on the record as saying he will support expanding those rights as mayor and Annise Parker has gone on the record as saying she won’t. It is doubtful, by the way, that Stephen Hotze will endorse Gene Locke because Stephen Hotze likes things in writing and I doubt Gene Locke will put it in writing since it would be contrary to what he has already stated on the record. But others will.

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