Dave Welch

Five Of The Most Bigoted Attacks On The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

Tomorrow, the city of Houston will vote on the future of its nondiscrimination measure, also known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

The way anti-LGBT activists see it, the law will destroy religious freedom and jeopardize the safety of women and children, dramatic events that haven’t occurred in the hundreds of cities and counties with similar nondiscrimination measures. Of course, regularly telling outright falsehoods about the supposed threats of the LGBT community has never held back the Religious Right.

We’ve compiled a list of just a few of the most absurd attacks used by right-wing activists who hope to lie their way to victory tomorrow.

5) Josh Duggar Weighs In

Before resigning from his post at the Family Research Council following revelations about child sexual abuse and, later, extramarital affairs, Josh Duggar was an outspoken opponent of nondiscrimination ordinances, which he said would harm women and children. Duggar told one FRC event that the HERO ordinance represents “injustice and evil” as it reveals an effort to “put us behind bars.”

4) ‘The Country’s Gone’

Televangelist Pat Robertson has also promoted baseless claims that Houstonians will no longer have religious freedom if HERO survives tomorrow’s referendum, railing against its supporters as “terrorists” and warning that nondiscrimination measures could bring about God’s wrath.

On today’s edition of “The 700 Club,” Robertson used the upcoming vote as an excuse to attack the transgender community.

“If people are having all these sex changes, what do you do with them?” he asked. “You’ve got Bruce Jenner, he was the guy on the Wheaties box, and he gets ‘Woman of the Year’ after a sex change operation?”

A “700 Club” reporter then spoke with Houston pastor Ed Young, who said that if Christians do not defeat the ordinance, “we are gone in the 21st century.”

“We are being discriminated against, not the other way around,” he said.

Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas added: “If Houston falls and Texas falls to the homosexual political movement on this issue, the country’s gone.”

3) HERO Activists Like ISIS

Another televangelist targeting the measure, Donnie Swaggart, said that Houstonians need to rise up before they find out that the Bible has been banned in the city.

“The war on the church and Christianity and our beliefs and the war on God, all of this is to shut the Bible up, they want the Bible gone,” he said. “These people that are trying to do this in Houston, the only difference between them and ISIS, those thugs in Iraq, is those here cannot chop our heads off. That’s the only difference. The heart is the same. The heart is the same. If they could silence us that way to intimidate others, that’s exactly what they would do.”

2) Don’t Vote For Satan

Colorado state legislator and televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt believes that HERO will be defeated, in part because people will stand up to the transgender women who he says seek to “expose themselves to little girls” in restrooms and are possessed by “a demonic spirit.”

“Father, save the children from the perverts in Houston,” he prayed.

1) ‘Appalling’ That ‘We Have A Homosexual Mayor’

Rafael Cruz, Texas senator Ted Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate, has traveled around the country warning about the supposed dangers of the HERO ordinance, which he called “absolutely crazy.” His son’s own denouncement of the equal rights measure, he said, was proof that “the hand of God” is working in the anti-HERO campaign.

He also revealed that much of the Religious Right’s work is driven by contempt for Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian. “It is appalling that in a city like Houston, right in the middle of the Bible Belt, we have a homosexual mayor,” he said.

One Houston pastor, Dave Welch, similarly declared that Mayor Parker is a sinister figure who is waging a spiritual war against Christians.

“We allowed a lesbian mayor to be elected because most of the churches were asleep and just didn’t care.” he said. “They didn’t understand the consequences of putting somebody in political power, with the authority of the sword, who has literally rejected every element of the created order of God and his word and his moral truths. Why would we expect somebody to act lawfully when they are living lawlessly?”

From Salt Lake City, Many Eyes On Houston For HERO Vote

Early voting is already under way in Houston, where anti-gay activists forced a new nondiscrimination law onto the ballot next Tuesday. During a legal fight over the validity of signatures gathered for the effort, lawyers for the administration of Mayor Annise Parker issued broad subpoenas to five ministers asking for sermons and other communications about homosexuality and the law, which gave the ministers and their allies an opening to cry "religious persecution." Even though the subpoenas were quickly withdrawn in the face of criticism from across the political spectrum, the city’s anti-gay activists are running with it, vowing to overturn the law and run conservative Christians for every city office.

On Wednesday, Rafael Cruz, pastor and father of presidential candidate Ted Cruz, told a gathering at the World Congress of Families that if “the righteous” are not voting or running for office, what is left is “the wicked electing the wicked.” He then launched into a discussion of Parker and Houston’s nondiscrimination law, which he grossly mischaracterized as “the bathroom ordinance,” saying “the ordinance basically said, depending on how you feel on a particular day, you can walk into any bathroom.” If your daughter objected to a man entering her bathroom, he said, she could be sued. “The opportunity for sexual abuse, for sexual attacks, for rape, is incredible.” Later that day, Cruz alleged that the LGBT community’s goal is to “legalize pedophilia.”

The five pastors who faced subpoenas have not only mobilized churches for the referendum to overturn the nondiscrimination law, Cruz said, but they have also “recruited strong, committed Christian men and women to run for mayor, and for every position…”

In response to a questioner who accused the LGBT movement of partnering with pedophiles, Cruz urged people to be on the watch for nondiscrimination ordinances protecting sexual orientation and gender identity, which he said are being promoted “stealthily” to be part of school curricula. He urged conservative activists to run for city council and school board to prevent such policies from being put into place, saying, “We need to take control of city councils and school boards and reverse these laws.”

Houston Pastor Dave Welch, one of the five pastors subpoenaed, gave the evening keynote at the anti-gay Stand4Truth conference that took place the day before the World Congress of Families opened in Salt Lake City this week. Welch echoed the militaristic rhetoric of other speakers, saying it’s necessary to recognize that “we are in a war. War is very real. War has casualties…It’s a spiritual war…ultimately, eventually, a political war.”

Welch said the subpoenas have energized religious conservatives, saying, “As always, God takes what the enemy meant for evil and used for good.”

Welch portrayed Mayor Parker, a lesbian, in sinister terms:

The mayor, who lies about everything from the beginning. And she’s still lying about this. It’s just who she is. She literally is one of those who is caught in the snare, in the web of her darkness and her condition. I pray, we do pray for her, that God delivers her and sets her free from that. But we’re going to make sure…that she’s not mayor of Houston anymore.

And he blamed churches for being “asleep” and allowing a lesbian to get elected in the first place, comparing it to “the old ‘peace in our lifetime’ catastrophe” when “you didn’t stop the evil when it was cheap.”

“They didn’t understand the consequences of putting somebody in political power, with the authority of the sword, who has literally rejected every element of the created order of God and his word and his moral truths. Why would we expect somebody to act lawfully when they are living lawlessly?”

Welch portrayed LGBT people as pawns of Satan, part of a cosmic war between good and evil:

Here’s the bottom line for us today, I believe as we go forward in what we do next. We need to remember as we are facing the enemy, if you will, that the enemy that we are really up against we can’t see. Those that we can see are caught in the snares of deception and are being used as pawns for the real enemy. We must love them enough to speak truth to them, with clarity, with consistency, with boldness, and with love. That is the only hope they have to be free…

Also speaking at the event was Rev. Bill Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors, who organized a press conference of pastors opposing the Houston subpoenas. Owens said he and Welch have worked together for 20 years and are “unsung heroes.” Owens has been a fierce critic of President Obama on marriage equality and has opposed protections for transgender people with the same kind of inaccurate and alarmist fearmongering about bathrooms that is now the focus of ugly ads by the opponents of Houston’s nondiscrimination law.

Owens’ group is associated with the National Organization for Marriage and has been supported by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and the American Principles Project — an organization founded by anti-gay Catholic leader Robert George and backed by right-wing funder Sean Fieler. Earlier this year, CAAP honored Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for defying federal courts on marriage equality. Owens said on Monday that social conservatives will never get to the “promised land” on marriage and other issues until they build a movement that includes Black people.

Dave Welch: 'Corrupt, Amoral, Godless Leaders' Are 'Literally Trampling' On Our Rights

A Houston activist who is trying to overturn the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance by ballot referendum said last month that a judge’s ruling against him and his allies represents a “kind of tyranny literally trampling on every fundamental right” in America.

Dave Welch and fellow anti-LGBT activists sued the city of Houston after failing to collect the required number of petition signatures to force a ballot referendum on the nondiscrimination measure, which covers sexual orientation and gender identity. Last month, a judge rejected their claim, ruling [PDF] that the activists failed to gather enough valid signatures.

Incensed by the judge’s decision, the group claimed that the judge “caved in to political pressure” and vowed to “take this to the Texas Supreme Court if needed to assure that the rule of law is restored in Houston.”

Welch reacted to the decision in an interview with “The Sam Malone Show” last month, lamenting that “when you elect corrupt, amoral, godless leaders, who obviously have no respect for God’s law, they certainly have no respect for man’s law.”

“We just can’t allow this kind of tyranny literally trampling on every fundamental right that’s been handed to us by the blood of many to be stolen by one mayor,” Welch said, prompting Malone to accuse Houston Mayor Annise Parker of using “Nazi-esque, Gestapo-esque behavior.”

It doesn’t help Welch’s cause that he is on video training petition-gatherers in how to obey rules for collecting signatures, rules that he now says are trampling on his rights.

Rafael Cruz Joins Religious Right Group In Effort To Repeal Plano Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, spoke at a press conference in Plano, Texas, today on behalf of an effort to repeal that city’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Soon after Plano’s city council approved the ordinance last month, a new group sprung up to oppose it, apparently coordinated by Houston pastor Dave Welch, who also led the opposition to a similar ordinance in his city.

Welch and his allies are hoping to gather enough signatures to either force the council to repeal the ordinance or to put repeal on the ballot.

The Plano-based Liberty Institute, which said that it will file a lawsuit against the measure, organized today’s press conference with a number of area pastors. Cruz’s participation was not announced in advance, but a reporter who was present posted to Twitter a photo of him speaking:

 

 

The elder Cruz has been active in the effort to repeal a nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio, falsely claiming that the law allows pastors to be fined for preaching from the Bible.

We’ll update this post with video of Cruz’s speech when it becomes available.

UPDATE: The Plano group, Plano Citizens United, has posted an excerpt from Cruz’s speech in which he urged his supporters to run for office and oust “wicked” politicians who are violating the country’s “Judeo-Christian heritage.”

If the righteous, if the people of faith are not running for office, all that is left is the wicked ruling the wicked, the wicked electing the wicked. It is about time that our people of faith become involved in the political arena. We need to send a clear message, not just to the city council members, but to every politician that violates our Judeo-Christian heritage: we will primary you, we will get you out of office. Only that way will we see righteousness prevail and make America again that shining city on the hill to the glory of God.

 

 

 

Dave Welch: Gay People Want 'Superior Rights'

Dave Welch of the Houston Area Pastors Council appeared on “Trunews” yesterday to blast the city of Houston’s handling of a lawsuit filed by several conservative activists challenging the city’s a nondiscrimination ordinance.

The lawsuit claims that the city should have accepted a petition to place the ordinance on the ballot, arguing that city officials were wrong to rule a majority of the signatures invalid. When, in response to the lawsuit, the city subpoenaed the communications of pastors who were involved in the petition gathering process, Welch and others accused the city of tramping on their First Amendment rights.

Welch told host Rick Wiles that the move was proof that gay people want to attain “superior rights.”

“We realized that we have allowed the condition in our culture to — where a false and fallacious theft of the civil rights mantra by the sexual diversity movement, if you will, has then become not just a equal rights [sic] but superior rights, and those superior rights of the LGBT movement now literally trump the religious rights and the First Amendment rights of all,” he said. “We’re going to have to fight that back, we’ve got to take this head-on and challenge it for what it is, we’ve let it go way too far and unfortunately, it is where it is.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/27/13

  • Aviva Shen @ Think Progress: Anti-Marriage Equality Bishop: ‘Sexual Abuse Does Not Happen’ In Straight Marriages.
  • Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: Fox Radio Host Todd Starnes Continues Streak Of Buffoonery, Compares Gay Marriage To Marrying Dog.
  • Towleroad: Bill O'Reilly Defends Gay Marriage, Says 'Bible Thumping' is Losing.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Bryan Fischer on BBC: There's no right to be gay.
  • Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Michele Bachmann and Anti-Obama Conspiracy Mongers to Bring “Prayer and Patriotism” to Florida.
  • Dan @ TFN Insider: Religious-Right Group Honors Texas AG Greg Abbott, Then Leader Prays for God to Destroy Marriage Equality Supporters.

Texas Attorney General to Receive an Honor from Far-Right Texas Pastors Council

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is to be honored by a far-right group whose leader has a history of comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler and attacking gays and lesbians.

Abbot is to receive an honor from two local affiliates of the U.S. Pastor’s Council, the Texas Pastor Council and the Houston Area Pastor Council. It’s unclear to what extent the groups are “groups”: all three share a website and are led by a single man, extremist pastor Dave Welch.

The groups are also planning to honor Paul Pressler, who helped lead the “conservative resurgence” within the Southern Baptist Convention. Former Clinton inquisitor Ken Starr, who now works for Baylor University, is delivering the keynote address.

The Texas Freedom Network first noticed the event and highlighted Welch’s extreme rhetoric.

For example, Welch has:

  • Likened pastors who vouch for Obama’s Christian faith to Nazis and asserted that “Obama’s anti-Christian, anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-constitutional and anti-American policies” prove he only seeks to “use the church in the same way as a previous leader on a different continent,” Hitler. 
  • Claimed the judge who ruled that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is unconstitutional is a treasonous “domestic enemy.”

But working with radicals like Welch is just part of the game for Texas Republicans, who continue to compete with each other to see who can be farthest to the right.

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious