Gov. Perry's day of prayer and fasting "The Response" will kick off at Houston's Reliant Stadium this Saturday, August 6th. In addition to Perry and the American Family Association (a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group) "The Response" is sponsored by a rouge's gallery of far-right organizations. Right Wing Watch, a blog run by People for the American Way, has done a wonderful job of profiling some of the more outrageous claims of the event's sponsors, including one pastor who claims that Oprah is a harbinger of the antichrist and one who says that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol.
Be sure to check out the Dallas Voice this week for my story profiling the leaders of some of the "Response to 'The Response'" events planned in Houston. In the meantime here is a rundown of events around the state:
LGBT Texans Against Hate Rally
Friday, August 5, at 7:00 pm
Tranquility Park (400 Rusk St)
This is the official response planned by the Houston LGBT community. Organizers are encouraging people to bring signs for this outdoor rally. National press is expected so it is vital that as many people attend as possible.
Family, Faith and Freedom
Friday, August 5, at 7:00 pm
Mount Ararat Baptist Church (5801 W Montgomery Rd)
Sponsored by the ACLU and Texas this event directly conflicts with the LGBT community response. The focus of the event is concerns that "The Response" violates the seperation of church and state.
Protest of Texas Gov. Perry/AFA's Prayer/Hate Event
Saturday, August 6 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Corner of Kirby Dr and McNee Rd
This is protest is outside of the site of "The Response." Organizers warn that the weather is expected to be very hot and encourage participants to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
LGBT Trailblazer's Brunch
Saturday, August 6, at 9:30 am
Hyatt Regency Hotel (1200 Louisiana St)
Organized by the Harris County Democratic Party, this event honors LGBT people who have made contributions to the community and the world at large. Honorees include Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Houston City Council Member Sue Lovell, Judge Steven Kirkland, Judge John Paul Barnich, Judge Phyllis Frye and Linda Morales. Tickets are $50 and are available at the door or at www.HCDP.org
Inclusive Interfaith Prayer Meeting
Saturday, August 6 at 2:00 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston (5200 Fannin St)
This queer inclusive event features clergy from Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Unitarian, Christian and Pagan faith traditions, and specifically includes a time to celebrate Atheists and Agnostics. The Gay Men's Chorus of Houston will perform.
Repentance Means "Go Another Way" Rally
Thursday, August 4, at 5:00 pm
Pegasus Plaza (Main at Akard)
Sponsored by the Dallas Area Christian Progressive Alliance, this rally is designed to draw attention to the alliance's open letter to Gov. Perry.
Protest Gov. Rick Perry's Inappropriate and Hateful Prayer Rally & the AFA
Saturday, August 6, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Dallas City Hall (1500 Marilla)
Rick Perry: Bad For Texas, Worse For Our Nation
Saturday, August 6th
March starts at Victory Grill at 10:30 am (1104 E 11 st)
Rally in State Capitol Rotunda begins at 12:00 pm (1100 Congress Ave)
Organized by the Travis County Democratic Party "this rally will highlight Governor Perry’s failed record in Texas on public education, human services, environmental policy and many other important issues. His Enron style accounting plunged our state into its largest budget shortfall in history and we must expose this to the nation."
Counter Protest "Pray the Hate Away" - B/CS Carpool to Houston
Saturday, August 6th at 8:00 am
Parking lot of Kroger on Longmire and Rock Prairie (3535 Longmire Drive)
The Pride Community Center has organized a carpool to Houston to participate in the counter protest outside of Reliant Stadium. If you need a ride, or are able to drive one of the cars please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor David Dow, of the University of Houston Law School, will be live blogging "The Response" from inside Reliant Stadium. You can follow him @drdow
If you are on Twitter and attending any of the responses to "The Response" the hashtag #noAFA is being used for the conversation. The Young Democrats of America , LGBTQ Caucus (@YDALGBTQ), is also hosting a twitter conversation using the hashtag #thanksgoverner in response to "The Response."
If you are aware of other events in Texas please let me know and I will happily add them to the list.