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Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, said the governor's actions help
place Texas at the top of the list of intolerant states.
Perry's comments anger gay
rights activists nationwide
PERRY, continued from Page 1
prohibit gay marriage and civil unions.
At the same time. Perry also signed a
measure that would restrict abortion by
requiring girls under 18 to get parental
consent before they can have an abortion.
The choice of Calvary Christian
Academy for signing the measures echoes
Perry's campaign plan to celebrate with
Gay activists describe Perry's signing
of the proposed constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage as grandstanding, since the measure required no
signature from the governor before being
placed on the November ballot.
"Once again, Texas leads the way in denying civil rights by being so backward," said
Randall Ellis, executive director of the
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (LGRL).
About 100 protesters lined up outside
the school during the event, according to
While LGRL objected to Perry's choice
of a venue for the signing ceremony, Ellis
said it was what the governor said in a
press conference following the event that
concerns him the most.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist
Bud Kennedy reported on June 7,2005 that
when Perry was asked what he would say to
gay war veterans who come home from Iraq
to learn they've lost all hope of being able to
get married, the governor was quoted as
saying, "Texans made a decision about
marriage and if there's a state that has
more lenient views than Texas, then maybe
that's a better place for them to live."
Ellis called Perry's comments "shameful," and added, "Rick Perry should apologize to all veterans for suggesting that
Texas does not honor their service. When
injured soldiers are coming home everyday from Iraq, we should honor everyone's
service to our state and country, not judge
them and tell them to get out"
Beyond the reach
of activist judges'
O MORE INFO
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas
As Perry signed the marriage bill, he
noted that because Defense of Marriage
acts have come under legal attack in
recent years, the proposed constitutional
amendment places the issue, "beyond the
reach of activist judges."
Perry added, "History tells us, and
most Texans believe, that marriage exists
for more than the convenience of consenting adults, but also for the eternal benefit
of our children."
Ellis said he wonders how much
Perry's upcoming re-election fight played
into his choice of a Christian school as a
venue for the bill signing. It is anticipated
that Perry will face U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey
Hutchison in his bid for the Republican
gubernatorial nomination in 2006.
Perry's spokesperson, Kathy Walt, had
this to say about protestors outside the
school who carried signs about the separation of church and state, "The critics are
generally those who object to people of faith
participating in government or the electoral
process. There are a number of critics who
would object to this bill signing if it were in
a public school, a library a Wal-Mart parking lot or any other venue because they
oppose pro-life, pro-family issues."
Those who voiced opposition to the bill
signing were not all from Texas. Gay
rights activists from around the country
commented regarding not only the choice
of a venue but also Perry's comments.
"No family should have to leave their
home to be protected under the law." said
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human
Rights Campaign. "Almost 43.000same-sex
couples live in Texas, and Gov. Perry
should be treating those families wilh the
same amount of respect and dignity that
he gives other constituents."