Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Response Louisiana Comes Under Fire

As discussed in a prior post, the Response Louisiana will take place in Baton Rouge in January 24th. The gathering will take place at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the Louisiana State University campus, a decision that has drawn fire from opponents of the rally.

A project called Organizing Against Hate Groups is speaking out against the figures hosting and attending the Response Louisiana, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. According to their Facebook page, Organizing Against Hate Groups will hold a demonstration outside of the Peter Maravich Assembly Center on January 24th, followed by workshops on social justice and grassroots organizing.

The project counts several regional LGBTQ and women's rights groups among its sponsors, including Feminists in Action, Qroma, the Louisiana LGBTQ Business List, and NOW Shreveport. A statement by Organizing Against Hate Groups criticized Jindal for breaking bread with homophobes and anti-choice activists.
"On January 24th. Governor Jindal plans to take his first steps in running for the presidency by hosting a prayer rally on the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge.

Unfortunately, he has again chosen to ally himself with the radical Christian right, and by this I mean the right-wing of Christians. The people who want to re-criminalize homosexuality and applaud the actions of the Ugandan government which is trying to make homosexuality punishable by death. These are the same people who blame natural disasters on unwed mothers, abortion, and marriage equality.

These are the same people who are fanatical about abortion laws but think that helping poor people when they need help is destroying our country. These are the same people claiming persecution in the US yet support countries like Uganda attempting to make homosexuality punishable by death.

We are protesting this event not because it is a Christian event, we are protesting because this is our campus, and we do not accept their message of hate and exclusion.

We are also hosting break out sessions to help train people on how to be better community organizers in their areas of interest ranging from effective use of social media to engaging in civil disobedience, and more.

These individuals claim to be part of a moral majority, but we know that there is no morality in their words. There is no morality in hate.

LSU has a saying “Love Purple, Live Gold.”

It is our responsibility to Live Gold by taking a stand and saying no more, so come join us on January 24th at 9am."

Louisiana State University Students are also petitioning LSU's administrators, urging them not to host the Response Louisiana on campus. A petition entitled "Ban the American Family Association from rallying on campus at LSU" condemns the American Family Association, one of the sponsors of the rally, as an anti-gay hate group. Inflammatory statements by AFA representatives run contrary to LSU's code of conduct, the petition argues.
"In LSU's own code of conduct it outlines a "commitment to community" that expects that students will:

"hold myself and others to the highest standards of...personal, and social integrity"

"practice justice, equality, and compassion in human relations"

"respect the dignity of all persons and accept individual differences"

If students are held to these standards of basic decency, why do the same rules not apply to visitors to LSU's campus? As a member of the LSU student community, it saddens and offends me that our administration would welcome to campus a recognized hate group whose vile rhetoric targets gay and transgendered people, Muslims, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. Such action undermines the safe, tolerant, respectful atmosphere that LSU seeks to provide for its diverse community. Please help me in petitioning the administration to reconsider letting an unabashedly bigoted group rally on our campus. LSU is better than that."
Another petition reminds LSU administrators of its commitment to equality, alarmed that "the university has agreed to allow Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to host an on-campus, politically-motivated prayer rally in January which distributes materials blaming recent tornadoes and hurricanes on LGBT people." The petition also urges LSU not to host the Response Louisiana, an event that would fly in the face of LSU's non-discrimination policies.

Not everyone in Louisiana is excited about the Response Louisiana's upcoming "revolution of righteousness". As rally organizers champion a right-wing vision for America, opponents continue to remind them that their vision is flawed.


  1. Replies
    1. Donna -- Agreed! I'm glad they're standing up to the Religious Right.

  2. Is it just me or do these rightwing hate-fests seem to increase in frequency and intensity as elections get closer? Not to violate your comment policy, Ahab, but it sure feels like the GOP schemers exploit these events to rile up the herds that comprise their base. To put it more bluntly, no thinking and informed person would vote for Jindal. Methinks he know that.

    1. Agi Tater -- Of course they proliferate as elections get closer. These Religious Right rallies always have an agenda.

    2. Yes. But my point is they are also effective tools in the hands of politicians who don't give a fig about the RR agenda or the RR's easily duped adherents. I'm trying to find a nice way to say that some politicians would not get elected without the adoring support of masses of stupid people … who tend to flock to these rallies.

    3. Agi Tater -- Good point. There have definitely been politicians who would not have been elected without the support of misguided voters who believed empty rhetoric -- Dubya comes to mind.


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