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February 23, 2004

No, I'm not Behind This

By Byron LaMasters

And no, I won't be attending. I have two exams tomorrow, but it does look as if some folks are planning a little event tomorrow morning at the governors mansion. It seems a bit silly to me, but maybe it will give the Austin Chronicle something to report.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at February 23, 2004 01:31 PM | TrackBack


I just got an email about this from a friend at the Statesman. What's being said over there is that this actually could be the way to break the story. Whatever it takes is fine with me, frankly... I'm tired of explaining that "the blogosphere isn't engaged in one huge smear conspiracy, and no, I can't tell you who my sources are."

Posted by: PG at February 23, 2004 03:43 PM

Somebody needs to say two words to those bloggers over at LiveJournal's Austin Community who think "a gay Republican is like a black Klansman": ROY COHN.

Unbelievable, the ignorance on display over there.

Wise to distance yourself from THAT.

Posted by: Deanocrat at February 23, 2004 04:33 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks their protest idea is misguided, even idiotic. It's actions like that that sway even the most open minded citizens against the gay lobby.

Posted by: Bob Dobbs at February 23, 2004 04:38 PM


Deanocrat: The point of the "black Klansman" analogy isn't that gay Republican's do not exist, it's that gay Republicans are working against their own self interests.

Bob Dobbs: It's not really a protest, is it? I mean, nobody is rallying against anything as far as I can tell. I would say it sounds more like a way to get something noticed by the media so that questions can be asked and answers can be avoided. More to the point, however, by saying things like, "It's actions like that that sway even the most open minded citizens against the gay lobby" I can only surmise that you are not one of "the most open minded citizens" and you're probably a GOPer to boot.

Posted by: Hrmmm... at February 23, 2004 04:47 PM

to PG with the friend at the Statesman. How does this work? Do they just report that there was a gay rally at the mansion or can they actually say that there is a rally in support of the governor's possible "outing" by the rumor mill?

Posted by: intrigued at February 23, 2004 04:59 PM

The Austin Chronicle is sending out a reporter as well - the editor himself told me.

Posted by: BarrettBrown at February 23, 2004 05:01 PM

Hmmm: you assume much. My point was that they're organizing an action based on an as-yet-unconfirmed rumor. Level-headed folks wouldn't advise such things, as it will reflect poorly on them if the rumor turns out to be false.

And I'm not only not aligned with the GOP, I think both teams should be suspended from the league. But go ahead and assume whatever you'd like to.

Posted by: Bob Dobbs at February 23, 2004 05:06 PM


Point noted.

Poor Republicans are working against their own self-interests. People in the military who vote Republican are working against their own self-interests. Gay people who vote Republican (apologies to Andrew Sullivan) are working against their own self-interest. Hell, unless you're, say, the CEO of a large multinational corporation, voting Republican is against your self-interest.

That's why I called it "ignorance." :)

Posted by: Deanocrat at February 23, 2004 05:14 PM

Does anyone know how many will be there? I'm interested in watching it.

Posted by: AustinGirl172 at February 23, 2004 07:39 PM

Dozens at least. We're making sure of that. Get the word out if you can, we can always use more attendees.

Posted by: Barrett Brown at February 23, 2004 07:55 PM

Be neat if he came OUT wearing his Aggie Cheerlearder uniform.

Posted by: grynchie at February 23, 2004 08:51 PM

I walked over there a few minutes after ten on Tuesday morning and saw about 30 people, including press. There were four TV cameras.

Posted by: Polly at February 24, 2004 10:20 AM

So is it happening or not? Is there anyone there or not?!

Posted by: whazzup? at February 24, 2004 10:45 AM

The rally at the Gov. Mansion occurred this morning. There were lots (15-20) of news people there, print and television. One sign said "It's ok to be gay Gov." They wanted to encourge the Gov. to come out of the closet (if he is gay) and that being gay does not disqualify you from holding political office (but being a greedy scumbag should). Some used the opportunity to tell the press that we should stop vilifying homosexuality and worry about important issues like kids dying in Iraq, no health insurance and no jobs. Others were protesting the constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage. It was kind of disorganized but now the media knows that there is rumor that Perry is gay (as if they didn't already).

This will not be enough for some in the media to chase down the story but for some the question can be asked publicly.

"Mr. Governor, is it true you are getting a divorce due to homosexual infidelity?"

"Mr. Governor, do you support gay rights?"

"Mr. Governor, who does your hair, cause it looks fabulous?"

Gotta love Texas....

Posted by: Rally at February 24, 2004 11:01 AM

My husband drove 65 miles to see the demonstration of loving support for Gov. Perry.

He spoke to a reporter from your local ABC station.

It's definitely gonna be on the news.

That said...

Good day for Shrubya to tell us he's amending the Constitution to define marriage and STOP THE QUEERS FROM GETTING MARRIED! Oh thank God!

Fascism has officially arrived in America.

Posted by: Deanocrat at February 24, 2004 11:42 AM

photos of the rally

Posted by: Glenn Danzig at February 24, 2004 01:24 PM

I went, with my daughter, just to see if it happened or not and to take some pics. I posted them in my blog, referenced above and at www.jeffzed.org. The people were cool and as it turned out, very timely. I suspect that the news will view their appearance as a reaction to Bush's declaration of war on gay people and not the support they intended for Perry.

Posted by: P D Jefferies at February 24, 2004 05:55 PM

I heard that Rick and Anita had a very public annoucement that they were going on a vacation in the Bahamas. Maybe they patched things up?

Posted by: WhoMe? at February 24, 2004 07:11 PM

You were right, they(KXAN 36 channel) made the protest seem that it was about the ban on gay marriages
News story here

partial quote from Channel 36 news website:
02/24/04 - 6:25 pm
Constitutional Amendment Ripple Effects Here In Central Texas

Central Texas gays and lesbians and are fuming over their former governor's latest attempt to ban same sex marriages.


Gay rights advocates on the steps of the Governor's Mansion Tuesday accuse Bush of protecting a hateful ideology.

"It's one of the more frightening things I've ever heard. I think it's a sign of very bad things to come in our country's history if we are trying to exclude people based on sexual orientation," Leslie Hill who supports gay marriage said.

Opponents of the President's amendment admit it will be tough stopping any ratification effort in Texas. The state already has laws banning gay marriages and top state Republican leaders including Governor Rick Perry support the President's initiative.

Posted by: RG at February 24, 2004 07:11 PM

the houston chronicle is getting a story ready. it will be published soon. this is from the highest authority, and it is definetely true.

Posted by: houston insider at February 24, 2004 07:34 PM

Of course Anita and Rick are being seen in public right now -- if this whole rumor thing is true, no doubt GOP hacks are working overtime to quash this rumor and Anita's earning her keep well.

The story behind the story of his Bahama trip is who is paying for it -- he and his wife and staff are going to the Bahamas on a "working trip" to speak with a big campaign donor about school finance.

Officially the Perrys' part of the trip is through campaign funds, the staffs' part through private funds. These donors have contributed $75k+ since 2000. Money DOES buy access, and if they're talking school finance, wanna bet how THAT'S going to go down?

Posted by: soisialach at February 24, 2004 08:07 PM

I attended the rally at the governor's mansion yesterday and was quoted in the KXAN story. I would beg to differ with Mr. Jefferies' comments above. We were not there to support Mr. Perry. We were there to draw attention to the developing story of the (apparently) blatant discrepancy between his personal life and his voting life. We wanted to support his right to live as he wants, but also to question his legislative record as our governor.

Posted by: Leslie at February 25, 2004 08:56 AM

That story printed by kxan made it sound like they were there because of all the news with the gay marriage ban.

I really believe all the gay stories and alleged affair, and alleged divorce are rumors. And no, I am not a Perry fan at all! I wouldn't pee on him if he was on fire and wouldn't vote for him if he was the only one on the ballot!

But it seems to me that none of this is really going anywhere, is it?!

Posted by: hi at February 25, 2004 09:44 AM

I wrote to KXAN and asked the editor, "a rally had been planned since at least Sunday in response to the rumors that Gov. Perry was involved in an extramarital affair and to express their indignation about his hypocrisy.
There is no mention of those people in your article at all. Were they not there?"

He replied, "We were reporting a specific story relating to the president's announcement.

 Where the governor is concerned, as far we can tell after weeks of research and probing, the discussion regarding him is not true.  It is a rumor borne by the internet.  I'll believe it when I see a divorce petition in a county clerk's office and/or a U-Haul backed up to the mansion.

 We do not report rumors.

 Jim McNabb
Managing Editor"

So the Press did report, but just slanted it the way they wanted

Managing Editor

Posted by: PB at February 25, 2004 01:29 PM

Ha! The Austin Chronicle, of all people, debunked the Perry rumor-fest. And they were really looking, too.

Hope this sets some of your small minds at ease.

Naked City
The Real Sins of Gov. Perry

Gov. Rick Perry

On Tuesday morning, a small group of protesters (almost outnumbered by reporters and photographers) gathered at the Governor's Mansion for what was disingenuously billed as a "support rally" for Gov. Rick Perry, under the theme, "It's OK to Be Gay." As any Austinite with access to e-mail or a cell phone knows by now, for a couple of months rumors concerning the governor's personal life have been flying furiously around the Capitol, the capital city, the state, and indeed most of the Western Hemisphere. The variations are multiple and quite inventive – we won't recount them here – but at their core is the tale that the governor's marriage is in trouble, that his wife Anita has/will/may decide to divorce him, and that the issue is Rick's alleged infidelity, with one or another member of his administration of undetermined gender. (Rumors of this sort, about multitudinous politicians, circulate all the time, but the current Perry rumors are indeed extraordinary in their baroque detail and remarkable persistence.)

Hence the dubious demonstration – which just happened to coincide with President George W. Bush's declaration of war against same-sex marriage, which poses a threat to "the sanctity of marriage" so terrible it requires a constitutional ban. Last spring, readers will recall, Perry endorsed and signed the odious "Defense of Marriage Act," the Lege's latest gratuitous demonstration that it believes gay and lesbian Texans deserve fewer rights than other citizens.

For the record, Naked City looked into the Perry rumors when they first surfaced some weeks ago – inevitably accompanied by the warning, "The divorce papers are being filed today!" – and found no evidence of any truth to any of them, whatsoever. Amid much finger-pointing about who was the original source (and which political party he or she belongs to), nobody will go on the record. The governor's office (perhaps
understandably) refuses any and all comment beyond a one-sentence statement from Perry spokesperson Kathy Walt: "These are false, malicious, and hurtful rumors, and the Chronicle's own investigation acknowledges that fact."

We also know that numerous other reporters, from here to New York, have looked into the rumors, with, as far as we know, an identical lack of results. Nor do we expect anything we say here to have any effect on the rumors, which have become entirely self-replicating as they echo through the blogosphere.

Posted by: Rudolfo Lazparri at February 26, 2004 09:58 AM

Mr. Lazparri, I think you need to learn how to read.

They didn't exactly "debunk" the rumors. What they said is what everyone has been saying all along - these are rumors and there is not as of yet any hard evidence that they are true. The Chronicle did *not* say that the rumors are false. Really, though, think about what would constitue evidence - photos? an admission from one of three people who stand to lose a lot? Not likely. So, are the rumors true? Possibly. Are they false? Possibly. Right now we're still at the same point that we were two weeks ago.

I'm sorry to upset the ease of your small mind.

Posted by: um, no at February 26, 2004 05:45 PM
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