Mt. Hope Infinity: 2 Portland area queers have their email accounts subpoenaed

On Wednesday, March 16th, Google will be forced to hand over the email accounts of two queer activists from Portland, Oliver Hayes and Kat Enyeart, to the evangelical Mt. Hope Church in Lansing, MI. Both Portlanders are subpoenaed because of their alleged ties to the Bash Back. However no factual evidence has been produced to support such a relationship existing and both deny membership in the organization.

They issued this statement Wednesday:

“Today Google will have to comply with a subpoena to release our private email correspondence to a hostile far-right anti-gay organization. These emails were subpoenaed by Mt. Hope Church — a virulent and dangerous anti-gay mega church based in Lansing, MI. The subpoenas are part of a civil suit wherein Mt. Hope is attempting to sue people they allege to be part of an organization called “Bash Back.” Three years ago a group of people using that name engaged in a non-violent protest and political theater display against the anti-gay rhetoric and actions of Mt. Hope. During this non-violent protest no person was hurt and no criminal charges were filed as a result. Now, however, Mt. Hope (under the guise of the Alliance Defense Fund) is attempting to sue anyone they believe to be connected to Bash Back. In a sickening twist of fate, they are suing under the FACE Act — a law meant to protect women who seeking abortion services. It is ironic that an legislative attempt to protect women’s reproductive rights is now being used to target and harass queer rights activists.
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New defendant added to Mt. Hope Infinity case

Mt Hope InfinityDABC Note: The Mt. Hope Infinity Support Tour will be making a stop in Denver on Monday November 15th at the 27 Social Centre in Denver. Please show your support! More info: http://www.facebook.com/denverabc?ref=ts#!/event.php?eid=140941772624050

Lansing, Michigan — On Nov 5, a visible radical queer organizer in Chicago was added to the lengthy list of defendants in the Mt. Hope Infinity lawsuit.

On November 9th, 2008 activists from the international queer liberation group, Bash Back! protested the notoriously anti-queer mega-church Mount Hope at its headquarters in Lansing, Michigan. The church preaches an anti-queer stance and runs a coercive program designed to turn queer youth straight.

While some of the protesters danced, chanted, and held signs out side of the building, a small group proceeded into the church to conduct a demonstration by hanging a banner that read “It’s OK to be GAY!”, and handing out support leaflets directed towards the queer youth. As the demonstration was legal, the police gave no citations.

In May 2009, the multi-million dollar right-wing non-profit Alliance Defense Fund filed a federal law suit on behalf of Mt. Hope Church under the Freedom of Access to Clinical Entrances Act. The lawsuit named 13 individuals, as well as Bash Back! as a whole, Bash Back! Lansing, and 20 “John” and “Jane Doe”s (who the ADF is in the process of identifying). ADF and Mt. Hope Church seek, first, a broad injunction that could dramatically hinder future activism that resists the institutionalization of religious fundamentalism. Second, they asked for an unknown, but assuredly large, sum of money in supposed “damages” and trial costs.

The injunction, if granted, would set legal precedent. Imagine it was legally impossible to protest anti-choice organizations or “ex-gay” conferences. With this lawsuit we may be making new law regarding these types of demonstrations.

Last week the ADF identified one of the “Jesse” Does. There are still 19 more spots.

The Mt. Hope Infinity is in need of support in any form, especially financial, media and kind words.

http://bashbackinfinity.wordpress.com/

If you’d like to join the (small) support team, or help out in any way, email bashbackinfinity@hushmail.com.

New Poster + Day of Solidarity & Fundraising for the Mt. Hope Infinity

mount hope infinityJust in time for the July 16-17 fundraising weekend, this is a new poster about the Mt. Hope Infinity. The Mt. Hope Infinity are visible queers from around the Midwest who are being persecuted by the Mt. Hope megachurch and Alliance Defense Fund. Print in color, or in black-and-white: We won’t hold it against you, just get them up everywhere.

“Solidarity fundraising day July 16 starts the solidarity fund raising week end for the Mount Hope Infinity

There are three events happening around the US:

Tulsa Oklahoma
July 16th, 9pm
The Eclipse: 1336 E. 6th St

San Fransisco California
July 16th, 8pm
Underground SF: 424 haight street

Gainesville Florida
July 17th, 8pm
Civic Media Center: 433 South Main Street

But it’s not too late to throw another:

It can be anything from a punk show, a party, to a cake walk, a garage sale, to a date auction, a kissing booth, to tabling a another show with patches for sale. Anything you can do that day to raise some green for our radical queer friends is needed.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU’RE PLANING SO WE CAN LIST IT ON THE FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE AND THIS PAGE. bashbackinfinity@hushmail.com

FAQ: If I wanna help but I can’t do that day is that ok?

Yeah. If you need to do something the day before or the day after, or the week before or the week after, that’s fine. We’re just trying to catalyze our supporters to bring in some much needed funds, the exact date is less important.

Got other questions? send them to bashbackinfinity@hushmail.com

Thanks in advance!”

In case it wasn’t clear, the Mt. Hope Infinity are responsible for neither the poster nor this post, we’re just an autonomous support crew.

Mt Hope Infinity: Where Are We Now?

The Bash Back Infinity’s lawyer just had to drop their case! They are in need of a new lawyer! Please contact bashbackinfinity@hushmail.com

Sometime after the original subpoenas, as well as a letter threatening to confiscate all electronics from the defendants, the ADF announced that they would be willing to negotiate.

Their offer was that each person named would pay $1,000 each to Mt. Hope Church. As well as submit official apologies, and sworn statements never to demonstrate at a place of worship again.

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The Bigotry is On Our Doorstep! Support the Mt. Hope Infinity

Queer activists need your help to defend against the Alliance Defense Fund.

On November 9th, 2008 activists from the international queer liberation group, Bash Back! protested the stance and actions of the notoriously anti-queer mega-church, Mount Hope at their headquarters compound in Lansing, Michigan. While some of the group danced, chanted and held signs out side of the building, a small group proceeded into the church to conduct a demonstration by hanging a banner that read “It’s OK to be GAY!”, and handing out support leaflets targeted toward the queer youth. As the activists had been careful to remain legal, the police made no charges. So in May of 2009 a right-wing legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund filed a federal law suit on behalf of Mt. Hope Church under the Freedom of Access to Clinical Entrances Act, naming 13 individuals, as well as Bash Back! as a whole, Bash Back! Lansing, and 20 “John” and “Jane Doe”s (yet to be identified). The suit seeks an injunction that could seriously hinder future activism that resists the institutionalization of religious fundamentalism. As well as an unknown sum of money in supposed “damages” and trial costs. Thankfully, we can count on our community and allies to step up. Tracie Dominic Palmer, an activist attorney with the National Lawyers Guild has been wonderful in supporting the group and has been diligently attempting to negotiate as well as building a defense, pro-bono! But as everyone knows, this is far from free. In the end, even in victory, it will have cost her as well as everyone involved in the defense a great deal emotionally and monetarily. Bottom line: We need your help.

The ADF and Mt. Hope are working double time now to oppress queer people and crush all those that oppose them. To be clear, the main objective of their efforts is to plant fear and hesitation in confronting bigotry. This is why they also subpoenaed 20 “John” and “Jane does” (which we have chosen to call Jesse Does to remove the gendering of anyone) in addition to the 13 named defendants. Allowing them to pick anyone they want, whenever they want, and claim affiliation with Bash Back! This is why the defense is called the “Mt. Hope Infinity”. Again, it is extremely important to understand that the injunction seeks to set legal precedence that would seriously restrict future activism of this nature. Imagine it being legally impossible to protest anti-choice organizations or “ex-gay” conferences. In fact, as attorney Tracie Palmer has stressed, we may very well be making new law regarding these types of demonstrations. This is a serious concern, not just for the individuals involved, but for all liberation activism.

~With the queerest love and rage.
Bash Back! Infinity

* It is important to note that since the action, some of the websites have been altered. For example, you now have to input personal information and complete a phone interview to find out details regarding the Dunami sexual “support group”.

Check out bashbackinfinity.wordpress.com for more information.

How can you help?

GET THE WORD OUT! Pass out a flier, get this website out to everyone you can (facebook! myspace! listserves!),  plan to support the Mt. Hope Infinity in person at court dates and fundraisers.

DONATE!: Suprise! the radical christian right has lots and lots of money, and we don’t. So, please donate anything you can. OR HOST A FUNDRAISER!!! a party, date auction, or garage sale! Anything is helpful.

You can send checks to:

BB!
PO box 27201
Lansing, MI 48909-7201

(if you’re uncomfortable with sending a check without a name on it, email us and we’ll give you one! bashbackinfinity@hushmail.com)

And you can donate online: