El Paso Minister’s Efforts To Recall Pro-Gay Mayor John Cook Fail Spectacularly

Deep in the heart of Texas, El Paso is emerging as a haven for LGBT people: First hometown hero Sidney Alvarez launched Fuerte Men, the first magazine aimed at gay Latinos. And now efforts  to recall mayor John Cook (left) for extending health-care benefits to city employees’ domestic partners have failed.

When Cook and the city council originally decided to extend the benefits, homophobic Pastor Tom Brown of the World Life Church led the charge to get the decision put to a public referendum. Saaly, 55% of residents said “no,” but Cook and the council went ahead and did it anyway.

If you know anything about religious bigots, you know they can’t stand being disobeyed.

So Brown and his cronies attempted to recall Cook and two city council members for supporting the action. But, on Friday, the Lone Star State’s Eight Court of  Appeals said “Nuh-uh” and ruled that Brown (right) broke the law in gathering petition signatures.

As LGBTQ Nation reports:

The measure, aimed at promoting “traditional family values,” asked voters to limit benefits to “city employees and their legal spouse and dependent children.”So when 55 percent of the voters approved the measure on Election Day, they eliminated coverage for some 200 people who don’t fit that description—among them elected officials, who aren’t technically city employees, and many former city workers, including retired police and fire department employees.

Unless amended or repealed, unions and city officials feared the law could grow to affect at least 10,00 others over the next several years, promoting Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega to vote to restore the benefits.

By the way, you know how many gay couples actually took advantage of the new domestic-partner benefits? Two.

And they say offering gay rights is a distraction from the important work of government!

Photo via Vimeo, TBM.org

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  • dsp

    @Mayor John Cook, You sir have my respect!

  • Chad

    Why is the pastor butting into government affairs. The only effects government workers… this is clearly a violation of seperation of church and state…

  • Justin Cooke

    Correction: qv magazine ( no longer in print) was an earlier title for gay Latinos.

  • Gerry

    It was actually 55% of the people who VOTED that approved rescinding benefits. Only around 52,000 people actually voted out of a total city population of 600,000.

  • 13Zeroither

    Are religious folk trying to repeal Separation of Church & State?

  • Chad

    @13Zeroither: I hope so then we can tax them.

  • Olexo

    “Deep in the heart of Texas”?
    Someone please explain to me how El Paso is the heart of Texas. Both geographically and culturally it’s on the fringe on Texas

  • dsp

    @Olexo: Yes, the towns of San Angelo, Brady or even Killeen could be known as the heart of Texas, but El Paso?

  • Dallas David

    It looks like the anti-gay folks had yet another setback on Feb. 28,

    . . . But it looks like the pastor gets a promotion in the ranks to “Bishop” next Wednesday (March 7)

    in some sort of association with a world-wide religious group


    that got started because:


    The church started as a result of the Episcopal Church (USA branch of the Anglican Church) ordaining an openly, active homosexual bishop. As a result Patriarch Githiga ended his official communion with the World Wide Anglican Church. Many other churches did so to. All Nations Christian Church International is completely Anglican in heritage and origin, but is not in communion with the See of Canterbury. It is considered a “continuing Anglican Church.” For a list of continuing Anglican churches see the link: http://anglicansonline.org/communion/nic.html


    And there seem to be quite a few other “Word of Life” Churches around, all of them more or less charasmatic.

    Hmmm. Anyone know how they’re all connected (besides the recent seminary group)?

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