TX: Anti-Sex Offender Registry Group Holds National Conference in Houston

Source: thetexan.news 6/26/23

Welcome letters from the mayor’s office praised the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws for efforts on behalf of “marginalized citizens.”

An organization advocating on behalf of accused sex offenders held its national conference in Houston last weekend to teach attendees how to lobby for criminal justice reforms, including the dismantling of sexual offender registries (SOR). 

The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) argues that SORs are overbroad and unconstitutional. Formerly known as “Reform Sex Offender Laws,” the group was co-founded by an LGBT activist who goes by the pseudonym Alex Marbury, but the group changed its name in 2016 and distanced itself from Marbury’s efforts to change “age of consent laws.”

NARSOL held national conferences in Houston in 2019 and 2021, and each year the group touted welcome letters from Mayor Sylvester Turner praising the group for civil rights advocacy and calling Houston a “city that is welcoming and inclusive.”

“The City of Houston applauds your restorative justice efforts on behalf of marginalized citizens, and I extend best wishes for a memorable conference,” wrote Turner.

Turner’s Director of Communications Mary Benton told The Texan that the letters were created by the city’s ceremonial documents team, but that she had not approved them and the mayor had not seen them.

“The staff is directed to show me anything that could be sensitive or controversial,” said Benton. “They did not in 2019.”

Benton said new staff had been brought in who had assumed the language was approved because it had been published in 2019. She added that the team researches unfamiliar organizations and has issued 144 welcome letters to various groups in the last year. Benton did not know if the city had refused any group a welcome letter.

“Mayor Turner believes in diversity and inclusion, so we would not deny any group without thoughtful consideration and review,” said Benton, who did not respond to questions about whether a letter was sent for this year’s conference.

Read the full article


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It is very unusual for the media to post information about sex-offense related conferences.

As you read this article, notice the tension between the positive comments about the mayors letter and the downplaying of its reasons for being sent. You can feel the political fear of backlash.

Also, notice that they have good quotes from the conference that make it initially seem like unbiased news, but then throughout the article they throw in a few scary “facts”.

All in all, I think this is the most surprisingly positive way I would expect the media to report this conference.

Texas will never, be welcoming or inclusive. That is a former slave state. So freedom isn’t exactly in their vocabulary.

“Kerri Taylor of anti-trafficking organization Unbound Now Houston said in a recent interview that in the city “you can literally dial up and order a child and have them delivered to your hotel room as easily as you can a pizza.””

So if that is true then why doesn’t she do that and save all these children?

“…studies estimate a child is a victim of sexual assault every nine minutes in the United States.”

So then there are unknown millions of abusers among us and instead of outreach and education to slow/stop this, they choose to spend time and millions of dollars on making a person homeless and without resources instead. Great strategy.

Another wasted opportunity for a reasonable approach. But they was really looking for donations, that’s what’s it’s all about not change.

Bulls**t that is disguised by Smoke and Mirrors is still Bulls**t!!! This reporter sucks. This is nothing more than an opinion piece disguised as news. Pathetic!!!

NARSOL felt more negative about this article than positive. We wrote this response piece and sent it to the journalist and the editor of The Texan.
Incidentally, in response to one of the comments on this thread, Texas is certainly not a “registrant-friendly” state, but Houston has been wonderful, from the mayor’s office to the hotel to the police department when they were needed.

Just as a third party who has donated to both ACSOL and NARSOL: a certain non disclosure agreement between the two drove them apart and the two parties have not reconciled.