Archive for the ‘Homophobia’ Category

>Ronald Reagan – 100 years of shame

February 7, 2011

>I’m tired of celebrating Ronald Reagan.

If he were still alive, he would be turning 100 years old. That’s 100 years of shame.

During his term as president the rich got richer, and the poor got poorer.

From Mother Jones


As the rich get richer, the rest of us didn’t fare too well, and the poor actually got poorer.

But here is what really gets me.

The first case of AIDS was reported June 5, 1981, in Los Angeles. A year and a half later, the White House was asked about the epidemic, and in a press conference, the mention of people dying of AIDS brought laughter.

In 2004 Larry Kramer wrote an article for the Advocate, and it was republished this week.

Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even. In all the tributes to his passing, as I write this two days after his death, not one that I have seen has mentioned this. The hateful New York Times (“all the news that’s fit to print”) of course said nothing about this. We still are not fit to write about with total honesty in their pages. Not really. Just as we were not fit for Ronald Reagan to talk about us. What kind of president is that?

His article ends this way.

Just as Jews are asked to never forget their Holocaust, I implore all gay people never to forget our holocaust and who caused it and why. Ronald Reagan did not even say the word “AIDS” out loud for the first seven years of his reign. Because of this, some 70 million people, so far, have become infected with HIV/AIDS. I wonder what it feels like to be the son and the wife of a man responsible for over 70 million people so far becoming infected with a virus that has killed over half of us so far. I wonder what it felt like while he was alive to ponder this. For surely he must have thought about it. How could he not? He has been called the consummate actor who came to believe all his lines. Does this not make his legacy even more grotesque? It should.

Hitler knew what he was doing. How could Ronald Reagan not have known what he was doing?

But of course, no one is writing about this. Reagan too is one of history’s gods.

So far he has gotten away with murder.

Here is a short video, made by the son of a 1980’s lesbian activist.

I don’t know how anyone could celebrate his 100th birthday. Or why he is held up as an American hero.

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>Kid stuff

May 30, 2010

>When do people learn to hate gays?

I began to wonder this as I was visiting a household where young grandmother is the caretaker for a 3 year old boy. A 4 -1/2 year old kin was visiting him, and the grandmother described how they greeted each other with baby bear hugs and the older tot told me how he pushed the younger boys hair up and kissed him on the forehead.

I don’t believe any parent, except for the most cynical, would discourage two toddler boys from showing affection. We teach our babies to express love and appreciation, and encourage them to hug and kiss even strangers sometimes.

At some point, such affection becomes “yucky” for some boys. I don’t believe this is a natural change, rather they get signals or direction from their parents or older siblings.

As I watched these two boys play together, I thought about how we hear from right wing Christianists that they don’t want their children exposed to homosexual behavior, or homosexual relationships, or learning about those relationships, in elementary school or elsewhere.

I stood in church during a song on Sunday, and observed an opposite-sex couple in front of me allow their hand to touch, and take hold of each other.

I thought about taking my partner’s hand, and wondered what the reaction of the people behind us would be. There are many children in the church, of all ages, and the youngest had left for the children’s program. Any kid over 8 years of age knows about homosexuals and I doubt they would have been shocked (the church is pretty open in its support of its gay members and visitors), but they may have been surprised.

But not all kids are being raised by supportive parents. And not all school or church environments are tolerant of an adolescent’s growing realization of their sexuality. But most kids at some point deal with gay schoolmates at some point. How they respond depends on many factors. I’m sure books have been written about it.

By the time some kids reach high school, they might react like Finn did when Kurt showed him the room they were going to share when their families blended on the wildly popular Fox show, Glee. This clip (I hope it plays) is an absolutely wonderful portrayal of a situation many of us have lived through.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/etmjcsWe_moIz7ET5moJMg/1518/1745

Of course, not all kids have a father like Kurt’s dad. Some fathers would not make the effort that Kurt’s dad is in trying to accept his kid. In this episode, his defense of Kurt is probably as much a turning point for him as it was an awakening for Finn. And let’s not ignore the effect on Kurt.

Someday, society will be such that I could take my partner’s hand without hesitation, and without having to evaluate the environment we are in to determine if it is proper or not.

The fact is, it is ALWAYS proper to show affection or closeness to someone you love. I’m not talking about PDA, like kissing in public, most people don’t like that from either straight or gay couples. But holding one’s hand or putting one’s arm around their lover should not be a problem.

Should not. But there are, of course, safety issues involved, and that is a subject for another day. But here, I guess I am just wondering aloud and asking myself how a parent can teach a kid that some strangers or even some of their friends are to be hated and thought of as less than themselves. This goes for race and ethnicity, too.

I guess some people just shouldn’t be parents, and it is up to the rest of us to somehow catch the attention of their kids and allow them to learn that we are One Human Family and on that level we are all equal.

Watch the entire episode of Glee here.

>Letters to the Western Tribune

March 25, 2010

>A firestorm was started when The Western Tribune printed a letter from Snuffy Garrett equating loving relationships between members of the same sex to having sex with a horse. The Western Tribune received at least 24 letters in opposition and printed two.

The Western Tribune has now ceased to operate, and I know that some who wrote or commented will have no problem with this, since the paper did not change its ways and continued to print the letters from Snuffy, including at least one again using the sodomy and animal comparison, and which was directed at me, by name.

Of the 24 letters letters submitted, in addition to the ones printed, I have access to 11 more. the rest of the letters, according to the former editor, were destroyed because they contained profanity.

I believe these letters better illustrate the objections to Snuffy’s comparison than the ones chosen for print. With the demise of the Western Tribune, this will serve as a “last word” on the issue (unless Snuffy gains access to our other local paper, the Western Star).

I am printing these letters as they were submitted to the paper for publication.

*****

Last account I looked we were all created by GOD and my GOD is a very loving being. How your personal views are concerning who I wish to love and wake up next to in the morning is my business. But on that note I think HOMOSEXUALS deserve the same right to be as miserable as HETEROSEXUALS. So he who is without sin may cast the first stone. Sincerely yours loved by GOD, JEFF DABBS

*****

How dare you print such garbage for people to read! I am a gay woman and also own a horse farm and that statement pisses me off. I bet old Snuffy teaches that masturbation is wrong in the eyes of God, but I can only wonder how many “loving relations” he has had with his own damn mule!! Shame on all of you who pass judgement on others! Love Has No Gender! God made us and God Loves Us. Lori

*****

The Western Tribune should print an apology for printing hateful speak, and should refrain from publishing any letters or columns that degrade any segment of our society. On Feb. 24, 2010 you allowed a letter to be written into your paper that compared loving same-sex relationships to sex with a horse. That is a complete hateful and wrongful letter. The bible also condemns sex before marriage, working on the sabbath, eating shell fish and a whole list of other things.

Do you plan to run a letter in your paper that says ” All women who have had sex before marriage should be stoned to death?” or ” All people who work on the sabbath or visit a place that makes employees work on the sabbath should be put to death for breaking a 10 commandment? I doubt you would.

Yet you allow a letter to be published that puts down every gay relationship based on the ideas of some misguided bigot. Shame on your paper.

That letter was a defamation of my character, and I am more than a sex act in a bedroom behind closed doors. Plus there are thousands upon thousands straight couples who practice sodomy as well, so to single out gays was a complete and utter disrespect.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender are productive, tax-paying, caring members of society and should never be defamed in the media. America was founded on the idea of freedom and equal rights for all citizens. True inclusive community will treat all its diverse members with respect.

No longer a reader of your biased uninformed hateful paper.

anonymous

*****
A recent letter to your publication was offensive to a minority group. In this letter, the uninformed writer equated marriage equality to “marriage with a horse.”

I have been legally married to my spouse for 7 years after a trip to a state which lives up to the standards of freedom upon which our nation was founded. Our marriage is similar to those of our brothers and sisters whom God created differently.

In our marriage, I often cook while my spouse mows the lawn. I wash clothes while my spouse checks the oil on our vehicles. I drive her mother to the airport; she calls my mother on her birthday. The audacity of printing a letter reducing this God-given love to some perverted extent indicates a lack of sensitivity and intelligence not only on the part of the letter writer, but on the part of the editorial staff who chose to print it. Just as discrimination against racial minorities should not be allowed, neither should discrimination against sexual minorities. In the words of MLK- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Elisa Macon

*****

I was shocked to have read an insert from the letter that Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s wrote on February 24th and that it was printed in the Western Tribune. Yes people have the right of freedom of speech, however when it comes at the cost of spreading hate, I feel that it is uncalled for. I think that those of us in the public eye, including businesses, and media sources have a responsibility to do everything in our power not to encourage anything that has to do with hate or mistreatment of others. I would hope that in the future you would be careful of the things you print, because once in print they can not be undone.

As a Minister I can think of many different scriptures that can go along with this letter; however there is one that really comes to mind.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not parish but, have eternal life. (NIV)

Whoever to me does not say “only heterosexuals”, but also includes Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people. We are all children of God and at some point must learn to start treating each other as brothers and sisters. I hope and pray in the future the Western Tribune would try and do the same.

Blessings in Christ
Minister Tony E. Haynes

*****
I am writing in strong disappointment regarding the letter published in your paper (Feb. 24th, 2010) relating same-sex relationships to having sex with horses.

This is very concerning as same-sex couples are very similar to any other committed and loving relationship.

The letter published, not only embarrasses your paper but is also noted as slang and a form of discrimination.

Same-Sex couples are just as human as you, and if anything the most significant difference between you and I is the discrimination I face daily.

Attached you may find some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender statistics that possible you could write a positive and educating story on.

Warmest Regards,

Caleb Laieski

Caleb Laieski Director of Legislative Affairs

*****
Please print a retraction on Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s inflammatory letter. As a Gay man, I take offense his illogical, ignorant and divisive letter. It is obvious this person is very ignorant of The Bible. HE is nothing more than a clanging symbol and is putting words into “God’s” mouth, thinking he knows what God wants and thinks. We, the LGBT community expect a formal apology.

Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett said that God condemns homosexuals and sodomy. Nowhere in the Bible does God condemn “sodomy.” The word “Sodomy” does not exist in the Bible. People, erroneously attribute the act of anal sex to Sodomy because of a misinterpretation of the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the 18th Chapter of Genesis in the Old Testament of The Bible. Only modern translations suggest that the city was full of homosexuals, which is erroneous.

I will not belabor this point, but God had decided to destroy the twin cities prior to the incidents outside of Lot’s house. Ezekiel 16: 49-50 states why God destroyed the cities, and “homosexual behavior” was not listed. If anything, America is in danger, because we are guilty of the very things that caused God to destroy those cities!

Also, the use of the word “Abomination,” in Ezekiel 16:49-50 does not mean anything but “a classification of sin.” It does not infer “homosexuality (or any sex sin, as most Evangelical would assume).” Since Sodom and Gomorrah were matriarchal societies–worshipping female deities, the abomination was idolatry. The term Sodomy really means “being from Sodom,” and is as ridiculous as saying someone committed “Bessemery,” to mean robbery or a mugging or tax evasion. See how ridiculous?

On to Leviticus. The scriptures that Mr. Garrett probably inferred are probably Leviticus 18:22 & 20: 13-14, which are laws for procreation, not against homosexuality. This law was written For the Levite Tribe. God does condemn sex between two men, but not between two women. This was to enforce the law to procreate so that the people would have enough babies to carry on their legacy. They had to separate, subdue and survive in the wilderness. They also had to maintain their armies. This took babies and lots of them.

As for laws, there were 613 of them. God also condemned eating shellfish, touching a woman while she was on her period, touching swine, eating pork, eating undercooked meat, wearing clothing of mixed materials (microfiber, wool blends, rayon, polyester), planting different crops in the same fields, touching the dead, having sex without the explicit intention of having children, working on the Sabbath (Saturday).

Now, how many of these sins does Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett” commit daily?

There are 613 laws that he must live by, if he is to condemn loving gay relationships as condemned by God. God also had 612 other laws…but applicable only to the Jews. The book of James, says “if you live by the law and break one of the laws, you are guilty of breaking all of the laws.” James 2:10. Uh oh. Mr. Garrett, is guilty of homosexuality…it is in the Bible! If you break one of the (613) laws, you are guilty of breaking them all!

I am sure that Mr. Garrett is a Christian and not a Jew. Therefore he subscribes to Christ’s Sacrifice for Righteousness, and the Old Testament Law (even the 10 Commandments) wasn’t written to make you righteous. In fact, The Ten Commandments are obsolete now, according to Matthew 22:36-40. Jesus broke the law-every time as a way to prove the law was obsolete, and He was putting the law in its place. People like Mr. Garrett keep trying to use the law as a way to grace. Jesus came as a new priest and this absolved the Old Laws – all 613 of them! Jesus is the new priest and brought a new law! Hebrews 7:11-19 and 4:14. Jesus, the new High Priest said nothing about homosexuality; if it was so offense to God, why didn’t Jesus say something about it? If Jesus was quiet on this subject, why is Mr. Garrett so strung out?

Nick Jones

*****
I wanted to write a quick response to a recent article that compared someone being in a loving relationship with the same sex the same as loving a horse.

I am sure that you truly do not believe what you wrote, because if that was true then I am sure that you agree that eating shellfish is a sin too, just as the Bible states in Leviticus.

I ask you to step back and think to yourself, is God asking me to hate people. I am then sure that you will find that God has never asked us to hate anyone, just to love one another.

I pray for the best for you!
Michael J Smith

*****
Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett needs to learn that humans who love each other may be of the same gender, and that these loving relationships may include sex. Snuffy also needs to seek some kind of therapy because he is overly concerned about what other people may be doing in their sex lives. Further, he equates sex with a horse with sex between two loving people.

Now what normal person ever has sex with a horse cross his mind? Or obsesses about other people’s sex lives? I’ve met people of all orientations, and none of them thought about the horse option. Just Snuffy.

So apparently, Snuffy has some sort of sexual problem, which is allowed for some reason to be expressed publicly through his hate talk. Doesn’t this paper have any discretion? The Western Tribune should apologize.

People used to equate sex and marriage between blacks and whites the same way, complete with Biblical references. But today we recognize that as hate talk. Because the injustice and inhumanity of that hate talk became so obvious to America, we as a nation decided it must end. We took steps as a nation that believes fundamentally in equality to bring the same full equality to blacks, including being able to love and marry the person they choose. If a newspaper published a letter like this one from sick Snuffy, with blacks substituted instead, it would be obvious hate speech.

So why did Snuffy’s letter get published?

Stephen Brittle

*****
As a legally married same sex couple in and from Alabama (we went to MA in 2008 to be legally married) I think I can speak for many of us in AL. Religion has no place in this debate, since I have the same God in my religion as does your writer, but apparently mine is one of love and theirs is one of hate.

If the writer would like for religion to be involved in the government of the country, I suggest they move to a country where Theocracy is working so well, such as Iran.

If churches insist on getting involved politically in the processes of this country, then it is time to rethink the tax codes. Churches who get involved in political campaigns (i.e. LDS in California’s Prop 8 ballot) should have their tax exemption revoked. I think we could solve our budget crisis if we start taxing churches with political agendas.

The pulpit is for lifting up the congregation through inspiration, not creating a mob mentality through fear and hate.

I am appalled that such words were used to describe a loving relationship that can happen between two people of the same sex.

I know that in my lifetime the state of AL will be forced to recognize our marriage as a legal union.

Love is Love,

Jonathan F Cooper

*****
Your paper is promoting hatred that has not been seen in this area since the water hoses of Bull Conner. My loving relationship with the person God chose for me should not be compared to f***ing a horse. How dare you?

We worship a God who loves diversity (one need only see nature in all its Glory to know this is fact) and Jesus preached liberal tolerance, but the hate-mongers who use the Bible as defense for their hatred have found a voice in your paper. Homosexuality occurs in every species our loving Father created, including his precious human children.

For the sake of love, for the sake of what is right, and for the sake of loving our God who created us, stop this hate

unsigned

>Letters in the Western Tribune

March 3, 2010

>Here are 2 of the 24 letters received by the Western Tribune regarding Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s letter.

Reader’s Opinions

Outraged by the odious comments about gays

As a citizen of Jefferson County, I am outraged by the comments from Snuffy Garrett comparing loving, same sex relationships to having sex with animals! What? Really?

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are responsible, productive, taxpaying, caring members of our community. Everyone has free speech in our society, protected by our Constitution, so I challenge you to print this rebuttal to Mr. Garrett’s odious comments. An apology to the gay community is also necessary. We look to the media to expand our horizons and open our minds to diverse ideas. You have done just the opposite. See if you can do better.

Mary McGlaughlin
Birmingham

**************************

I find the hateful comments made by Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett unconscionable. I am certain this writer must be closeted as are the most vocal opponents of homosexuality.*

Why does it bother him so much?

My husband and I have many gay friends. Love IS a Christian value. You should be ashamed of printing such filth.

Mia Fiterman
Birmingham

Editor’s note: Twenty-four letters critical of Snuffy Garrett’s Feb 24 letter to the editor were sent to the Tribune. The above two letters were most representative of the others.

*************************************************

The first letter writer demands an apology from the paper to the gay community. There has been none. None!

Let me clear up one thing. The Western Tribune believes in free speech. They do print a diversity of opinions. The fact that my columns appear each week is evidence enough for that. In my opinion, and that of many in the gay community, it is not so much a free speech issue as it is a matter of decency.

A letter (Snuffy’s) was printed that allowed the writer to insult an entire group of people by using a biblical reference to compare our love for one another to beastiality.

Would the newspaper therefore allow a racist letter writer to promote a return to slavery based on biblical references (“Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back .” – Titus 2:9 “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. ” – 1 Peter 2:18)?

This is not too far-fetched, as the book I have been referring to, Slavery by Another Name, documents how African-Americans were enslaved, bought and sold, in Alabama well after the end of the Civil War, and I’m sure these Bible verses played a role in that. And we do still live under the 1901 Constitution.

This 1930’s picture shows an enslaved Georgia man being punished under the inhumane system that allowed blacks to become forced laborers in the not so distant past in the south. Picture credit Slavery by Another Name website (go there to see more and read about the book).

Freedom of speech does not mean that a newspaper has to print every vile and hurtful letter it receives. I know for a fact that the Western Tribune receives letters that are not fit for printing. Why then, did it feel that it was OK to print this one?

The second letter writer may be referring to this University of Georgia study which showed sexual arousal in homophobic men when shown adult male pornography. The study is interesting, if somewhat flawed, and the results not conclusive. Or she may be referring to anecdotal examples of clearly closeted homosexual men who are vocally anti-homosexual . Ted Haggard comes to mind.

OK, gay and fair minded straight folks. Has the Western Tribune done enough by printing these two letters?

>Newspapers have a responsibility

February 25, 2010

>During the years after World War I a wave of antisemitism swept the country, and some newspapers printed articles or opinions that fueled hatred against the Jews. An example would be the automobile manufacturer Henry Ford’s reprinting of Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a series of articles in the Dearborn Independent.

This action was widely criticised and Ford later apologized.

In the late 1800’s the Birmingham News warned that the Negroes in Birmingham be restrained lest they “develop into human tigers and give vent to their hatred of some white men.” The ‘restraint’ which ensued included banning Negroes from the front of streetcars, public parks and white-zoned neighborhoods. (Diane McWhorter – Carry Me Home)

During the mid 20th century in Birmingham, a newspaper (the Birmingham Post) fueled racial hostilities with its support of Bull Conner with an article headlined “Commies Sponsor Negro Youth Meet.” (McWhorter)

I give these examples to show that newspapers sometimes choose to act in irresponsible and harmful ways. They sometimes allow debate where there is clearly not an issue that is debatable. They sometimes allow rhetoric that is clearly hateful, that is clearly meant to inflame, and that clearly crosses the boundaries of decency.

Always society looks back in amazement if not disbelief at the hatred that was allowed or encouraged by the media. Henry Ford was forced to apologize. The Birmingham News sort of apologized years…many years, later.

Now the media thinks it is ok to allow smears against the gay community in the form of debate or opinion. Terms such as “sodomite” might be used, which immediately gives an impression of a Higher Power giving disapproval, and thus influencing the reader toward disapproval.

The Western Tribune has allowed a reader to respond to my writings in that paper and in the Birmingham News in hateful ways on more than one occasion.

“It is well known that there are biblical injunctions that prohibit the crime of sodomy, so sodomites must overcome this injunction.

“They do it by several means.

“First, they ignore the bible or pass it off as an antiquated and irrelevant document because it prohibits what a sodomite desires to do.

“Other sodomites claim the biblical passages – and there are many – are unclear and therefore they obfuscate the arguments opposing their acts of sodomy.

“Some sodomites have made this argument null and void by producing their own version of the Bible and omitting those scriptures that condemn sodomy, therefore exposing their knowledge that the injunctions exist.

“To give you the right to legally engage in sodomy (marry another man) is to grant you supra-rights (rights above and beyond the rest of us).”

Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett” Western Tribune 10-14-2009

The letter writer repeats the term “sodomy” in an effort to defame, with God’s blessing, the gay community.

Would the same newspaper, or any other, allow a letter to be printed that defamed the black community in the same way?

Imagine reading a letter in your paper calling for suppression of blacks using biblical references. (this is not a real letter)

Dear Editor,

The blacks are getting too much power. The Bible instructs us

“Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5)

“Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back .” (Titus 2:9)

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. ” (1 Peter 2:18)

We would never stand for such to be printed in the newspapers. Why, pray tell, can the Bible be used to degrade gays? Why would a newspaper allow it?

What really gets me is that this is a newspaper that I write for!!!

In this week’s Western Tribune Mr. Garrett continued his biblical assault on the gay community.
In a letter Mr. Garrett responds to my recent letter in The Birmingham News supporting marriage equality, in which I used the terms “loving relationships” and “sacred.”

“You must ask yourself the question: If God condemns an act, how could He consider it sacred or holy, the answer is of course, He cannot. A man could so love his horse that he commits sodomy with it and then calls it a loving relationship but God would still call it sodomy!”

Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett Western Tribune 2-24-10

So loving relationships between gay men or women are compared to having relations with a horse, with the premise that the Bible, and God, back up this comparison.

Just as using the Bible to support the enslavement of blacks is a form of spiritual terrorism, using it to slander the gay community is spiritual terrorism as well.

This egregious example is from the Western Tribune, but the same thing happens every day in newspapers and on radio and TV across the country.

This will continue as long as we allow it. A good start to putting an end to this would be to contact the Western Tribune. Contact information can be found here.

>Western Tribune column February 24, 2010 Hate Crimes

February 24, 2010

>My Western Tribune column for today, Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

I wrote this because another columnist wrote a homophobic column degrading gays and using religious based bigotry in denouncing hate crimes legislation.

This person is the former owner of an ambulance company and often brings to our attention his ties to the medical field. One might think that he would be aware of, or even seen, victims of hate crimes (beaten and bloodied that he made money off of by transporting them to receive medical care) and that his heart might have been softened a bit.

Apparently not. I’m not going to copy his column here, you will have to find a Western Tribune to read it. Or come over.

He doesn’t do any name calling re gays but he falls back on that old tired hateful use of the bible and that classifies as homophobia in my book.

At the end of the column I have inserted a video of the 12th annual Hate Crimes vigil in Montgomery on Sunday, including excerpts of Ox Freeman’s moving and powerful speech.

I am also sharing a couple of exclusive photos of the event.

Western Tribune column:

It bothers me a bit when someone claims, for whatever reason, that hate crimes laws are not needed. Maybe they’ve not had a son or daughter or friend attacked because of who they are.
In 2004 Christopher Gaines tightened the rope around 18 year old Scotty Joe Weaver’s neck as he cried in anguish, “Chris, please stop.”

Christopher didn’t stop, in spite of Scotty’s cries. Chris hated gay people so much that he felt it was OK to kill an 18 year old boy, then urinate on the body and set it on fire.

Some claim that homosexuality is a sin, and that the Bible backs them up. Yet Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, instead he preached about heterosexual relationships and divorce. If one really studies the Bible, instead of just memorizing the talking points, they would recognize that the verses that mention same-sex activity are not at all critical of homosexuality as an orientation, but rather against specific immoral acts involving abusive relationships or improper worship.

Yet just last year I saw Christians holding signs that say “sodomites are vile, unnatural and worthy of death,” here in Birmingham. I saw Baptist minister Fred Phelps in town a few years ago holding signs that said “God hates fags.” Phelps was here to protest a memorial for Billy Jack Gaither, another gay man who was murdered and burned in 1999.

When I see Christians actively promoting the death of gay people and others who claim to be Christian looking for reasons not to enact protections against such crimes, I am disheartened.

All crimes are not based on hatred, as some think. A mugger does not attack and kill his random victim because of hatred of the individual he has chosen. But a man who chooses his victim because of his race or his sexual orientation has allowed his hatred to dictate his actions.

Speaker Ox Freeman and Equality Alabama board members at the rally

On Sunday the 12th annual Hate Crimes Vigil took place on the steps of the capitol in Montgomery. The event remembered Scotty Joe Weaver and Billy Jack Gaither and others, and awareness of the need for a state law was raised.

Adam and Steve (yes, God did make them) at the vigil

You may not be gay, but you might have a child or sibling or other relative or a friend who is.

Let’s stop using religious based bigotry that endangers them and pass a state law that helps to protect them.

Here is the video of the event . Thanks Lori!

Here is a documentary about Billy Jack Gaither. There are interviews with family members and there is a homophobia questionnaire that I think some acquaintances of mine need to take.

Frontline documentary

The interview with Charles Butler is particularly fascinating, as he speaks about Steve Mullin’s likely sexual relationship with Billy Jack, and why he thinks he turned on his friend and killed him.

Such self hatred is very dangerous, and religious based bigotry only fuels the fire.