Home > Family, LGBT > My mom’s speech.

My mom’s speech.

My mom sent me a copy of her award-winning speech. I actually teared up when I read it. I loved it. I’ve reprinted it here, with her permission.
 
(Note: She gave it recently but wrote a good deal of it before Christmas.)
 

Let’s Aim for Tolerance

 

Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998 a young university student entered a bar and met two young men, later she asked if she could have a ride home.  She was robbed, severely beaten and left by the side of the road.  She was discovered 18 hours later alive but unconscious.  She had a fracture from the back of the head to the front of her right ear and severe brain stem damage.  She was taken to the hospital where she remained on life support until October 12 when she died.

 

Her murderers were caught and Police found a bloody gun, her shoes and her credit cards in their truck.  They attempted to get alibis from their girlfriends.

 

At her funeral, her devastated family, had to walk through picketers and people who shouted

 

‘ She got what she asked for

   She deserved it.’

 

Are you outraged? I am.

 

This is a true story. But it was not a woman this happened to. It was a 21 year old gay man named Mathew Shepard.

 

He is described as a small, frail, gentle young man.

 

During their trials his killers used various stories to defend their actions, most notable the “gay panic defense” saying they were driven to temporary insanity by Mathew’s sexual advances.  They are serving life sentences in prison.  Local Catholic Clerics garnered much publicity by opposing the death penalty.  While in prison they both tried to justify their actions by saying that they were dictated by the Bible

 

It was Reverend Fred Phelps and his supporters who picketed the funeral.

 

Phelps has since made attempts to get a city permit to build a monument of granite 5-6 feet in height which will be engraved with the words:

 

“Mathew Shepard, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God’s  warning: ‘thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is an abomination’ Leviticus 18:22”

 

That’s a good Christian attitude isn’t it?

 

This is my daughter Hobbes and her partner Stella.  Hobbes is 35 years old, a Civil Engineer, living and working in Mississauga, Stella is 28, with a degree in Social work and Arts (literature).  She works for a children’s publishing company in Toronto.  They are gay.

 

There are three points important when discussing Homosexual or Lesbians 

 

Rights

Religion

Nature or Nurture

 

Due to limited time I will only address the Rights issue. The Leviticus reference alone would take me 10 minutes to refute.

 

Rights

 

The Shepard case prompted President Clinton to try to extend hate crime legislature to include gay and lesbian people as well as women, and people with disabilities.  His efforts were defeated by a Republican majority in 1999.

 

These are minorities.  It is our job as a Society to protect the rights of minorities.  It isn’t a question of what the majority wants. It is a question of doing what is right. We must do what is right.  The majority was asked if should women be should be given the right to vote? The answer was no.  A law was passed and this wrong was made right.  Women were taken off the chattel list and put on the voters list.  The South was asked to abolish slavery. A war was fought instead. The Nazi’s were defeated but not before they murdered six million Jews who they considered unequal.

 

A law was passed recently in Canada that allows for gay marriage.  The Klein government is doing its best to undermine this right.

 

Some people are opposed to the term “Marriage”. To me marriage simply means, The  joining of two things, people, flowers, clubs, anything.

 

Some people don’t understand why they need this. Here are some reasons:

 

They need inheritance rights.  If Hobbes was to die intestate her estate would come to me and her Father.  Not Stella.

 

If Hobbes was incapacitated we would be her guardians and would make all decisions for her. Not Stella.  We could bar Stella from seeing her if we wanted.

 

If Hobbes and Stella had children together the custody would be in dispute.

 

If Hobbes gave birth and died. We again would be legal guardians of the child, and could ban Stella from seeing the child, and vice versa.

 

There are tax considerations

 

There are Health Plan issues

 

Legal marriage solves all these problems.

 

Some people think that all churches will be forced to perform these weddings.  That is completely false. It is the denomination’s decision. The Gay community has adequate religious communities that are willing to provide this service to them.

 

Hobbes lives in Mississauga/Toronto because as she says “ I can be Gay here”

 

I still worry!

 

I told her I was speaking tonight on gay rights and her response … ohh be careful Mom. It’s sad when we have to be fearful for those we love, but many advocates of gay rights have been threatened.

 

I say let us be more tolerant, more supportive and more aware of the injustices we extend to this minority.

 

I want you to be appalled, outraged, and horrified by what happened to Mathew Shepard.

 

I want you to treat Gays and Lesbians without judgment and with tolerance.

 

I want you to think of Hobbes and Stella when someone is Gay-Bashing.

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Categories: Family, LGBT
  1. Paulette
    May 28, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Awesome to have such a great caring loving mother…

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