Friday, February 24, 2006

Protesting dead fags okay, just not dead soldiers

Now, Fred Phelps (safe link) is a very unsavoury character. He's the guy who runs the website (VERY unpleasant reading, be careful.) He's the guy who protested at Matthew Sheppard's funeral, basically saying "God killed Matthew and he deserved it 'cos he's gay."

He routinely appears at funerals for gay people with the same message - and imagine how bad it is to be a grieving relative or partner and be confronted by a sign saying "God gave your son AIDS cos he's a fag."

And no one lifted a finger to say maybe he shouldn't be allowed to do this.

But now, now that he's protesting in front of military funerals, with the message that god kills soldiers because he doesn't like gay people and society is too tolerant of them, 13 states are pushing laws to bar him from protesting. (No word of whether Wyoming, where Matthew Sheppard was from, is one of them.)

So what - it's okay to send offensive messages about gay people when it's gay people who will see the message, but not if it's soldiers? We value sensitivity towards the military and their family, but not towards gay men and women and their families?

Sickening. But not really a surprise. We can't marry, in many places we can't adopt, hell, it's only been a few years that we got the right to have sex. And of course no one cares if some nut job shows up to our funerals, where he's barred from showing up at those of straight people.

Maybe separate water fountains and bathrooms next.


Luke said...

Disturbing person. I would shed no tears if he were imprisoned.

However, more information is needed before condemning the government. Did any of the families file charges against this guy? The government can't act unless they do - they might not even know about it. However, at a military funeral, the military or the state can press charges themselves. They don't need the family to do it.

So if they did file charges and got ignored, then by all means condemn the state. However, that information is needed first.

Dean P said...

With respect, that misses the point somewhat. Prior to recently, there were no laws at all about protesting at funerals, so Phelps and his ilk could protest away at every young or old gay person who was being buried.

It was only after Phelps and co arrived at military funerals for non-gays that the various governments decided to act.

My reading of the article suggests that the laws apply broadly - to all funerals, rather than military funerals, meaning now a family could file a charge.

But the point is that the catalyst was protesting straight military funerals, not gay civilian ones.

Red Tory said...

From the Small Consolation Department: Phelps (and his inbred group of lunatics) is universally denounced and disavowed by the right-wing who are appalled at his rabid hate-mongering and the disgusting tactic of protesting at funerals, military or otherwise.

Dean P said...

Red Tory - sure, I don't disagree with that. But it took Phelpsy pissing off some straight army boys to get conservatives to do anything about it. My point isn't that it's a bad thing to ban him from funerals, just the fact that all the while he was doing it to we 'mos, governments didn't lift a finger.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the whole thing is nauseating..;. but since it isn't likely to get better any time soon, can anyone think of how to get Phelps to protest Dick Cheney because his daughter is gay? At least that would keep this guy away from decent people who deserve to be left alone.