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Judy Shepard On Prop 8 Decision

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

I’m working on a round-up of reactions to today’s wonderful news that a Federal Court judge has found California’s Prop 8 unconstitutional. There are literally hundreds of statements flowing in, but this one was the most poignant. It’s from Judy Shepard, the mother of 1998 Wyoming anti-gay hate crime victim Matthew Shepard:

“These plaintiffs are law-abiding, family-oriented, tax-paying citizens whose privacy was invaded, and whose dignity was affronted, by a misguided and unconstitutional law,” Shepard continued.
“Their victory at trial shows that our courts still play a vital role in safeguarding the rights of minorities from majorities who misunderstand them. But more importantly, it proves the power of personal stories. Equal marriage rights are ultimately about people’s families, and during the trial, their personal need for legal recognition of their relationships came through loud and clear,” she added.
“After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married,” Shepard recalled. “I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true.”

Judy serves on the advisory board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group which filed the legal challenge to the ban in May on behalf of citizens denied marriages Prop 8.



August 4th, 2010 | LINK

There are two aspects of this debate that I’ve missed for many years or is it just not being said?

One, why do the right wing nuts think they own marriage and should be able to regulate it? Yes, their religion may say they’re right but even if religion had a say in it, things would still be unclear because of all the different religious views. Then of course there’s the argument that religion has no place in government but let’s not pretend the wing nuts will ever get that one. Why do we miss the fact that there have been relationships and marriages long before the “creationists” version of dinosaurs. Nobody can own it or has the right to control it.

Second, why do the wing nuts think marriage is something that needs to be defended from the gays? Straight people have done just fine at debasing what marriage is supposed to be, “…till death do us part,” and all the other promises that are dissolved by the thousands each day. So Why are they getting away with implying it would be gays that make marriage cheap and meaningless. Hey hetros, you’ve done just fine on your own.

Rob San Diego
August 5th, 2010 | LINK

Blessed be Judy, I really feel for her words when she says “I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way.” A parent should never have to arrange their child’s funeral. I am so sorry Judy that your son Matthew never got to see this day.

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