Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for November, 2008

Readers Send In Their Protest Pictures

Jim Burroway

November 15th, 2008

Send us your photos, and we’ll post them right here.

From René van Soeren in Amsterdam:

Dear Jim,

In solidarity with our sisters & brothers in California (and Florida, Arizona etc) we send you this webarticle about the Love Exiles Protest 15 November on the Homomonument in Amsterdam, the first city in the world where same sex couples got married on 1 April 2001.

From Leah and Brenda (married in CA on Oct. 25) in Albany:

The protest in Albany, NY today was awesome! We drew a crowd of between 400-500 people. A great turn out for a small city on a rainy day!

From Katherine in Baltimore:

Only about 500 people showed up, and it got shut down early due to some harsh rain… most Marylanders attended the D.C. protest instead of going local.


From Kimberly in Boulder, CO:

No photos–sorry!

Boulder had about 500 to 600 people turn out to the capital. The crowd was peaceful but engaged and a great mix of GLBT’s and allies. For about an hour and a half various people spoke including representatives from PFLAG, Boulder Pride, the mayors office and the city council. The local Methodist pastor spoke and told the crowd of another kind of Christian that believes in equality for all of Gods people. A black, lesbian, Universalist minister, Rev. Alicia Forde, spoke of her journey and of ours as a collective whole. A local psychiatrist spoke and said some pretty profound words, “Gay marriage is here. It just hasn’t happened yet.”

Overall it was a great turnout and great crowd.

From Sara in Santa Cruz ,CA:

From Ampersand in Portland, OR:

I posted a few photos of one of the two Portland demonstrations today here.

From Rachel in Raleigh, NC:

Today’s protest in Raleigh drew approximately 1,000 out of their homes despite the rain. Jimmy Creech spoke before we marched to the governor’s mansion and hung a rainbow flag on an empty pole outside the gate. Our peaceful gathering included many, many gay allies who stood with us in reminding the country that the time to end discrimination is now, this day, this hour.

From Charles in New York:

I’ve been reading Box Turtle Bulletin for a few weeks now. I was at the protest today in New York. Here are some of my pictures.

From Tracie in Louisville, KY:

Brutally cold and wet but a couple of hundred showed up through out the day!

From Dan in Boise, ID:

Was only able to stay for about 45 minutes but here are the pictures I took.

From Michael in Chicago:

I went to the rally in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago today, and I took a bunch of pictures there. Here is the link to them on Flickr. … One item of particular interest you will no doubt want to check out is the final picture in the set above. Other places may have had larger numbers than Chicago or more exciting speakers, but only Chicago had BOTH Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber (with only two other people) providing the protest anti-protest!



From Sachi in San Diego:

Here is a link to the pics I took at the San Diego march.


From Marilyn in Seattle:


From KipEsquire in New York City:

From Arbitrary.Marks in Austin, TX:

From our own Daniel Gonzales in Ventura, CA:

From Adrienne Critcher in Shreveport, LA:

“We had a great rally downtown in Shreveport, LA in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse (seen in the movie “W”). Shreveport is located in very conservative Northwest Louisiana, close to both Texas and Arkansas. There were over 150 people present with great signs. The event was sponsored by the Louisiana State University in Shreveport Gay-Straight Alliance and P.A.C.E. (Political Action Council for Equality – www.loveandletlove.org ). Lots of young people and the media there too! A great success!!”

From Bill and Robert in Pasadena, CA:


About 400 or so people came to the rally in Pasadena, CA. We heard from a minister from All Saints Church, an African-American who was once firehosed during a civil rights protest in the South, a Mormon opposed to Prop 8, gay husbands, and lesbian moms. We marched from City Hall down Colorado Blvd. to Old Pasadena and back. Lots of people honked their horns in support, and I didn’t hear one homophobic word from anyone driving by.

North Carolina Home Destroyed In Anti-Gay Arson

Jim Burroway

November 11th, 2008

A fire destroyed Catawba, North Carolina home Friday night, and authorities are investigating it as a hate crime. The nearby Newton Observer News Enterprise takes it from there:

Melvin Whistlehunt was at work when he got a call from his mother at 2:30 a.m. Friday that his home was engulfed in flames. As firefighters began hosing down the house at 1275 Buffalo Shoals Road, it became clear the home was set on fire intentionally. What they found launched an immediate hate crime investigation.

The fire was intense, but it didn’t keep Jason Drum, chief of the Bandys Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, from noticing graffiti written across the back of the brick home within five minutes of arrival. Someone used white spray paint to write a derogatory message referring to sexual orientation and race.

Drum asked Whistlehunt’s mother, who lives next door, if the graffiti had been there. She told him it was new.

Whistlehunt said everyone who knows him is aware he’s gay, but few people have outwardly criticized him for it. “I don’t know of anybody who would go this far,” he said.

Raleigh, NC Pair Charged With Sodomy

Jim Burroway

May 25th, 2008

… even though Lawrence vs. Texas invalidated out all sodomy laws in the U.S. nearly five years ago.

What’s worse, Nelson Keith Sloan, 40, was charged after calling police to his apartment complaining of an assault. Also charged, Ryan Christopher Flynn, 25, who was also charged with assault in addition to sodomy.

Flynn is using the “he asked for it” defense, claiming that they were engaging in rough “consensual” sex, a claim that Sloan denies.

“I didn’t allow anything,” he said Saturday after being reached at home by phone. “They knew it and turned it around and arrested me. I have never been so humiliated in all my life. It’s just awful.”

Police did not charge Flynn with any sort of sexual assault.

Sloan’s outrage is completely justified. When someone is attacked and calls the police, the last thing that person expects is to be charged with a crime — in this case, a nonexistent one — unless the complainant filed a false report. One wonders how Raleigh police and the D.A. would have handled this had this been a woman attacked by a man.

Unbelievable.

Pam Spaulding has more background on recent attempts to wipe this anachronistic law off the books.

No. Carolina Baptists Expell Gay-Friendly Church

Timothy Kincaid

November 13th, 2007

myers-park.jpgThe Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has does not have many requirements for association. As the Charlotte News-Record rather concisely put it

Churches must provide financial support and not affirm homosexuality.

During their meeting last year, the Convention voted to kick out of fellowship any church that did “affirm, approve, endorse, promote, support or bless homosexual behavior”. This definition includes accepting a single gay person as a member in a church.

As a consequence, several churches dropped their affiliation with the Convention.

Myers Park Baptist Church, a Charlotte church with membership of about 2,000, decided that their 65 year association should not be let go without comment. Their pastor, Rev. Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker, wrote the following eloquent appeal, which I am including in full:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I appeal to you by the mercies of God to refrain from removing churches like ours from your fellowship. Christian fellowship is too divided as it is and is a scandal to Christ who prayed that we might be one.

I appeal to you as Baptists who treasure soul freedom, soul competency and the autonomy of the local church. These great Baptist principles argue on behalf of including those of minority witness and minority interpretation of scripture in its fellowship.

Our church studied the Bible, sought the Spirit of God and talked earnestly with each other for over 20 years to get to the place where we said we were “open to all and closed to none,” and fully welcomed gay and lesbian persons who wished to follow Jesus with us. We do not claim to have the whole mind of God, and we respect those whose interpretations of scripture differ. It is the spiritual freedom we offer one another.

I appeal to you as Biblical people led by the Living Spirit of God whose life is centered in Christ.

Jesus welcomed those considered outcasts and sinners by His culture and religion into the Kingdom of God drawing near. We seek — we hope — to live in His Spirit.

And we, like Peter in the Book of Acts, have overcome our original resistance to the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons as Peter overcame his resistance to accepting Gentiles into the people of God. He saw the Holy Spirit fall upon the Gentiles, he saw God working in their lives and said:

“If then God gave them the same gift that He gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?”

We could base the unity of our fellowship on any number of issues of Biblical interpretation: speaking in tongues, war, abortion, death penalty, divorce, homosexuality, and on and on. Let us base our unity on Jesus Christ as Lord and his call to discipleship and on the competence and freedom of the individual to open scripture and interpret it for his or her life guided by the Spirit of God.

In Christ,

H. Stephen Shoemaker

In response, the Executive Committee found his church is not “in friendly cooperation with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina” and today the membership as a whole gave Myer Park Baptist the boot.

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