Sunday, February 22, 2004

Tom DeLay's Tired of Tolerance 

According to an article on (the online version of the Knoxville News Sentinal), House Majority Leader, Texas Republican Tom DeLay stated at a fundraising dinner in Knoxville on Thursday that:

Americans "have been tolerant of homosexuality for years, but now it's being stuffed down their throats and they don't like it," DeLay said.

He then linked gay marriage to the war on terror:

The nation needs to remain focused and "win the war on terror, support our troops, find the terrorists wherever we can and either put them in a cell or put them in the cemetery," DeLay said.

All of that is part of a focus on "security, prosperity and family," he said.

"But security and prosperity are not worth anything if you don't maintain and protect the American family from the onslaught that is attacking the family, starting with gay marriages," he said. "We believe the American family is headed by a man and woman, and that is marriage, and that is the foundation of this country."

So basically he starts out by trying to make people feel better by saying that they have "been tolerant" of us, but then blames us for "shoving" our attempts to secure our individual rights, and ties the whole message together by linking gay marriage with terrorism, against which he has just stated the solution is "either put them in a cell or put them in the ground." That pretty much sounds like the way a lot of people have "tolerated" the GLBT community and their supporters for years now. Matthew Shepard, Barry Winchell, Sakia Gunn, and Brandon Teena, among countless others, were all "tolerated" to death. Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore did a fine job of protecting the basic civil rights and humanity of the GLBT members of his community. Yes, he was removed from office but not over these comments. Just do a google search on him to see the number of websites dedicated to him and his hateful statements to see how tolerant people are.

Ironically, the first story on's home page this morning is "A rocky road to desegregation," which discusses how Knoxville's school have still not met the mandate of the now 50-year-old Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. That article closes with this:

One has to increase the dialogue between the black and white middle class to get things done, he said.

"When black and white parents discover that they have more in common in terms of what they want for their kids, that's going to be a huge movement."

I believe the same could be true for gay and straight families and citizens. And not just middle class. Hopefully in the end, open dialogue will prevail over hateful diatribe.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:36 AM