The LGBT community certainly has battled its share of hate. Anti-gay groups will protest at anything from a gay wedding to the funeral of a gay person. Matthew Shepard’s funeral sadly comes to mind. I still shudder at the thought. Matthew Shepard was the young man from Wyoming who was beaten and hung on a fence to die … for being gay. I recall hearing a live newscast of the protest on the radio while driving to work. I was so enraged, I came close to hopping on a plane and flying out there myself just to spit on the Reverend Phelps and his merry little band of protesters. The whole thing sickens me to this day. The following is a documentary by Michael Moore:
Rather than allow the anti-gay protesters to win out, how about putting a positive spin on the whole thing and use it as a way to raise funds for LGBT causes?
It’s not my idea, although I wish it had been. A group of mothers in Richmond, Virginia got together and organized a website called Pennies In Protest. They got the idea from a friend in New York. It seems that when the hatemongers from Westboro Baptist Church protested at his synagogue (anti-Jewish in this case rather than anti-gay), the congregation was asked to pledge $1 for every minute the protesters remained. They raised $10,000 in one hour.
Rather than fight hate with more hate, why not take a lesson from the folks at Pennies In Protest and do the same in your community? The website offers some great instruction on how to organize such a worthy charitable event in your area.
[See also my post on the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act]
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copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski