Today was the 10th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepherd. Matthew was an Episcopalian. He died, tied to a fence on a hill on the high plains overlooking Laramie, Wyoming. He had been beaten and left on that fence all night. He was murdered because he was gay.
I was in Laramie in 2002 for the Episcopal Youth Event. Some of us made a pilgrimage to the site of Matthew's death. Of course, even then, it had been made impossible for people to reach the fence, or the area where the fence stood. A gate kept us from going any closer than the roadside; houses were being built up around the area. Some day the place will disappear.
Many in the world would like us to forget what happened in Laramie. Many would like Matthew to disappear forever. I ask, on behalf of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters all over the world, do not ever forget that hate kills; it has the power to kill the body as well as the spirit of the hated, and to kill the soul of the hater. I ask that our LGBT brothers and sisters never be allowed to disappear from our hearts and minds, until the day when it is safe for them to live as they want in this world, just as those of us who enjoy the unwarranted privileges allowed to heterosexuals get to live - without even thinking about it but taking our way of life for granted.
[Warning to comment posters: Only supportive comments will be posted. I feel no obligation to post, or even read, comments from those who do not agree with me on this issue. I ask, instead, for blessed Matthew to pray for you.]
God's Peace to all.