Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gary Bauer Perpetuates Conspiracy Theory about Matthew Shepard


College Jay has an excellent dissection of Gary Bauer's email in a guest post over at Ex-Gay Watch and at his own blog. This is definitely worth the read and really gets to the heart of my utter frustration with the far right on so many levels.


In his "End of Day" message yesterday, Gary Bauer, of The Campaign for Working Families, addressed the upcoming vote on hate crimes legislation (linked through Randy Thomas' blog because the "End of Day" email is for members only). Gary and Randy both lovingly refer to the legislation as "thought crimes legislation" even though they have yet to show how the thought behind or motivation for the crime, independent of the violence, has been restricted.

Unfortunately, Gary Bauer uses his email to perpetuate a conspiracy theory of the Matthew Shepard murder that claims the crime was not committed because Shepard was gay, but rather as a result of a robbery gone bad.

Gary's Words (emphasis mine):

A companion bill in the Senate was recently introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who chose to name his bill after Matthew Shepherd, a college student killed in Laramie, Wyoming nearly ten years ago.

Kennedy’s bill would have done absolutely nothing to save Matthew Shepherd’s (sic--really, didn't even get the name right?) life, which was tragically taken in a drug-related robbery. But Kennedy and other liberal Democrats believe that because Shepherd (sic) was a homosexual, his life is more valuable than the lives of others.

Unfortunately for Bauer, the court records show numerous times that Matthew's killers beat and and murdered the college student because he was gay, despite later claims and changed stories of one the murderer's girlfriends (under oath the woman testified that the two were specifically looking for a gay man, and their initial defense was "gay panic"). I'd like to see Gary Bauer explain why a "drug-related" robbery would lead to a man being tied to a barbed-wire fence after being beaten to the point of torture. How sad that someone could stoop to such a level and ignore the facts of a case and follow a hollow conspiracy theory simply to make a political point.

I'll let other bloggers hopefully address the other fallacies in Bauer's argument, including how the claim that hate crimes laws restrict religious liberties is bogus at its core. For now, let's just say that as long as you aren't specifically telling someone to go out and harm a gay person, your religious liberties are perfectly fine.


At 4/5/07 11:07 AM, Blogger Jay said...

Great post, Brady! Thanks for the hat tip. Who'd have thought it? Less than a year at blogging and I already have a guest post at XGW. :)

At 6/5/07 12:37 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Thanks, and you earned the XGW guest post for sure!

At 8/5/07 7:55 PM, Blogger Pomoprophet said...

Brady, thanks for always stopping by my site. I appriciate it. I didnt realize we were practically the same age. I thought you were older.

You said "that's what led me to coming out. Not saying you are going to come out because of this, but your experience is what I think some of the anti-gay folks should hear--it's about way more than the "sex."

I think you're right. I get saddened on a daily basis by the jokes my students make about gay people. I know those in the ex-gay camp understand this. And though the national office might not talk about it alot, the folks on the local level truely feel for how difficult this is. If I do choose to live with a man, it will be a quiet life. We'll live our lives not as poster men of a successful partnership but just as people, who want to get to know their neighbors and laugh and cry and everything in between.

At 9/5/07 6:54 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Happy to stop by, Pomo. You know everyone at work always thinks I'm older too. Then when I tell them my real age they always say it's because of my position and the way I carry myself, not because I *look* older. I hope that's true, lol.

You know, I saw a woman driving yesterday who had a "Marriage = One Man + One Woman" bumper sticker on her car, and it occurred to me that the woman wasn't fighting against me personall--she was fighting against an "evil" that she honestly believed is part of the downfall of our nation.

That's the problem, I think. I'm arguing (and other pro-gay activists are arguing) this from a very personal standpoint because it affects our lives and millions of others personally. The other side is typically arguing from a policy standpoint--they don't see the personal affect it might have on millions of gay people, but they know that anything leading to the downfall of society needs to be stopped.

I wonder if we can ever find middle ground given that kind of disconnect.


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