Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gays to Stage Speak Out Today Over the Death of Rev. Jerry Falwell

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2007
Contact: Michael Petrelis, 415-621-xxxx

An anti-memorial is being planned in San Francisco to mark the death and hate-filled life of the Rev. Jerry Falwell who died today. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders will speak out about Falwell relentless crusades demonizing the gay community and his political organizing to consign gays to second-class citizenship.

What: Anti-Memorial & Speak Out

Why: The death of Rev. Jerry Falwell

Date: Tuesday, May 15

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Castro and 18th Streets, (Bank of America building)

With the obituaries for the bigoted Falwell pouring forth, many news organizations are noting his career of singling out gays for hatred. From the New York Times obit:

As a result, he was a lightning rod for controversy and caricature. He apologized, for example, after televised remarks suggesting that the 9/11 terrorist attacks reflected God’s judgment on a nation spiritually weakened by the American Civil Liberties Union, providers of abortion and supporters of gay rights, and after he called Muhammad a terrorist. He was ridiculed for an article in his National Liberty Journal that suggested that Tinky Winky, a character in the “Teletubbies” children’s show, could be a hidden homosexual signal, because the character was purple, had a triangle on its head and carried a handbag.

An organizer of today's anti-Falwell street action, Michael Petrelis, said he expects many gay people will recall Falwell's vile bigotry. "While Falwell is dead, unfortunately his legacy of hatred in the name of God will be felt legislatively for years to come. Now is the time to roll back the domination that fundamentalist religious leaders have imposed on the American body politic," said Petrelis from San Francisco.

People attending today's speak out are asked to bring signs calling for religious acceptance of gays, and Tinky Winky dolls. The organizers of today's event will be bringing a 3-foot high Tinky Winky pinata replica of the cartoon character Falwell labeled as gay.

[Update: Be sure to read my report on the action, presented with photos and links to mainstream media coverage. Click here.]


Anonymous said...

this is just trashy. i'm bi and i try to lead by example: what kind of example does childish behavior like this set?

if we can't rise above the haters' tactics and behave humanely and with some amount of dignity, we're no better than Ann Coulter or Falwell or Fred Phelps.

irishyanksf said...

THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. Fred Phelps eat your heart out.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a TOTALLY classless display. While I have shed no tear for Falwell's passing & think that his absence on the political scene is a VERY good thing, I think we have to rise above the hate. Kinda reminds me of the reaction in Palestine after learning of the 9/11 attack.

Anonymous said...

The man is dead. Protests against him now (and celebrations of his death) can easily backfire in the media. Don't make him a hero in death. Please accept this suggestion: If someone from the media asks for comment, just say that you hope that his hatred and homophobia also died with him. Be dignified, respectful, and rise above it all.

Anonymous said...

Classless or not, it will just be fuel on the haters' flame. No doubt, film crews will be there. We hate what Fred Phelps does. This repeats Phelps's tactics, and is exactly what Falwell would have wanted. Why make him a martyr? Stay home.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at the number of people who don't support this demonstration (as evinced by the comments, which may not be representative of the gay community). While I see the concern about such a display backfiring in the media, I do think an anti-protest is in order. On the way home, I gagged while listening to several people wax poetic about Falwell's life and accomplishments. If the protest is done well, and if the people conducting the protest refrain from making slogan-like attacks, but rather speak honestly and deeply about the harm this man has caused to the gay community, I think it will be a very productive way of countering the media's tendency to romanticize a person's life after he has died.

Anonymous said...

Oh i dont live there anymore but i do remember having free drinks on Castro and 18th when Dan White killed himself. Well shall we sing once again? DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD. Have a great mal voyage party. Liam

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that such an event only makes a martyr out of a sad, shadow of a man.

Tony Kushner put it best in "Angels in America" when Belize asks Louis to pray for the deceased Roy Cohn :

"He was a terrible person. So maybe. A queen can forgive her vanquished foe."

Anonymous said...

Damn, I missed it. Oh well, there's still Jesse Helms' death to look forward to...

And to those who are clutching their pearls about this: The world is a better place without Jerry Falwell in it. So what's wrong with celebrating the world being a better place?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:01: You're obviously well-versed in Scripture, so please run to your trusty Bible and review Luke 6:38.

Then ponder what those words mean in the context of someone like Jerry Falwell, who made a fortune by sowing hatred, bigotry, fear, and discord.

Anonymous said...

I applaud those who have commented here about rising above the hate, and want to point out that the rest of you need to realize how intolerant you're sounding.

Yes, Falwell was against us. But we're going to come off looking worse for celebrating his death. Any of you who went are classless, and hurting our cause.

Anonymous said...

agree that it's best to let a dead horse alone...no reason to stoop to his level

Anonymous said...

You know, "don't stoop to their level" has become a kind of buzz-phrase for "shut up and don't make waves." It's a first cousin to "live isn't fair" as the fashionable rationalization for bland disengagement.

This was one evil man who made my country meaner by sanctifying bigotry. No way am I going to pretend to be sorry he's gone or admonish anyone to "rise above the hate" by pretending otherwise. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

You know, as a gay man, I understand first hand the difficulty created by his chosen work in life, however, to only have 5 people show up at a "rally" to defame his passing shows that the majority of GLBT people have more taste, tact, and respect for others than some. So life isn't fair....when it's time for me to go, I pray we will have overcome this tendency we have to play right into the hands of the right wing of this country.

Grow up folks. God loves everyone...even the Mr. Falwell....and I'm sure he's getting one good tongue lashing from the Creator....we don't have to add to the disenchantment by promulgating it. Let's set a better example for the next generation, and yes, at the end of the day, celebrate that fact that the world has one less homophobe to worry about.....but let's do it in good taste! Go to church this Sunday, and thank God for His blessings, mercy and love....then let's get the Christian Evangelicals of America to work on world peace, honesty from our elected officials, and accountability from anyone who ever rises to spew forth hate ever again!

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. "Life isn't fair." Another mindless buzz phrase.

No, life can't be made completely fair but not all injustice is unavoidable and parroting phrases like "life isn't fair" doesn't abrogate an iota of moral responsibility to act with as much justice as possible. Listen next time you hear someone repeat this phrase. Chances are they're either rationalizing an unfair situation that benefits them or rationalizing something that has negatively affected them and that they'd rather not think about.

That the rally was so sparsely attended is undoubtedly good news in terms of PR but the sentiments were understandable. And to gay and lesbian friends who think they can overcome often-lethal religious bigotry by saying "God bless" to them - better invest in a bullet-proof shirt.

Because, after all, life isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

Hey Talkstocoyote:

Speaking of "mindless", do you have any original thoughts to share?

What words of comfort can you offer from your heart? What solace can you offer from your soul?

Looking forward to hearing some originality from you.

PS: I don't think anyone is trying to rationalize anything here...just trying to be something besides angry.

Anger serves its purpose, but only if it leads to understanding....try looking at it through those words, and just possibly, the truth will set you free to live in a world where life isn't fair, but you can still demonstrate tolerance towards differing opinions....like yours and mine, for instance.

Love ya anyway!

Anonymous said...

okay,sorry he's finally dead...that being said, can we trade Falwell and bring back Harvey Milk,Dr.King Jr.,Medgar Evers, or mtthew shepherd?...just asking.....

Anonymous said...

This shows the sad state of our country. He was right...judgement is coming sooooon for your foolishness. You probably will not post which makes you the anti persons. cgn45@cs.com

Anonymous said...

An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind.

Anonymous said...

Im glad Jerry Falwell is dead.

I can only hope those that follow him and those who do not believe in 'Seperation of Church and State' follow him into the dirt quickly.

The type of people are useless and ruining the world and the earth we live on.

Much like George W. Bush and all his cult followers.