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In September, 19-year-old college student Zach Harrington (pictured, right) returned home to Norman, Oklahoma, to attend his town’s city council meeting, which was holding a public forum on a proposition to formally recognize October as LGBT History Month, as one way of recognizing the contributions local gay business owners and workers have made to the community. The measure was defeated in a 7-1 vote, but not before three hours of intense debate, where some of the most vile anti-gay arguments were presented. And videotaped. The following month, Zach killed himself, with that very meeting serving as one of the reasons he felt so disillusioned with the world. And now that Norman has held its city council elections, who are residents calling their new elected official? Oh, just Dave Spaulding, who with his wife Eve spoke during that fateful September public meeting. To denounce the “special rights” gays were seeking.
“What gives the gays the special treatment to have a month named for them? And why is the city council even addressing the issue?” That’s how Dave kicked off his tirade against your “special” rights, promising to use his power to unseat any councilmembers who supported the measure. “Do they want equality, or do they want to be placed on a podium? Make up your mind.”
That came after his wife Eve took the mic.
Quoting Thomas Jefferson to argue why gays don’t deserve special recognition, Eve says her anti-gay stance has nothing to do with her moral views about The Homosexuals. “There is still a disservice to our community and our children if we allow this proclomation pass. Equal rights for all, special rights for none,” says Eve. “There are not heterosexual history months or straight marriage months. Therefore the organizations referenced in this proclamation specifically state that it is their request to be treated equally, and equally is not proclaiming a month to celebrate their history.”
So yeah, this is who’s helping run the show in Norman now, as if the town needed any more homophobic help. I know Zach is looking down from above, shaking his head.
(Special thanks to reader Tim for the head’s up.)