1.28.2006

Oklahoma Cowboy - Keep up the fight!

You may have heard the story of the gay rancher, Sam Beaumont in Oklahoma that lost the ranch he had with his partner fo 24 years when his partner died and his will was missing a witness. If this couple had been man and woman, he would have received the ranch with no problems. His deceased partner's family contested the will and won. Our gay rancher was kicked off the ranch that had been his home for 24 years. See news coverage of the story here.

If you want to know what keeps me in this fight for equality, it is stories like this one. It goes back to the 80's when friends were dying from AIDS. Many partners were refused the right to attend the funeral of their partners. Families of the deceased came in and took everything, leaving many men that had lost their partner with nothing, and not even the chance to say good bye.
"They took the estate away from me," said Beaumont, who said he put about $200,000 of his own money into the ranch. "Everything that had Earl's name on it, they took. They took it all and didn't bat an eye." - Partner's death ends happy life on ranch, Indy Star


In some cases their partner would be dying in hospital when the family showed up and would deny them the right to visit. I really don't care what your religion is, when you do this to someone, you are acting out of extreme cruelty.

This is still happening in places in Canada and in the United States. Imagine, countries that proclaim to be free, that celebrate the freedom of individuals. Yet more so in the United States, a land that proclaims itself the greatest and most democratic nation in history, they treat people like this.

It was only today, January 27, 2006 that the State of Washington passed a bill prohibiting discrimination agaist someone because they are gay. What kind of protection has finally come to Washington State? The same protection any other American in the State has. Sadly, Washington State is not the last place to recognize that discrimination against gays is wrong.

Here in Canada, the province of Alberta has long fought against gay rights of any kind. They have failed to institute any gay rights except by force of court order.

Many in the gay community have become complacent. Many of our friends and allies have as well. Political friends have jumped on an above ground railroad, joining the hysterical ride away from freedom. Remember when churches silently lent a hand to escaping slaves on the underground railroad. Many of those churches today are putting up thick fences, attempting to keep alive a bigotry that tears in to the hearts of families, friends and communities. Choosing instead to raise the spectre of fear. Creating an enemy to build loyal and devote followers, not out of respect and devotion to a kind and caring god, but out of tearing someone else down.

I know many Christians do not accept this kind of action, I know many do not even know they are doing this, they are but loyal sheep, following the dictates of men on earth that choose to live in wealth taken from a fearful mass of devotees. These leaders live for glorification of themselves, driving expensive cars, living in extreme luxury. I suspect they have not read that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to make it to heaven.

Just throwing back their own at them here.

Brokeback Mountain is not rare even today. Each day that goes by, I find it harder to listen to those that wish that on anyone. The words and actions of a society ready and willing to force someone into being what they can't be. It is hurtful not only to these gay men and women, but to their families as well.
"Last year, Beaumont moved to nearby Wewoka, Okla., to a one- bedroom place with 350 acres for his horses, white Pyrenees and Great Dane to roam. He said he was continuing to fight the cousins, who are suing for back rent for the years he lived on the ranch." - Partner's death ends happy life on ranch, Indy Star

Seeing the news clip I linked to at the top of this article has proven to me again, we have so far to go and I expect to make it one day.

Washington State finally made a significant step today, 30 years after the fight began in earnest. Its a big step, now we have to keep going.

I do not accept that my rights of citizenship are special when all I want and deserve are the rights to be me, just like you have.

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2 comments:

BC WaterBoy said...

How tragic and utterly heartbreaking. The "cousins" who have stolen Earl's property will have a stream of consciousness one day and their acts of spite and callousness will come back to bite them.

montreal simon said...

Hi Rick

Great post. When I read that it made my blood boil.So many straight people don't have a clue how much pain their bigotry causes.
And those that do don't care. They can accept the sex part, or the fact that we're not going to go away.But they can't accept or respect our love. They mock it and ridicule it. Just look at the foul torrent of homophobic jokes that have followed the release of Brokeback Mountain.Some of the jokes are OK, even funny. But there are too many of them, and most of them are just plain disgusting. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2006-01-25-brokeback-humor-cover_x.htm
But that's ok. It just makes me and my friends fight even harder for justice and freedom. These poor bigots don't stand a chance.
They forget that love conquers all.
BTW you have a great blog. You're doing a great service for our community. Carry on cowboy!