This article was published on October 6th, 2015
This week marks 17 years since Matthew Sheppard was senselessly and gruesomely murdered by a group of three men who hated him simply because he was gay. This anniversary should serve as a reminder to spread love and kindness and stand strong against those, like Kim Davis, who insist on spreading hate.
Most of those around the world know of the name Kim Davis for her recent anti-same sex marriage antics in the US state of Kentucky. Davis was recently sent to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses in the Rowan county in Kentucky for breaking the law of the land, not to stand up for religious liberty. Many on the religious right have framed her as a hero of religious freedom, but in reality Davis is a woman who broke the law. Much of the story has been distorted by mainstream media, presidential candidates, and the much speculation surrounding the story and the woman.
Marriage equality essentially became the law of the United States of America following a US Supreme Court ruling that stated that marriage is between two people now and that same sex couples should have all access to this right. While most lawyers and legal scholars will tell you that this is now the law, presidential candidates, like Rick Santorium and Mike Huckabee, suggest otherwise. They say that it is up the states to make these decisions, and that may be so, but the highest legal body in the US has ruled otherwise. Davis has been defiant in her opposition despite returning to work following a several day jail stay. This, among other facts, continue to be spread without basis in fact.
Davis can largely be described as a hypocrite for her four marriages, her lifestyle of affairs and cheating and her utter lack of honesty when it comes with people including Pope Francis. While Davis’s critics have every reason to criticize her and challenge her actions, there are some that are concerned by the lack of compassion of her. No one would argue the need to challenge Davis on her beliefs and actions, nothing calls for death threats and hurtful names. The wisest advice is to always be kind to everyone no matter what. It remains to be seen what will happen with Davis and her activism so time will tell whether Davis and her supporters will have any success in pursing the dead issue of marriage.
Meanwhile it became public in Canada that Ontario Conservative candidate Jagdish Grewal suggested that homosexuality can be cured with conversion therapies. Grewal said in media on Tuesday that he was merely trying to inform readers of the Punjabi Post earlier this year about an issue in the news. He suggests that he was describing positions of Ontario political parties and psychologists on this particular issue.
While the world is a much different place for the LGBT community today than it was when Matthew Sheppard died, we have much work to do – spread love. Famed talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres often ends her show with encouraging people to spread kindness. So the lesson the Davis story teaches us is simple; spread kindness today!