Thursday, September 22, 2005

As We Struggle for Equal Rights and Protection Under the Law

Texas is in the midst of a struggle as we fight to stop Constitutional Amendment 2 on November 8th, 2005. What the proponents of the Amendment fail to see if that thier actions release hate, ignorance and even rage in people who's fear they play upon.

I recieved this message when I got home and I am heart sick.

We regret to inform you that our good friends, Paul Dodd and his housemate Jeff Hersch, were severely attacked Thursday early morning in Paul's home. They want you to know they are comfortable and recovering at this time. We are forwarding Paul's own words with this email to update you below.

It is important to note that people close to the investigation, including Paul and Jeff, believe that while pointed in its homophobia, this attack was opportunistic and not related to their activism.

Many prayers and positive thoughts are already buoying them and we hope you'll add yours to the raft of support they're receiving. If you want to send well wishes, he has asked to do so through MCC at 8601 S. First, Austin, 78746. We encourage you to send them prayers and your healing thoughts and wishes to both Paul and Jeff (who hadn't even settled into Austin after his Philadelphia move - what a Texas intro).

We know this is scary stuff and, horrifically, we are reminded why we are fighting government-endorsed discrimination in this constitutional amendment battle. It is our fervent hope that all of our spines are stiffened, not bowed, in response to this and other attacks.

Courage, hope & healing,Sue & Tanya

My Dear Friends,

...In short, I was released from this hospital this afternoon, as was Jeff Hersh, my roommate. I'm not a pretty sight to see, and have some ugly stitches in my forehead, lots of scratches and bruises, and a swollen kisser and jaw. But, thankfully, no broken bones, and no injuries that won't mend in time. The emotional and spiritual wounds, no doubt, will take longer to heal. I truly thought they were going to kill us....

We have no idea what motivated the perpetrators of this senseless act of violence. There was a forced and violent entry into my apartment about 4:00 this Wednesday morning, a horrific beating, but only Jeff's car keys and $50-60 stolen... There were anti-gay and hateful epithets from the perpetrators, and the police are following up on this as a possible hate crime. But, for now, we are in the waiting and recovery stages.

Jane and my older daughter, Christi, arrived tonight. I am blessed with the most wonderful family in the world, and with friends like you, I hope to fall asleep sometime tonight counting my blessings rather than fraught with fear. We are staying with friends in Austin, and may not return to the apartment until I complete the purchase of a new home.

I will copy and paste a news release from Soulforce which might help you to better understand what happened this morning. In any case, your prayers, expressions of love and concern, and your steadfast encouragement are blessings far exceeding my ability to say an adequate thanks. I love you all, and we'll be talking again soon. Blessings!


Soulforce Prayer Alert
- September 21, 2005

Dear Soulforce Friends,

Soulforce board member Paul Dodd was attacked in his apartment in Austin, Texas, Tuesday night, September 20, by two men who beat him severly. Though evidence points to this being a hate-crime, police are continuing to investigate.

Paul is currently hospitalized. Though his physicians say his injuries are not life threatening, stitches were needed to close deep gashes in his face.

Soulforce staff member Jeff Lutes is with Paul in the hospital and will report as he hears directly from Paul's doctors.

Besides being a Soulforce board member and a front lines activist in our attempt to Stop Spiritual Violence against GLBT people, Paul, a former Army Chaplain, is also an active member of the Service Members Legal Defense Network's Honorary Board.

We ask all our Soulforce and SLDN friends to pray for Paul's speedy recovery.

I have met Paul and had the pleasure of hearing him speak on many occasions as we fight the good fight. He is a wonderful man and a true treasure for Texas GLBT community.

The blame for this hate crime lies squarely with the GOP's campaign of lies and prejudice. They use ignorance and fear to provoke people to rage against something they do not understand. The rage releases violence. Hate Crimes are up across the globe and espcially in the United States.

Do I fear more attacks against other activist including myself? YES! Will I stop my vital work for Equal Rights for All Americans? HELL NO!!!

Please keep the activist world wide in your thoughts. I am afraid we will need them.


Blogger roses said...

So sorry to hear about this, but I am so glad you posted about it here. People need to know about this.

3:09 PM  

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