So, a certain bigoted hate-mongering beacon of controversy passed away on Wednesday night. I don’t blame a single person who wants to protest his funeral, or dance on his grave. The man was hated almost as much as he hated others, and he deserved it.
But he’s dead now, and though his church and family is still around and may protest more funerals and cause more ruckus, he’s dead, and there’s one less bigot in the world. This appears to be a plus for humanity in general.
So what to do, to mark the occasion? Protests, celebrations — all of that is fair. Does he deserve the peace and quiet he refused to allow so many others at their funerals?
The world has plenty of hate. I don’t want to add to it. I want to improve something, try to make things better than Fred Phelps ever did.
If you’d like to join me, I’m planning on donating to a few organizations, and I just might send each donation noting “In Memory of Fred Phelps”.
You may know a local or personal favorite organization that is committed to supporting LGBT individuals & their rights. I encourage you to donate to whichever organization you may prefer.
Here are some of the organizations I recommend:
LA Gay & Lesbian Center
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides a broad array of services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, welcoming nearly a quarter-million client visits from ethnically diverse youth and adults each year.
Through its Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and on-site pharmacy, the Center offers free and low-cost health, mental health, HIV/AIDS medical care and HIV/STD testing and prevention.
The Center also offers legal, social, cultural, and educational services, with unique programs for seniors, families and youth, including a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth.
Point Foundation empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Additionally, Point Foundation provides programs that affect social change by challenging attitudes that contribute to social stigma and its resulting prejudice, which is often experienced by those in the LGBTQ community.
Applicants to Point Foundation and subsequent scholars, turn to Point Foundation because their families are either unable or unwilling to support them and their goals for higher education. Each student has a compelling and inspiring story of overcoming incredible obstacles and hardships. Many have been cruelly rejected by their families, forced to leave home, and cut off from all financial support. Yet Point Scholars are excelling at our nation’s most prestigious and demanding universities and colleges, while also leading in a variety of extracurricular and community service activities.
Though people like Fred Phelps are terrible here in America, [as of May 2011] there are 75 countries that criminalize consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex. In 9 countries, homosexuality is punishable by death: Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen and parts of Nigeria, Gambia and Somalia.
Imagine fleeing from a government that threatens to torture or kill you, only to arrive in a foreign country without travel papers, without money, without access to your bank account. Imagine you don’t even speak the local language. Could you go into a courtroom, alone, and convince a judge that you shouldn’t be deported?
Refugees fearing persecution or fleeing civil war usually and first in a country near their own – in today’s world, primarily somewhere in the global south: Africa, Asia or Latin America. Traumatized by what they have already endured, recent refugees are especially vulnerable to violations of their legal rights. Many of them face immediate deportation directly into the hands of a government that threatens to torture, imprison or kill them. Many more are “warehoused” for years or generations in refugee camps on the margins of society, unable to work, move freely, or re-establish a permanent home.
Asylum Access was founded to change this.
National LGBT Museum
During the past 40 years, the American LGBT community has found its voice—today sustained by myriad activist, religious, and social organizations throughout the country.
However, these advances have not been reflected in mainstream museum practices and policies. The LGBT experience rarely appears in museum collections, exhibitions, or public programs, keeping LGBT material culture invisible to most of the museum-visiting public.
The National LGBT Museum will bring the LGBT experience out onto the museum floor, opening new doors of learning and understanding.
The Trevor Project
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, The Trevor Project relies on their friends, constituents, and supporters to ensure that LGBTQ youth have a safe place to turn in times of crisis. Your support also helps fuel their advocacy and education initiatives, promoting safe and inclusive environments for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
. . .
Let the hate die with him.