News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Opinion

March 9, 2009

Stephanie Salter: Think there’s no longer a need for gay support? Think again

Only a few hours before I met with Jeremy Turner and a handful of folks who are forming the Terre Haute chapter of PFLAG, I listened in amazement to a local college student brag in public about beating up a couple of gay guys in a bar.

It is 2009 in the United States of America, and a young man on his way to a college degree still believes it is funny — and commendable — to use his fists like hammers on the faces of homosexuals.

Talk about work to do. PFLAG Terre Haute can’t get rolling soon enough.

PFLAG stands for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Based in Washington, D.C., with about 500 chapters across the country, the organization was founded in 1972 by a New York mother whose son had been beaten during a gay rights rally.

According to Steve Ralls, the director of communications for PFLAG, several factors have led to a recent increase in membership and the founding of new chapters in places such as Terre Haute:

The Academy Award-winning film, “Milk,” about slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk; a Lifetime Television film, “Prayers for Bobby,” starring Sigourney Weaver as a real-life mother whose 20-year-old son committed suicide when his family and church tried to “cure” him of his homosexuality; and the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which overturned a court ruling that had allowed same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies.

The combination, Ralls said, has led to a stepped up “mobilizing of straight allies.”

“If we learned anything from the unfortunate experience in California, it was that we need to be able to rally our straight allies in our communities,” he said.

As one of those straight allies, I have long believed in the power of PFLAG. That is because the organization is based on personal relationships — familial, collegial, among friends. It is always the personal level at which the most effective consciousness raising occurs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Today in History for August 1st
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity