Turner: "I will not stand silent"
transcribed by NPT Staff
Posted on August 4, 2009
Editor's note: The following is a transcript of a presentation by frequent City Council critic Lisa Turner, who initially went to the podium to speak on the city budget but ended up responding to a barrage of criticism leveled against members of City Council for its decision last week to provide domestic partner benefits. For more info on the event today and the City Council decision leading up to it, check Domestic partners' benefits issue erupts in and out of Council chambers and El Pasoans had little say on City Council's on policy to give domestic partners medical benefits.
I'm not going to sit here and be attacked. You've got all these preachers who came up here and talked. These are the people who are teaching hate (sound of laugh). In the house of God you're teaching hate.
Their parishioners, these are the people who teach their kids, and teach ... (pauses) I'm sorry, I'm getting emotional. These are the people in their church who say it's wrong and they teach this ... this is why an 11-year-old goes and hangs himself, because the children of these ministers and people who go to the church have berated this child, because he's perceived to be different, he's perceived to be gay, and there's so much pressure the child hangs himself. And he's 11-years old. You tell me where in your Bible that's OK. It's not.
You speak about your Bible. Well, the Bible says if you work on the Sabbath, you're to be stoned in public. I don't see a public stoning place. We don't stone anybody in public. It says you're allowed to have slaves as long as they're not of our nation. We don't do that any more.
We are a country where all men are created equal. Not according to somebody's Bible, somebody else's religious text. I don't care if it's the Torah, the Koran, the Bible; teachings from Buddha, Hindu, Native American, I don't care, we're all equal, we're to be treated the same and a lot of what you heard today, if you turn the clock back 40 years, it's what they were saying about people who were black. The same thing. Don't say no. I grew up in there. I heard it all. I lived in the south. I heard this stuff. This is a civil rights issue.
I will not stand silent while people preach hate and I've had to suffer the violence of such hate. These are the very people who make me carry a weapon with me at all times. I have to protect myself from the violence that these people instigate. (laughter)
You think it's funny? (voice, yeah it is)
What do you think the family of Matthew Shepard thought when their son was assaulted, tortured and staked on a fence. Yeah, that's the Bible. Then we can go back to the inquisition and the burning of women in this country because they were witches. You know what? You all using the Bible for your justification has done more harm to mankind then it does to help.
And when it comes to marriage it's not the gays and lesbians and transgendered people who are at fault for your failure to stay faithful to your partner. It's your fault. Go look in the mirror; over 50 percent of heterosexual marriages end in divorce.
You have men running around impregnating teenage girls and they walk away from it. It's called responsibility. I believe that's somewhere in the Bible too. In the Bible, God is about love. It's not about hate. But this Satan patrol in here is preaching one thing and that's hate. They have to have somebody to look down on. And if they don't have somebody to look down on they feel inferior. They blame gays for the failure of their heterosexual marriage and it's not. It's their failure. It's the failure of the church to make sure that people who are getting married understand what they're getting into and are there for them when they're having problems and they're not and now we have to pick up the crumbs where they have failed, and it's not my responsibility to pay taxes for your rugrats who go to school who don't bother to study who don't work hard better themselves in school and learn what they're supposed to learn I shouldn't have to pay that bill that's your responsibility you brought them into this world you pay for it.
(City clerk: Ms. Turner, your time is up)
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