Sunday, January 20, 2008

Do-Over: Man who refused to answer SSM question apologizes for being an "instrument of bigotry and prejudice"

(This article has been shamelessly stolen from my good friend Jane Know's site. Please visit her with the link provided in the title.)

In a surprising turn of events, a man who who filed a $9.75 dollar federal lawsuit for failing the MA Bar Exam has issued a public apology for being an "instrument of bigotry and prejudice."

Stephen Dunne, an Irish immigrant, failed to answer a MA Bar Exam question regarding the rights of two married lesbians, their property, and their children issued a January 3 email to Bay Windows, a weekly Boston GLBT-oriented newspaper. In the letter he stated that his lawsuit "regrettably perpetuated intolerance and animosity towards my fellow Americans."

Dunne was denied his law license for scoring a 268.86 on his Bar Exam, which requires at least a 270. Dunne said his score was hurt because he refused to answer the question, which at the time he believed legitimized gay and lesbian marriages, which were contrary to his moral beliefs. He believed the question was used as a mechanism to screen applicants according to their political ideologies.

His lawsuit also called into question the constitutionality of the 2003 decision to recognize same sex marriages in MA.

Dunne states, "Christ said 'Love all, serve all,' " he said. "It was a message of inclusion rather than exclusion."

"After speaking with numerous members of the gay community, including my own friends, I began to empathize with their denial of basic human rights and how they feel discriminated against," Stephen Dunne said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Just a little bit to think about... I wonder how many other people will make similar journeys in the next few years.

I'll add my own two cents here and say that we are all interwoven in a network of mutuality, like MLK suggested. He also said that we shall either rise up together as brothers (and sisters), or fall together as fools. How very true. It has always been my belief that the fundamental nature of all mankind is good. What we have to do is look past the fear, the hate, the lashing out, and see our opponents as part of our family, and deserving of inclusion. No, I'm not saying that heterosexuals need to include us (the GLBT), I'm saying we need to include them!

Ohana is a word for family in Hawaiian that also means "no one left behind". This is the theme I have submitted for the next pride parade in Boston. It is time for us to move forward and help create the promised land by leading our family there.


Jane Know said...

thank you for the "shameless" plug... ;-)

you said, "It has always been my belief that the fundamental nature of all mankind is good."

I agree wholeheartedly. But that is where we differ from so many fundamentalists, who believe that the nature of mankind is evil and needs to be saved or controlled by fear tactics. Today, of all days, we should remember that we are all in the together. The more we all unite and celebrate our differences, the more peaceful a society we will have.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

No problem Jane, ;)

You are right, we need to remember that we are in this together. We also have to act on that thought, and learn somehow to live with our intolerant neighbors. The change will come from our leadership, not solely from the truth of the matter. We need to "be the change we wish to see in the world". (Shamelessly stolen from Ghandi)

John said...

"No, I'm not saying that heterosexuals need to include us (the GLBT), I'm saying we need to include them! "

That's a pretty deep thought;I'll have to mull that over for a while.