"Ignorance and fear begets bigotry, discrimination, hatred, homophobia, sexism, racism and violence in our society. The same ignorance and fear that drove the terrorists to do their ungodly acts of destruction in the name of their god is what drives bigotry in America. Some who present themselves as self-righteous in America, also use the name of God to spread their words of discrimination and hate towards other human beings who are different than they are, who they don't understand, who they fear, and who they condemn because of their ignorance using the name of God." ... Scott Cozza, founder, Scouting for All.
"Yes I believe that the attacks are God's punishment because we are in a moral decay in this country, with abortion, forcing children to be taught about homosexuality, removing God from the schools, sexual immorality on television, and in our government. And this is God's way of punishing the wicked." ... James Dobson on the Focus on the Family radio show Sept. 13.
"Mark Bingham, 31, was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93 that was hijacked Sept. 11 by terrorists and crashed in western Pennsylvania. Mark, a gay rugby, football and basketball player from San Francisco, was among a group of passengers who apparently stormed the cockpit and brought down the plane away from populated areas. We at Outsports knew Mark, and had the distinct honor of playing football with him." ... From the website www.outsports.com .
"Friends and family of a San Francisco gay man say they're convinced he was among a group passengers who heroically turned the tables on hijackers, forcing them to avoid their intended target. Mark Bingham's ... mother, Alice Hoglan, said Bingham called her from an air phone about 10 to 15 minutes before the plane crashed. Bingham told her that three men had overtaken the plane and said they had bombs. Hoglan said she's sure her son thwarted the hijackers. Hoglan said that he was once attacked on a San Francisco street and wrestled his attackers to the ground. 'It gives me a great deal of comfort to know my son may have been able to avert the killing of many, many, innocent people,' Hoglan told reporters." ... Bay Windows.
"Before any of the reports came out that there had been some people that rushed the cockpit of the plane, we were all saying last night that it would be very characteristic of Mark to not go down without a fight. It was not at all surprising that the one plane that didn't hit the target was one that Mark was on." ... Bingham teammate Bryce Eberhart
"When I started playing rugby at the age of 16, I always thought that my interest in other guys would be an anathema...completely repulsive to the guys on my team... and to the people I was knocking the shit out of on the other team. I loved the game, but KNEW I would need to keep my sexuality a secret forever. I feared total rejection. As we worked and sweated and ran and talked together this year, I finally felt accepted as a gay man and a rugby player. My two irreconcilable worlds came together." ... Bingham writing Aug. 28.
"Our country has been attacked, our way of life has been wounded, our fellow citizens have been murdered. We veterans of our great nation's Armed Forces, as well as our supporters ... unite in expressing our outrage at this travesty, and sincerely offer our condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. As our government prepares to activate the reserve forces, we urge all people to demand of our President, the Secretary of Defense, the Armed Forces Chief, and all of our legislators to immediately end 'the ban,' known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue. Further, we demand the immediate dismissal of all pending actions leading to the firing of all GLBT personnel in the Military. Now is the time for the unity of all Americans including those in the Military. In this time of trial, America needs all patriots, gay or straight." ... Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans of America.
"I've been hearing a lot of talk about 'bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.' Ron Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but 'we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?' Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we 'have the belly to do what must be done.' And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing. I speak as one who deeply hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. My hatred comes from first-hand experience. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters. But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think 'the people of Afghanistan' think 'the Jews in the concentration camps.' It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan...a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets." ... Tamim Ansary in LiveJournal.
"While many will understandably feel anger toward Jerry Falwell for his outrageous and callous remarks that gays and lesbians, feminists and the supporters of women's rights are responsible for the climate leading to the terrorist attacks this week, I am today feeling a great sense of sadness. I am saddened that on this day devoted to prayer and remembrance and healing, Jerry Falwell has once again uttered untrue and hurtful words that inflame people and which divide, rather than bring us together. ... As an openly gay minister, I take special exception to Jerry Falwell's comments. As LGBT people, we have known far too often what it is to be attacked. In fact, more than 30 of our predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Churches have been the targets of the hate crimes of arson and firebombing. One of our own MCC members who worked in the World Trade Center is today in the hospital with severe burns, and unconscious." ... Troy Perry, Founder and Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches.
"Another attack on American values was mounted just two days after the tragedies in New York and Washington by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. ... America cannot fight hate mongers and religious intolerance by becoming hateful and intolerant ourselves. The best way we can honor the victims of the attacks of Sept. 11 is to stand up for the basic values America has always aspired to. More than a thousand members of SEIU, including janitors, security guards, window washers, engineers, and other personnel, worked at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon. How many were killed on Sept. 11 is still not known. Thousands of SEIU members who worked in nearby buildings are out of work and facing serious financial hardship." ... Andrew L. Stern, Service Employees International Union.
"The terrible tragedy that has befallen our nation, and indeed the entire global community, is the sad byproduct of fanaticism. It has its roots in the same fanaticism that enables people like Jerry Falwell to preach hate against those who do not think, live, or love in the exact same way he does. The tragedies that have occurred this week did not occur because someone made God mad, as Mr. Falwell asserts. They occurred because of hate, pure and simple. It is time to move beyond a place of hate and to a place of healing. We hope that Mr. Falwell will apologize to the U.S. and world communities." ... National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Lorri L. Jean.
"The words of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were stunning. They were beyond contempt. They were irresponsible at best, and a deliberate attempt to manipulate the nation's anger at worst. Falwell's subsequent attempt at apology fell woefully short." ... Elizabeth Birch, executive director, Human Rights Campaign.