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Basic Rights Oregon Condemns Remarks By Oregon Rep. Dennis Richardson Comparing VA Tech Massacre to Gay Rights Bill Passage

Aisling Coghlan, Interim Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon, issued the following statement today in reaction to the recent comments by Oregon State Representative Dennis Richardson (R- Central Point) in a weekly newsletter to his district. In the newsletter, Richardson made a reprehensible comparison between the massacre at Virginia Tech last week and the passage of a Domestic Partnership bill (HB 2007) and a statewide anti-discrimination bill (SB 2).

In a newsletter titled "A Tragic Week in Review", Rep. Dennis Richardson stated, "This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation."

Said Coghlan, "While our nation mourns the unprecedented loss of life at Virginia Tech, and tries to recover from the enormity of this loss, Rep. Richardson makes a vulgar comparison insulting to not only Oregonians, but to those most deeply impacted by the massacre. For Richardson to say that protecting Oregon families in times of crisis is equivalent to the mass murder of some of the best and brightest America has to offer is beyond extremely distasteful--it is outright abhorrent."

Basic Rights Oregon's thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty, families and entire school community as they recover from this devastating event at Virginia Tech.

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By Blogger risa bear, at April 25, 2007 2:31 PM

I've seen discussion at Pam's House Blend and elsewhere that one of the common threads in school shootings is that the shooters had been bullied -- and that specifically they had been accused of being gay by the taunters -- and felt their manhood had been impugned.

The right wing talking-points mill has seized on Rove's "shooters are liberals" in order to capitalize on the sorrow and suffering at Va Tech. I have trouble imagining a more reprehensible example of spin.

Perhaps we should be working on making our schools' culture a safer place for misfit kids of all kinds, rather than letting these opportunists frame the debate, putting us on the defensive where we have never offended.

risa b    

By Anonymous Ben Dover, at April 25, 2007 4:17 PM

Repr. Richardson didn't COMPARE nor did he EQUATE the shooting with the gay rights legislation. He simply mentioned both in the same newsletter. Please stop being such emos.    

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2007 4:29 PM

Some cheese with that whine?

BRO is so emotional over every little perceived slight.

Maybe the Honorable Rep. should have stated that "Last week really sucked..." but I am sure certain people with the alternative lifestyle choice would not have liked that wording either.

Best to find some thicker skin.    

By Anonymous browser, at April 25, 2007 6:46 PM

Ben and Anonymous,
Yeah, he just happened to mention the two things in the same breath. Like, telling your friend, "Sorry to hear your mother got run over by a truck. Oh, and, dammit, I only bowled 240 today." No offense intended. Both "tragedies" (Richardson's word), right?    

By Blogger Torrid, at April 25, 2007 7:08 PM

ben dover is a troll, so no response needed there.

It's funny that anon calls it a whine, since of course that's exactly what Richardson is doing--whining about a vote that Republicans lost in an attempt to pander to their homophobe wing.

And it doesn't matter whether he called it tragic or said it sucked--he is putting them on the same level by using them as explanations as to WHY the week was tragic/sucked. To believe otherwise is to make the grand logical leap that Richardson declared it a tragic week, explained what he meant by discussing a tragedy--and then without warning or transition mentioned something that he believes is NOT a tragedy, and had nothing in common with the VTech murders..he just happened to mention them in the same breath while talking about tragedy.

Talk about disingenuous? You think we're idiots? We all know Richardson DOES think it's a tragedy, so this protesting is a little ridiculous.    

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