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2/15/07: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence

Reverand Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas picketed Matthew Shepard's funeral.

By Doug Fabrizio

Salt Lake City, UT – When Matthew Shepard was buried, silent activists in angel costumes with seven-foot high wings shielded mourners from picket signs that read "God Hates Fags" and "Fags Die, God Laughs." Shepherd was murdered in a violent hate crime in Wyoming in 1998. Silence may be one strategy for countering messages of hate, but in his new book, author Michael Cobb argues that the gay community has actually assumed religious rhetoric to respond to violence done against it. Cobb is in Salt Lake City as part of "10 Gay Days," and joins Doug to talk about the language of queer activism throughout the 20th century.

  • Michael Cobb will speak as part of the WinterPride Conference "Politics, Passion, Power" on Saturday morning, February 17th at 11:45. The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For details, click here at 801-859-8800.
  • Salt Lake City Winter Pride 2007 is presenting 10 Gay Days through February 18th. For information on all events, visit them on-line or call the Utah Pride Center at 801-539-8800.

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