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Court dismisses suit by lesbian who couldn’t see dying partner at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

janice00 olympian dade SB A federal court in Miami has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Washington state lesbian who was not allowed to visit her dying partner at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

"The hospital took the position that we thought was pretty extreme -- that it has no duty, no legal obligation, to allow visitors [of any sort] in the hospital. The court agreed," said Beth Littrell, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights group representing Janice Langbehn, whose partner of 17 years died at Jackson in 2007.

Langbehn's partner, Lisa Pond, suffered a fatal brain aneurysm on Feb. 18, 2007, shortly before they were to sail with their three children on a Caribbean cruise for gay families.

At Jackson, Langbehn said, a social worker would not let her visit Pond because Florida is "an anti-gay state." Pond, 39, died the next day.

From the beginning, Jackson said Langbehn was not discriminated against and defended social worker Garnett Frederick, who denied making the comment.

Langbehn, with the help of Lambda Legal, sued the hospital. The case, which received publicity around the country, was thrown out Tuesday.

"We're obviously devastated and disappointed in this decision," Littrell said. "It highlights how vulnerable same-sex couples and their families are."

The court dismissed the case without deciding whether Langbehn had been discriminated against, Littrell said.

Jackson on Tuesday again denied that gay patients and their families are treated differently.

"We have always believed and known that the staff at Jackson treats everyone equally, and that their main concern is the well-being of the patients in their care," Jackson spokeswoman Jennifer Piedra said in a news release. "At Jackson Health System, we believe in a culture of inclusion. For more than 90 years, the institution has taken great pride in serving everyone who enters its doors, regardless of race, creed, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. We also employ a very diverse workforce, one that mirrors the community we serve."

Added Piedra: "Jackson will continue to work with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to ensure that everyone knows they are welcome at all of our facilities, where they will receive the highest quality of medical care."

Janice Langbehn photo by The Olympian

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Ms.Langbehn, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering you endured. My heart aches for you. I thought I was a pretty tough bird, but this story did me in today. Cruelty is recorded and God sees all. To, then, spend your time helping others fight discrimination is nothing less than heroic. I hope you and your children can deal with this loss. I will pray that God gives you peace and that anger is a thing of the past for you. My cat's staring at me. She rarely sees me sob when I'm typing. My heart truly goes out for you.

No Comment, except that I hope she repented, asking God for forgiveness before she lost consciousness. Otherwise, she is on her way to hell! And, that's for sure! It's not what I say; so says the Bible.


Shakespeare

Wherever healing is, Christ is. You can tell what quality of spiritual soil one's roots are planted in by the fruit that one bears. The fruits of the Spirit are love, patience, kindness, goodness, and truth. You know it when you see it and so will Christ. Love, above all else, is the objective. The fruits of the Spirit are easily recognizable. As for the man who is a weak believer, welcome him (into your fellowship), but not to criticize his opinions or pass judgment on his scruples or perplex him with discussions. One (man's faith permits him) to believe he may eat anything, while a weaker one (limits his) eating to vegetables. Let not him who eats look down on or despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains criticize and pass judgment on him who eats; for God has accepted and welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another's household servant? It is before his own Master that he stands or falls. We will be given the same measure of mercy that we've shown to our brothers and sisters. Love, above all else, is key to being in Christ.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Only in FLorida would people be this cruel. What a disgusting state. Everyone deserves to have someone that they care about at their side when the end is callng them.

Shakespeare:

Look at yourself in the mirror...yeah do it...then come back and tell me you haven't sinned. Go on...do it. The BIBLE says a lot of things. Have you gotten all of the messages or do you pick and choose who to judge. Remember Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged...

1EqualityUSA:

You most definitely know the meaning of Love. You can't teach a blind person to see colors. Neither will you teach "Shakespeare" to really believe God's entire message about our lives. Rock on!

Enrique Sanchez, Cuban, Christian and Gay.

You're all insane.

i cannot beleive the hate and cruelty of those so called Christians who have commented here.You should be ashamed of yourselves! Jesus preached love and mercy in addition to repentance of sin Remember "God does not create junk"

Christian and Straight(does it matter?)

I can't believe the HATE in some of these posts.
Condemning someone for being gay is hate. Just like your great grandparents did to Blacks back in the day... all in the name of God.
How about this. Thank God none of you are God. Most of you are so STUPID, it drives me insane to hear your annoying opinions. I see you when you say what you have to say. Like brainwashed lil' zombies playing church. Satan loves to play church too. Both of which, are inferior. Yet we put up with you because we understand Christs' message.

For a state and city that are supposedly "Gay Friendly," I find this horrible.

This is soo wrong. It makes me cry. I am bisexual and if I have 'the right' partner.. a man.. than I have the right to see him.. but if its a woman... I realy do NOT like how they make difference between genders that way. Love is Love no matter if its woman/man woman/woman or man/ man. When will they ever learn =(

To all haters here... You've grown up under a rock or? Its 2009.. the world change.
Would you like for this to happen to you if it was the other way around? If Straight people were treated like this????
Ask yourselfs how you would feel then... Be honest (not just.. ohh it will never happen.. honest) how would you feel)!

She did the right thing with trying to sue them.. to bad it failed =(

oh stop going on about the bible. This is a human rights violation. If people like some commenting here are in heaven then I would prefer to go to hell, it sounds like a much more logical sort of people end up there.

Saying you are Christian and gay is like saying you are christian and a thief. How can you say you are Christian when you lifestyle is full of sin? We all sin, we are human. A true Christian realizes this and repents of his mistakes. To live a deviant lifestyle and claim to be a Christian is hypocrisy and mocking God. You don't get to choose what sin is. God does. And social pressure and political correctness are irrelevant.

I think it is horrendous but a lesson learned for those of us in gay relationships is to get the legal paperwork to protect yourself and your loved ones from such things. Medical Proxy, powers of attorney, trustee appointments, will etc, etc,,,
There will always be those like Shakespeare so protect yourself from the likes of. Then when those of you who believe stand before the one who loves "all his children".. you can snicker, just a bit, when Sahkespeare is asked why did you have such hate and not love in your heart?

This is messed up. I am not gay. I am married with 5 children. But i am appalled At this. These people where just trying to live their lives. Who where they hurting.. NO ONE..I don't want to hear about Hell this that or the other..Everyone has to take their own PERSONAL walk with GOD. And really its no one else business.. This is shameful all this woman was trying to do was to see someone she loved before she died.. My heart goes out to her and her family.

Wow, and here I thought that we were living in the 21st Century. Hmmm.

It doesn't matter what the sex of the couple is... if they aren't MARRIED, they don't qualify as "family" and don't have the right to visit a patient in a hospital. It's not aimed at gays.

This is one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard, and frankly, if they don't treat gay people differently then this is STILL disgusting. It seems quite apparent however that they are being discriminatory. A straight person would have won that suit.

Stu, of course it's aimed at Gays since Gays aren't ALLOWED to marry.

All you Gay Baiters/Haters, have you ever stopped to consider why every species on earth has gay members. If it is against G-d's plan, why would she have "innocent" animals born gay?

"Saying you are Christian and gay is like saying you are christian and a thief."

ROFL! Ah "John Elway" I love it when you righteous Christians compare being gay with being something tremendously bad. When are you people going to realize that me being gay doesn't affect you in any way... yet you try to see fit to legislate my bedroom how you see fit.

The funny thing is most Christians are Republican... the party of less government indeed.

Jackson Memorial's spokestwit, Jennifer Piedra, has a head full of piedras (rocks, in Spanish) when she says "...we believe in a culture of inclusion..."---Really, so then why did you not include the dying woman's partner of 17 years??? What a load of beaurocratic cr@p!

@ Shakespeare: You, and all the rest of the religious freaks who believe in fairytales written over 2000 years ago, are (usually) full of nonsense, what a bunch of first-class boloney! Nonetheless, your comment is still most amusing because it simply shows what a hypocrite you probably really are, and VERY likely to be guilty of the same 'offenses' (or worse!) as the people you point fingers at warning "you are going to hell". People like you are quick to pass judgement about everyone else's front lawn before taking a good close-up look at your back yard.

Dear Snakespeare and John Elway,
Jesus never talked about gays, nor are gays mentioned in the Ten Commandments, nor in the Summary of the Law. No prophet expounds upon gays. It really wasn't that concerning in early churches. Being judgmental is the worse offense. That's spoken of so often that it would seem to be the more important lesson for us.
I understand your concern. Jesus must not have shared this concern, as He never spoke about gays. (Never.)
Much has been learned about how the human psyche and physiological effects can alter one’s sexuality. Perhaps, all knowing Jesus was so quiet about this subject because He saw what rabbinical Paul (Saul) could not see. People have always been gay and always will be. It’s not unusual. When we leave these temporal bodies, flesh will cease, gender will cease, the only thing we will have will be a spirit, defined by how we treated others. Love endures. You’ve been commanded to love, not point fingers in judgment. The mercy you've shown to others will be meted out to you accordingly.

The greatest illusion ever created by Satan was convincing humans that religion would save their souls. Unless you treat people with CHRIST-LIKE care and respect, you will burn in the fires of eternity. What allows "Christian" people to pass judgement on others-- Jesus never did! Claiming to be a follower of Christ but doing deeds are not Christ-like (passing judgement, BLIND faith), you are doing the work of the Devil.

It's easy to love one of your own. If you merely love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the very sinners love their lovers---those who love them.

Stu - you might want to take the time to read some of the court's opinion. The judge accepted Jackson Memorial's argument: that it has absolutely NO duty to ANYONE at all (gay or straight married or not) to allow visitation of a dying loved one.

That should be troubling to any Floridian.

"In the beginning, man created god..."

1EqualityUSA, you need to read your bible before you comment on it. There are plenty of references to the sin of homosexuality and God said it is an abomination for one man to lie down with another. Then there are plenty of passages about the sin of adultery which applies to gay and straight. That being said, I do no think that JMH should have denied visitation, that was cruel and inhumane. My comments were directed at folks who say they are Christian and gay. You are not a faithful Christian if you openly live a sinful life and brag about it. That's all there is to it. I don't care if anyone is gay. But I am tired of hearing about it. I do not think special rights should be provided to accommodate a perverse lifestyle. I also do no think that they should be able to work with or adopt children. But I don't think government should try to intervene in their lives. In short, keep you personal life personal.

john elway not everyone is an inerrantist and this is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE NOT A RELIGIOUS ISSUE. who cares if you dont like it, its a civil rights issue. once, people like you were against mixed marriages and used your religion to try and stop that.
God bless you, Ms Langbehn, and keep you. To all the LGBT folks out there, someday your civil rights WILL be provided, inequality will end. From a Grandma.

To Shakespeare- The REAL Shakespeare was bisexual and wrote many sonnets to his male lover. Interesting choice for a handle for yourself.

Peter J. Gomes Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard University;Minister, American Baptist Church

Opposition to gays’ civil rights has become one of the most visible symbols of American civic conflict this year (1992), and religion has become the weapon of choice. The army of the discontented, eager for clear villains and simple solutions and ready for a crusade in which political self-interest and social anxiety can be cloaked in morality, has found hatred of homosexuality to be the last respectable prejudice of the century. Ballot initiatives in Oregon and Maine would deny homosexuals the protection of civil rights laws. The Pentagon has steadfastly refused to allow gays into the armed forces. Vice President Dan Quayle is crusading for “traditional family values.” And Pat Buchanan, who is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention this evening, regards homosexuality as a litmus test of moral purity.Nothing has illuminated this crusade more effectively than a work of fiction, “The Drowning of Stephen Jones,” by Bette Greene. Preparing for her novel, Ms. Greene interviewed more than 400 young men incarcerated for gay-bashing, and scrutinized their case studies. In an interview published in The Boston Globe this spring, she said she found that the gay-bashers generally saw nothing wrong in what they did, and, more often than not, said their religious leaders and traditions sanctioned their behavior. One convicted teen-age gay-basher told her that the pastor of his church had said, “Homosexuals represent the devil. Satan,” and that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had echoed that charge. Christians opposed to political and social equality for homosexuals nearly always appeal to the moral injunctions of the Bible, claiming that Scripture, is very clear on the matter and citing verses that support their opinion. They accuse others of perverting end distorting texts contrary to their “clear” meaning. They do not, however, necessarily see quite as clear a meaning to biblical passages on economic conduct, the burdens of wealth and the sin of greed. Nine biblical citations are customarily invoked as relating to homosexuality. Four (Deuteronomy 23:17, 1 Kings 14:24, I Kings 22:46 and II Kings 23:7) simply forbid prostitution by men and women. Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans homosexual acts. But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn. Tattoos, adultery and sexual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period are similarly outlawed. There is no mention of homosexuality in the four Gospels of the New Testament. The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the subject. Three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans 1:26-2:1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10). But St. Paul was concerned with homosexuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it represented a secular sensuality that was contrary to his Jewish- Christian spiritual idealism. He was against lust and sensuality in anyone, including heterosexuals. To say that homosexuality is bad because homosexuals are tempted to do morally doubtful things is to say that heterosexuality is bad because heterosexuals are likewise tempted. For St. Paul, anyone who puts his or her interest ahead of God’s is condemned, a verdict that falls equally upon everyone.

And lest we forget Sodom and Gomorrah, recall that the story is not about sexual perversion and homosexual practice. It is about inhospitality, according to Luke 10:10-13, and failure to care for the poor, according to Ezekiel 16:19·50: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” To suggest that Sodom and Gomorrah is about homosexual sex is an analysts of about as much worth as suggesting that the story of Jonah and the whale is a treatise on fishing. Part of the problem is a question of interpretation. Fundamentalists and literalists, the storm troopers of the religious right, are terrified that Scripture, wrongly interpreted, may separate them from their values. That fear stems from their own recognition that their “values” are not derived from Scripture, as they publicly claim. Indeed, it is through the lens of their own prejudices and personal values that they “read” Scripture and cloak their own views in its authority. We all interpret Scripture: Make no mistake. And no one truly is a literalist, despite the pious temptation. The questions are, By what principle of interpretation do we proceed, and by what means do we reconcile “what it meant then” to what it means now?” These matters are far too important to be left to scholars and seminarians alone. Our ability to judge ourselves and others rests on our ability to interpret scripture intelligently. The right use of the Bible, an exercise as old as the church itself, means that we confront our prejudices rather than merely confirm them. For Christians, the principle by which Scripture is read is nothing less than an appreciation of the work and will of God as revealed in that of Jesus. To recover a liberating and inclusive Christ is to be freed from the semantic bondage that makes us curators of a dead culture rather than creatures of a new creation. Religious fundamentalism is dangerous because it cannot accept ambiguity and diversity and is therefore inherently intolerant. Such intolerance, in the name of virtue, is ruthless and uses political power to destroy what it cannot convert. It is dangerous, especially in America, because it is anti-democratic and is suspicious of “the other,” in whatever form that “other” might appear. To maintain itself, fundamentalism must always define “the other” as deviant. But the chief reason that fundamentalism is dangerous is that, at the hands of the Rev. Pat Robertson. the Rev. Jerry Falwell and hundreds of lesser-known but equally worrisome clerics, preachers and pundits, it uses Scripture and the Christian practice to encourage ordinarily good people to act upon their fears rather than their virtues.

Fortunately, those who speak for the religious right do not speak for all American Christians, and the Bible is not theirs alone to interpret. The same Bible that the advocates of slavery used to protect their wicked self-interests is the Bible that inspired slaves to revolt and their liberators to action. The same Bible that the predecessors of Mr. Falwell and Mr. Robertson used to keep white churches white is the source of the inspiration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the social reformation of the 1960’s. The same Bible that anti-feminists use to keep women silent in the churches is the Bible that preaches liberation to captives and says that in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free. And the same Bible that on the basis of an archaic social code of ancient Israel and a tortured reading of Paul is used to condemn all homosexuals and homosexual behavior includes metaphors of redemption, renewal, inclusion and love - principles that invite homosexuals to accept their freedom and responsibility in Christ and demands that their fellow Christians accept them as well. The political piety of the fundamentalist religious right must not be exercised at the expense of our precious freedoms. And in this summer of our discontent, one of the most precious freedoms for which we must all fight is freedom from this last prejudice.

Peter J. Gomes Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard University;Minister, American Baptist Church

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. — Abraham Lincoln

I am disgusted by the way the couple were treated by the hospital and then by the court. Whatever happened to basic humanity?

As for some of the comments here, I feel sorry for the narrow minded people who can post such twisted views and claim it's in God's name. I am glad there have been more reasonable comments by Christians to balance out the extremists somewhat.

Ms Langbehn has my sympathy for the way she and her late partner have been treated.

to: Peter Gomes

Thank you!!!!!! I am copying your response to spread everywhere. bless you.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -- Abraham Lincoln

“Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right.” Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Bishop Desmond Tutu

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment. –Gandhi

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. --Abraham Lincoln

Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.-- CS Lewis

Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere: Martin Luther King, Jr.

God will punish florida again and as severely as before for it's horrible treatment of His gay children.

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals.
That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."

Dr. Laura Schlesinger is a US radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative.........

Dear Dr. Laura

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual cleanliness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn.t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident
you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is
eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan,
Jack

So uh, you guys do know that Jesus affirmed a gay couple, right? Right? For all your LOL READ YOUR BIBLE BEFORE YOU COMMENT ON IT, you sure do like to forget the parts that don't back up your personal opinion.

By the way, stop using Romans and Leviticus to tell me I shouldn't be gay. Or, if you do, I better never see you eat shellfish, and your clothes all better be 100% cotton. Enjoy shrimp and poly-blends? Well, I guess I'll be seeing you in Hell right there with me.

Never hate. Never judge. If I'm a sinner for loving someone, you're a worse one for hating me because of that love.

It's absolutely none of anyone else's business what anyone else believes, faith-wise, and no one's right to try and cram what they believe down anyone else's throat. What you believe about God or the Bible or heaven or hell or sin or any of the rest of it is between YOU and whatever you believe. Civil Rights are called CIVIL rights because they are secular in nature and, by law, are supposed to be freely and equally guaranteed to every citizen of the United States of America, without regard to race, color, creed, gender or religion. So far, those CIVIL rights don't extend fully to homosexuals, but we are still protected by the creed and religion portions of those laws. Hate speech against homosexuals now falls under the new hate crime legislation.

This is not "witnessing" for Christ by any stretch of the imagination, and hate filled judgmentalism is absolutely something Christ spoke against.

"Because you did this to the least of these, you have done it to Me."

OH my god florida is full of tehstupid. Yeah you Shakespeare, John et all. You are freaking unbelievable in the face of tragedy this is your christian response? To suggest they are going to hell? Seriously take your religion out of it and you are just populist uneducated southerners that look stupid the rest of the country.

Your version of Christianity is unkind, ruthless, judgmental, everything Jesus was not. If I were the doctor and your wife were the patient at this hospital I'd bar you on the grounds that "we don't have an obligation to let you into the trauma room" because all people should be treated that same. Seriously what the hell is wrong with you. If you can't get some education at least get some class.

On July 4, 2001, a few hours after returning to Houston following a wonderful four day vacation in San Antonio with my 14 y.o. son and 12 y.o. daughter, my partner of seven years, Jeremy, suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He died two days later at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, never having regained consciousness. One of his kidneys went to a retired homemaker near Philadelphia; the other and his liver went to a middle-aged father in Texas.

Jeremy was 30 years old.

There was never any question at St. Luke's about whether I or my kids or our many Houston friends had any right to be by Jeremy's side, even though it was several hours before his distraught parents were able to make to Houston from Oklahoma City. Probably just as well, too, since Becky, Jeremy's devout Mormon mom, would have torn the hospital down brick by brick if anyone had been foolish enough to make such a suggestion.

It sickens me to think that a hospital in the most liberal city of my native state would engage in such a blatant act of anti-gay discrimination. I know how completely devastated all of us were by Jeremy's death; I can't really imagine what it has been like for Lisa's family.

Ms. Langbehn, on behalf of my native state, please accept my apology to you and your children for the heartless cruelty you have experienced there.

Thanks for fighting the fight no one should have to experience.

Sincerely...

Richard Jasper
East Amherst, NY

Would God rather we hide who we are, outwardly lie about our sexual identities, enter into empty marriages with these secrets, and not be truthful? Gays are lumped into one, big, amorphous category of sin by others who sin on a daily basis. Women don't want to be solely defined by their sexuality, a very small part of a being's personhood. What makes you think that gays want to be defined solely by this very small aspect of our being? God knows the truth about every person breathing, so to "pull off" a fake heterosexual life for the sake of being loved and accepted by humans (of this day) is not only dishonest, but pathetic. It is dehumanizing to sum up people based on this very small aspect of their personhood. Have integrity and don't let anyone tell you that God hates you. God will likely consider that the worse offense. Be honest and truthful. (oh, and remember, we need to love the bigot, hate the bigotry.)

All my summer vacations will be spent at Cape Cod, NOT the state of Florida!

Guess all those folks in Key West didn't get the memo about Florida's being an anti-gay state, lolol.

I would like to say I am very impressed and appreciative towards 1EqualityUSA. My boyfriend and I have the same Christian ideals as you, and we praise you for it. You are very brave to have stepped forward and spoke your mind.

@John Elway.
You say that you don't want gays to "work with or adopt children", but you also say that the government should not "try to intervene in their lives." I spy a contradiction right there. :]

My heart goes out to Langbehn and her family. I hope you will all find peace.

This is so wrong. I am so sorry that this happened to you.

"1EqualityUSA. My boyfriend and I have the same Christian ideals as you, "

It is likely because we have the same Father.

This would have N-E-V-E-R happened to a straight, run-of-the-mill, heterosexual couple in a state-run health facility; how much you wanna bet?

It amuses me in the extreme when people refer to Miami as "the most liberal city" in Florida. HA!..., there's NOTHING liberal about the entire state of Florida in this respect, and a few others, too. Walk out of Miami Beach's South Beach area and it's 'Any Redneck City, USA'...puh-leeeze, get real!

And this is another reason LGBT people need to join the National Equality March in Washington, DC on Oct 11. Equal rights for all Americans!

Snakespear's unsavory, ill-timed, "Going to Hell" comment was not only cruel, but it stole away the community's chances to say soothing words to Ms. Langbehn regarding her loss. We've spent more time correcting Snakespeare and lamenting inequality. I still hurt for you. As a nurse, I'm devastated that a fellow R.N. didn't advocate for Ms. Pond. Please take care of yourself and know that many are moved to tears over your pain.

." I spy a contradiction right there. :]"

It's not a contradiction. If they wanna pack fudge in the privacy of their own home, fine. Leave em alone. But working with children is a privilege. Not every one is qualified. There are consequences (or their should be) for actions that you choose. Sexual deviants should not be allowed to work with children. That shouldn't even have to be explained to any sensible person. This tolerance crap is ridiculous. I hate going into a restaurant and getting a server with a fishhook in their eyebrow. I don't wanna see that disgusting crap when I am eating. But we have gotten so stupid with letting anyone do anything, anywhere, anytime that the rest of us must suffer the wierdos of the world.

Dear John Elway,
What do you get out of fishing these gay posts? What's the payoff for you (personally)? I've seen your name and your same hate filled rhetoric now for over a year. So, your wife died and you are lonely? Go take a walk, do something edifying, keep battling those demons within. I don't recognize our Father in your words. They are bitter and lonely. Your words say more about you than they do about your brothers and sisters. It's time to be silent. Try taking a vow of silence for one year. You would be amazed at what is revealed in silence. The article above, by Peter Gomes, lays out the folly and prejudices (of the unenlightened) that prevent edification through the Word. Have none of these posts tapped your heart?
"Indeed, it is through the lens of their own prejudices and personal values that they “read” Scripture and cloak their own views in its authority."

It's clear that you have unresolved issues with what you so eloquently refer to as, "fudge packers". Again, these words of yours give you away, making you look uneducated and foolish. Godliness is not your aim. If it was, you would be assisted by God with every word chosen.
Instead of extending love and kindness to a person who has gone through a true life test, you defend your reasonings and add more childish words to the mix, further deepening rancor. Your mind and the words you conjure up are harmful. My prayers are with you that you can come to know real love. The damage of you, made apparent by your harsh, merciless, self-centered words, is obvious. The damage of you is as obvious as the signs and symptoms of pneumonia, of heart disease, of senility. If you respond to this post, it will be telling. I hope you don't respond, as silence, until you become healthier, is the best gift you can offer.

Ms. Langbehn, my apologies that, yet, another post has gone to us and not to you.

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