Monday, May 1, 2017

The day Westboro came to Pueblo

This is my speech at the rally against Westboro.  I just came across it and impressed myself.



The gay rights movement in the US is often traced to June 27, 1969, in New York City, when police raided a Greenwich Village bar, the Stonewall Inn, and bar patrons rebelled in protest. Seven years later, in 1976, in Dade County, Florida, Anita Bryant led the first religious campaign against gay rights.
In Colorado an amendment was placed on the ballot in 1992 by a religious group centered in Colorado Springs. 
Amendment 2 reads as follows:
"Neither the State of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the [Colorado] Constitution shall be self-executing."
At that time there were 2 little gay guys in Pueblo, Colorado.  Fortunately there were also two or 3 mothers and a friend who had lost a friend to AIDS in a loosely held group known as PFLAG.  I found them in 1990 when they were meeting in the basement of the old Red Cross building on Pueblo Boulevard in an unmarked room to protect our identity.  Yep I was one of them.  We spoke out against Amendment 2, but in hushed tones.  We put up NO on 2 signs and they were promptly torn down.
The amendment was passed by a majority of Colorado voters in November 1992, and was to take effect on January 15, 1993. The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal Defense Fund, the cities of Boulder, Aspen, and Denver, and individual plaintiffs joined forces under the leadership of attorney Jean Dubofsky, a former Colorado Supreme Judicial Court judge, and filed a motion in Denver District Court seeking to enjoin the governor and state of Colorado from enforcing Amendment 2. On January 15, 1993, Judge Jeffrey Bayless granted a preliminary injunction, giving the plaintiffs the first victory in a legal struggle over the constitutionality of Amendment 2. That injunction was later made permanent, but was then appealed to the US Supreme Court.
Now SCEA members!  Listen up.  On the night of the election, when Amendment 2 passed with a clear majority a phone tree went into action and a business on Elizabeth Street opened for a gathering of probably 50-60 gay people.  Many of them wore “Don’t shoot!  I am really a black bear.”  Because a measure protecting the black bears had passed. 
Out of that meeting grew a need to protect our gay friends.  We knew we must let people know that gay existed and existed in Pueblo Colorado.  A group was formed at that time and christened with the name “Pueblo After 2.”  Our symbol was an upside down pink triangle.  We quietly infiltrated the straight world.  The pioneers in this movement were the 2 gay guys, Joe Roderick and our Beloved late David Hackenberry.  Thanks also to Donna, Carolyn, Warren, and the list goes on and on.  As gay people came out of the closet and awareness swept Pueblo and all of Colorado.  When amendment 2 was faded in the background we became politically active and needed a new name.  Up jumped Southern Colorado Equality Alliance.  From that came Out Front Youth Group, and other splinter groups that are now respected and do many good works.  I never thought I would live to see a gay pride parade, but now I actually participate.
We did not get where we are by violence, hatred or intimidating people.  Westboro Baptist Church would have us stoop to their level, but we will not.  We are equal citizens of this great country and we are treated as equals not because of a law, but because we are equal.  I thank Gilbert Ortiz for standing with our friends and family against the forces of evil.
SCEA, that is where you came from.  I was there.  I am a charter lifetime member of Pueblo After 2 and am supposed to get the newsletter from you, but you have forgotten about your roots.  So I just wanted to remind you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Another no show.

Well, John stayed in town after church again.  This being the second Sunday and PFLAG meeting scheduled.  At a little before 2:00 we wandered over to the Unitarian meeting house at 110 Lacrosse and waited.  John had not had any phone calls, but always a chance someone would show up.  Good thing I was there to keep him company.

So here is the deal...if anyone is interested in meeting at all I am going to give you a list of contacts.  We are most happy to do this, but if we are just going to entertain each other it is a waste of time and money.  So it you plan on a meeting the second Sunday of every month or any month, please send one of us a message.  And then if you decide not to come, contact one of us again.  Meeting halls are lonely when no one is there.

Lou Mercer--719-546-1555 (loumercer3@aol.com)

John Tenorio--719-696-5269 (  jtenorio0722@msn.com)

Or hit us up on face book

We do love to have the meetings if someone is there, but if it is just going to be him and I we can do that at Starbucks.  Hell!  We will meet you at Starbucks if you want.  We meet you where you are, as you are and come away friends.  Just let us know when and where.

Thanks for listening.

Lou Mercer

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Enclosed please find.....


The PFLAG Coalition newsletter.  After reading it please remember that our regular local PFLAG meeting is Monday  June 13 at 110 Lacrosse and starts at 5:30  PM.  Grab a bottle of something wet to drink and John and I will fix a few snacks.  

See you then.

This is the Colorado coalition of PFLAG  newsletter that is also distributed  to PFLAG national 

ItIt has our body. Com article in it 

Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone

------ Original message------
From: Julie Wilson
Date: Tue, Jun 7, 2016 5:16 PM
To: Julie Wilson;
Cc:
Subject:PFLAG Mountain West newsletter--June

Greetings, PFLAG leaders! If you have leadership changes in your chapter, please let me know so that I can keep the mailing list up-to-date. 

The newsletter contains important upcoming dates, information from PFLAG National, events from around the region, and news of interest to help you fulfill PFLAG's mission of support, education, and advocacy.


In addition, a training opportunity about suicide postvention is attached. I know several chapters have dealt with an LGBTQ suicide in their community. Cesar and I thought the training might be of interest to you, even though it is not LGBTQ-specific.

Thanks to those of you who send me news items to include. I appreciate it. And thanks to all of you for the work you do in leading your chapters and helping PFLAG be an effective grassroots organization.

Best regards,
Julie

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monthly PFLAG Meeting


May Pueblo PFLAG Meeting
Monday May 09,2016 5:30 PM
First Unitarian Society of Pueblo
110 South Lacrosse Ave
Pueblo CO 81001

No April Meeting

Thanks to  you we are having a much better turnout on Monday nights.  We will discuss updates on Book Sale and upcoming events upcoming volunteer events.

Chapter Dues are now due for regular membership.  We do accept  Donations for our general fund and for our Scholarship Fund.  Please specify where you want your donation to go
.
We also take donations for the local HIV consumer group events , we provide a monthly Lunch and a yearly Holiday goodie bag , we can also use Volunteers for all these activities.

Come by on Monday evening and get to know us!

Monday, November 16, 2015

A way to give your local PFLAG a little extra without spending a cent.



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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Copied from https://draft.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8042948182452232168#editor/target=post;postID=8159864783588859705


I woke up at 4:15 this morning and was very surprised that I had a guy on my mind from my distant past.  Now I mean my way back there distant past.  My first boyfriend.  I was 17 years old and I thought the sun rose and set in that boy.  He took me to Joyland in Wichita one sunny afternoon.  We rode all the rides and when we got on the Roundup, my stomach had it's limit.  His name was Corky and he was so sweet and concerned about my welfare.  Throwing up on the Roundup was the high point of the day and we left soon after that.  We continued to for a while and then sort of drifted apart.  It was never a big romance, just a very comfortable relationship with some one with whom I could share my  hopes and dreams.

Years passed and I married and had a family.  I ended up in Garden City, Kansas.  When that marriage went south, I returned to Hutchinson.  There I met the second man in my life who would offer me comfort in a storm and ask nothing in return.  His name was Gib.  We never really dated so much as sort of hung out together.  He was a friend of my mom's.  He was also a cook and I was a waitress until I became a cook also.  He helped shop for Christmas Santa Claus gifts and helped put the things together on Christmas Eve.  He was engaged to a girl named Cheri, but though they lived together, they never married.  I never understood their relationship.  He and I were friends, but he and Cheri had something, and yet nothing.

The one thing both these guys and I had in common was that the relationships were purely platonic.  I never expected more and they never asked for more.  I can search the world over and never find 2 men that made such an impact on my life!  Ah, but hindsight is always clearer then foresight, isn't it?

Years passed and the AIDS epidemic reared it's ugly head.  Gib moved to California.  He died there.   I was in Pueblo by then.  Mother called and said Gib wanted to get together over Thanksgiving that year, but she was afraid.  I told her I could  and would love to come and see Gib.  I was not afraid.  I just wanted to see my old friend.  Plans were made, but he did not make it.  I know there was no funeral and he is in an unmarked grave.  I still miss him.  The very first panel on my AIDS Memorial Quilt is for Gilbert Fields.

I learned later that Corky had also passed.  He was also a statistic in the early stages of the epidemic.  Jimmy came later.  And Mark.  And Mike.  And a list that goes on and on and on.  I have always had a rapport with the gay community, even before I knew there was a gay community!  They have been my friends when I had no friends.  They held me up when I could have sunk beneath the waves.

I have no idea why these two guys are on my mind today, but there they are.  I just wanted to share with you, my readers, a small glimpse into my past so you can maybe understand why I am who I am today and why I do the things I do.  I guess I am trying to give back to the community that cared for me when I did not care for myself.