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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 11, 1999)
Make progress instead
of mourning dead
On Feb. 19, in Sylacauga, Ala., Billy Jack
Gaither was beaten to death and thrown onto
a pile of tires, where his lifeless body was
burned beyond recognition.
It could have been just another abhorrent
murder, but Gaither’s case has received extra
attention nationwide because of who he was.
Gaither was gay; his only crime was living
the way he wanted. And the two men who
allegedly ended his life have become the latest
in a parade of monsters who prey on others -
beating and killing out of hatred and fear.
People still act shocked when they hear of
incidents such as this. They still put hand to
mouth and occasionally wipe away a tear.
They lament the lack of humanity, the lack of
mercy and the lack of tolerance in ’90s
And then, often times, they give thanks
that such prejudice and hatred doesn’t exist
where they live.
But if you live in Nebraska, don’t get
down on your knees just yet. Because even
though we like to chastise others for failing to
recognize everyone is human, we in Nebraska
have a ways to go in meeting that standard.
Sen. Ernie Chambers realizes this, and
one of the bills he has introduced to the
Legislature is designed to take a step toward
absolute equality for everyone.
i Because if you’re gay in Nebraska and you
want to keep your job, you’d better make sure
that you keep a lid on your private life; or else
a pink slip could be in your future, and there’s
nothing you can do about it.
LB69 would change that. It would make it
a crime for an employer to discriminate
against a person based on sexual orientation.
And in both a symbolic and real way, it would
be another step toward official recognition of
the gay lifestyle as an acceptable one.
But seeing absolute harmony and justice
done in the state of Nebraska appears to be a
long way off. Because even as Sen. Chambers
attempts to push the people of Nebraska
toward the 2181 century, a group of 21 senators
has put forth another bill that would do just
LB513 would amend Nebraska’s statutes
on marriage, clearly stating that the only mar
riages recognized in Nebraska would be
between a man and a woman. The intent
behind this bill is obvious. It is meant to pro
tect Nebraska’s residents from the horrendous
plague that is same-sex marriage.
Please, senators, grow up. Nebraskans are
never going to be seen as the most progressive
bunch, and we’re never going to be responsi
ble for the nation’s conscience.
But as long as we’re here, and as long as
we feel the urge to shed a tear for people like
Billy Jack Gaither and Matthew Shepherd,
maybe we should do our best to do what’s
If not, we’re just as wrong as the people
who took them away.
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1999 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as publisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
letters must identify themselves by name,
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affiliation, if any. •
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail:
Faith and the facts
I read the column by Mark
Baldridge in the Daily Nebraskan
(“Some may deserve to die but mercy is
better,” March 4) and felt that a couple
of things needed to be cleared up. First,
there were two robbers crucified with
Jesus Christ, not two murderers (see
Secondly, at the end of his article he
makes mention of the passage in
Matthew 25:31-46 where Christ talks
about separating the sheep from the
goats. Mark says that admittance into
heaven is based on works. Mark says
that “if you consent in your heart to the
death of a prisoner and have never actu
ally gone and visited a prisoner, then -
according to Christ, mind you, not me -
you get to pass on the left hand of God,”
which means that you get sent to hell.
This is totally contradictory to the rest of
Salvation into heaven is based on
belief in Jesus Christ not by works.
(Titus 3:5; Galatians 2:16; m
Ephesians 2:8,9; 2 Timothy 1:9.) 18
The people Jesus is talking to in B
Matthew 25 have already been sep- l|
arated by Christ. They are separat- /p
ed based on their belief in him as 'v
their Savior and Lord. People who* |
have a loving relationship, not a reli
gion, with God will display Christ- like
characteristics as they grow. They will
want to help others because of the
way God has helped them. A
If a person truly loves God it is g
hard, if not impossible, to not be
compassionate on those who
are in need.
In her column “Capital punish
ment rightly serves justice,” (March 4)
Jessica Flanagain appears to be con- (
doning the murder of innocent people, j
Ms. Flanagain freely admits that
there are flaws in the American judicial
system and in the application of the
death penalty, yet she glosses over the
victims of those flaws.
She nobly suggests reforming the
system, yet she does not mention halt
ing executions while we attempt to
attain this judicial perfection. &
I’m afraid that the Microsoft phi- vg
losophy of “working out die bugs as '
you go” is not applicable when the
“system errors” result in the deaths of
Remember the fallen
The biggest Husker fan died in a car
Many of you may not recognize her
name, but Shirley Minton loved us, the
Big Red. She was a lady who could
brighten anyone’s day. She had a smile
and a story to share with everyone.
Minton was the journalism teacher
at Papillion-LaVista High School and
anyone who had her as a teacher would
confess that she was the best. I was in
her class for two years and will confess
that she didn’t treat us like children and
gave us all her full respect But what
does this mean to the Huskers?
A part of our spirit just died. She
never missed a game and enjoyed our
campus. After the Husker football team
took the National Championship in
1995, Minton wore all red for about 375
days, until they took the title again. She
was featured in newspaper and maga
zine articles and was invited to some
football team parties, where she got to
rub elbows with Coach Osborne and the
Her Christmas lights were even red
and formed a big N on the back of her
house. Minton also loved to cook. She
taught others how to make tailgate party
foods. She was a pro at the football
Summer M. Spivey
textile, clothing and
/i desig" ^
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