Editorial 6 - Fannyann Eddy's Murder
Many people in North America may wonder who Fannyann Eddy is. Fannyann was an African gay rights activist. She worked for gay rights in Sierra Leone.
In late September, 2004 Fannyann was murdered, after being raped by five men. News reports tell us she was stabbed and her neck was broken. Her murder was very violent and reminds us of the violence seen in some other well-known gay murders. More information about Fannyann's murder can be found on the Memorials page of the Stop Hate 2000 web site.
Fannyann's murder could be a real blow to those fighting for gay rights in Africa. Her death reminds of us of how important gay rights are. When people are so frightened by gay people that those who promote gay rights may be the target of threats or may be killed, we clearly see the need for gay rights.
Society needs to state that gay people are valuable members of society. Until society forcefully states gay people are valuable, a few twisted minds will feel they have an excuse, or possibly even a right, to hurt gay people. To clearly show all members of society that gay people are valuable, gay people need to be given the same rights straight people have. Gay people need to have the right to work, the right to accommodations, the right to spousal benefits, the right to openly serve in the military, the right to get married, the right to be protected by hate crimes legislation and the right to worship God in spiritually healthy environments. Equality is necessary to protect gay and lesbians from bashing and murder.
When those who work for human rights see one of their colleagues murdered, they may question the value of what they are doing. Perhaps, fighting for human rights is not worth it. Human rights are valuable to all people. The moment some members of society feel other members of society should be the targets of crime society has become very dangerous for everybody. Refusing to grant some people basic human rights places the human rights of everybody in danger. The individual and collective worth of people is reduced when any person is considered to be less of a person, because of that person's race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identification or physical and intellectual ability. The struggle to obtain basic human rights and freedoms for gays is an important struggle for straight people - too important to straight people for straight people not to get involved in the struggle for gay equality.