Faiths unite for service in support of gay rights
By MICHAEL GANNON
THE JOURNAL NEWS
WHITE PLAINS — As worshippers placed carnations in a basket in front of the church, one by one, each mentioned something they brought to their community, uttering words like sharing, kindness and sense of humor.
When they were finished, the Rev. Deb Morra invited them — Unitarians, Jews and Protestants alike — back to take a different flower, a representation of the gathering's sense of togetherness in what organizers billed as one of the first interfaith gay pride events of its kind in Westchester County.
"Faith is a strong part of our life. We should not abandon that," said Peggy Borgstede, a lesbian who worships at Memorial United Methodist Church in White Plains and who chaired the event for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Interfaith Partnership of Westchester County.
About 30 people from six Westchester temples and churches attended the service, held at the Community Unitarian Church of White Plains on Rosedale Avenue.
Hate Crime Vigil
Elizabeth Vall Reports
A special vigil was held Saturday night for a 24-year-old man murdered here in Tucson because he was gay.
Walking home alone, late at night June 12, 2002, Philip Walsted was attacked. A man beat him to death with a baseball bat.
At the vigil Walsted's mother shares loving memories of her son. She also shared anger that she couldn't protect him.
Paul Kohn, a friend of Philip, said "It was hard to believe then and it's hard to believe now that you can be killed making down the street because you are gay."
Since Walsted's death there have been 24 reported reported hate crimes against gays in Tucson. Many at the vigil say it happens more often than most people think.