Blogosphere reactions to Dennis Richardson

Dennis Richardson's bizarre comments that put last Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech and last Tuesday's vote on equal rights legislation under a common umbrella of "Tragic Week in Review" have picked up lots of reaction across the blogosphere.

Gay Rights Watch: "This is surprisingly low--even for Rep. Richardson. ... Rep. Richardson owes Oregonians an apology."

Politics Plus: "Only a true Bush Sweetheart would equate justice for same-sex couples with a hideous mass murder. Sadly, we even have Bush Sweethearts here in Oregon."

Queerty: "Richardson's words are tasteless. Not to mention totally idiotic. But, sadly, not surprising."

David Kleppinger, a student at Virginia Tech:

As you all probably know now, I go to Virginia Tech. I was therefore incensed to the point of wanting to hit things when I saw [his comments.] ...

That's right, Richardson equated granting same-sex couples domestic benefits and basic civil rights with the massacre of 32 innocent people here at my school. This is unconscionable, atrocious, and just plain wrong.

We get it Rep. Richardson, you hate gay people. But to equate granting them the same rights as every other citizen to mass murder is beyond sick, beyond disgusting, beyond the pale. Don't try to excuse yourself: you're a monster and there's no getting away from it.

But wait, there's more!

Posting at and Huffington Post, David Goldstein summarized Richardson's view: "Guns Don't Kill People, Homos Do"

At LiveJournal, blogger 'jaylake' said "On behalf of the people and state of Oregon, I apologize" and asked, "Are you still proud of your Republican party?"

Also at LiveJournal, blogger 'fvinnash' asked, "What the Hell is Wrong with our Government?" and continued:

Thank you, Republican Oregon State Representative Dennis Richardson. I enjoyed reading that you equate *civil union rights and domestic benefits for same-sex couples* as equally tragic as *30 students being slaughtered while trying to attend class*. You know what? Fuck you. ... Just. Ugh. I'm trying very hard to not say, "Fucking Republicans", but it's getting harder and harder.

Pam's House Blend, Mercury Blogtown, and Pandagon also took note.

If you haven't yet, contact Dennis Richardson at 503-986-1404 and [email protected] and tell him what you think.

  • Bill (unverified)

    Reminds me of the Reverend Jerry Falwell's efforts to blame the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on gays and lesbians...

    All those gay and lesbian families taking their kids to baseball games, helping with homework, volunteering in schools, working, barbecuing, raking leaves, etc. brought down the wrath of Falwell's "god" (he claimed) on these Christian United States

    And now we apparently have the Angel Moroni and Mormon Inc. telling Representative Richardson that gays and lesbians with some additional (though not equal) civil rights = mass murder...

    How about we stick to the U.S. Constitution, an Enlightment agreement amongst Americans to offer equality of opportunity for all citizens, and leave all this ugly religious prejudice (can it be any more obvious?) out?

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    you forgot LoadedOrygun blog

  • lin qiao (unverified)

    I'm sorry, but after actually reading Richardon's letter to constituents, it seems that he's actually guilty of poor writing, not of equating gay-rights legislation with mass murder. I didn't see him calling the legislation "tragic" the way he did the massacre. No, of course he's opposed to gay-rights legislation, and yes, he repeated some of the usual absurd stereotypes and pandered to the usual fears. But I fear that there's some sloppy thinking and reflexive GOP-bashing going on in the way Richardson's comments have been portrayed here at BlueOregon.

  • (Show?)

    you forgot LoadedOrygun blog

    No, we didn't. We had their stuff linked in the first post we did. This was an update.

  • (Show?)
    I didn't see him calling the legislation "tragic" the way he did the massacre.

    Note that he didn't actually call the massacre tragic, either. He said it was a tragic WEEK, and then described what happened that week. Ergo, he was describing what made the week tragic.

  • David Wright (unverified)

    TJ, from the quote of Richardson's newsletter in the original post on this topic here at BlueOregon:

    This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation.

    You are technically correct that he didn't call the massacre tragic. He called it a tragedy.

    He called the legislation neither tragic, nor a tragedy.

    I absolutely agree that his newsletter was written in an insensitive way. He does need an editor, to be sure.

    But the headline was "A Tragic Week in Review". Are you suggesting that a week which includes a tragedy is not, by definition, a tragic week? Or that, by definition, every single thing that happens in a tragic week must by extension be a tragedy? Headlines must be concise, and I think "tragic" is a fair adjective for that week as the major news event -- indeed, Richardson's lead topic -- was a tragedy.

    The claim that Richardson equates gay rights was mass murder is absolutely unsupportable based on his newsletter. I think Lin is correct -- this whole overblown issue is based on shaky logic that allows you to tee off on a guy you don't like. But if you're gonna blast the guy, blast him for what he actually said, not for what you'd like to think that he meant. And at no time did he actually say that the gay rights legislation was tragic, period.

  • (Show?)

    Remember folks, this is the same guy who introduced legislation that would give GLBT couples 3/5 the rights of married, hetero couples - you know, because he cares about people.

    The man is an intelligent, charismatic attorney. To me, he is much more frightening than Karen Minnis ever was. Take a look at some of his other newsletters about GLBT issues. Try this one from the 2005 session, or this one from earlier this session.

    While those consisted largely of run-of-the-mill talking points, this latest one was different. It took an issue that was very hot in the media - school shooting - advocated the arming of students to protect "the innocent from violent or deranged people," and then followed it with a piece about "a small minority" of GLBT activists "imposing their lifestyles and views of behavior on an unwilling majority in Oregon’s schools, work places, and eventually in all aspects of our society."

    <h2>Whether intentional or not, the pairing of those issues was irresponsible, even though not entirely surprising.</h2>

connect with blueoregon