2

Two Gay Heroes of 9/11

>Even six years after the event, the terrorist attacks on the New York City and Washington are still having repercussions in many countries around the world. Even today, the American Congress is holding a hearing on the developments of one of the two wars which are consequences of those attacks and they are one of those world events where most people remember clearly where they were and what they were doing at the time.

Many lives from all sections of the community (people of all ages, nationalities, creeds, age, gender and sexual orientations) have been touched or irrevocably changed as a result of that day of September 2001. Hundreds of thousands of people have died during those 6 years and, unfortunately, more will yet die.

Two of those lives, crushed on the day itself, signify particularly for the LGBT community, although no doubt many other members of this community have been impacted.

Mark Bingham, 31, was the director of a PR company. He was on flight 93 which crashed in the countryside outside Pittsburgh. Mark is believed to have been part of the group of passengers who foiled the high-jackers’ plans and made the plane crash where it did and miss its target. Mark Bingham was also a keen rugbyman and an international competition predominantly for gay and bisexual men and women, the Bingham Cup, has been held to commemorate his name since 2002.

A book and several films have been released about the events on flight 93 and Bingham has received several posthumous awards for his courage.

Father Judge's body being rescued from the wreckage by his firemen colleagues - Picture by Shannon StapletonFather Judge’s body being rescued. This now iconic picture by Shannon Stapleton has become known as The American Pieta.

Father Mychal Judge, 68, was a Catholic priest, the chaplain of the Fire Department of New York. On September, 11th, he followed his colleagues to the site of the World Trade Center to provide spiritual support to the wounded and dying. Father Mychal was killed when the buildings collapsed. He became the first officially recorded victim of the attacks. His life had been dedicated to helping the marginalised and he was a long-term member of Dignity, a Catholic LGBT activist organisation. This in defiance of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy; the subject of Father Judge’s sexual orientation remains controversial.

In 2006 a film, The Saint of 9/11, directed by Glenn Holsten and narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, was released, celebrating Father Judge’s life. The film includes testimonies of work colleagues and people who met him at different stages of his life.

About Mark Bingham:
* Mark Bingham on Wikipedia
* Tribute website to Mark Bingham
* The Bingham Cup

About Father Mychal Judge:
* Father Mychal Judge on Wikipedia
* The Saint of 9/11

Comments 2

  1. Mychals Prayer

    >Most of us first heard of Father Mychal Judge, the late New York fire chaplain and “saint of 9/11”, from that iconic photo of his body being carried from Ground Zero.

    Yet even prior to his heroic death on 9/11, Father Mychal was widely seen by many New Yorkers as a living saint for his deep spirituality and his extraordinary work with the homeless, recovering alcoholics, people with AIDS, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and others rejected by society.

    Father Mychal was also openly gay, though celibate. He blessed and supported committed gay relationships asking, “Is there so much love in the world that we can afford to discriminate against any kind of love ?”

    This often annoyed the church hierarchy. But like his spiritual father St. Francis of Assisi, Mychal reported directly to a Higher Authority, as evidenced by several miraculous healings through him.

    For further information on Father Mychal, I invite you to visit:
    http://SaintMychalJudge.blogspot.com

  2. Woody

    It was a very interesting dbtaee you had with Dominic Hannigan, a Labour Senator.Pity you were rushed for time and did not get time to discuss if Labour in government would support opening marriage to gay people, by a law on marriage.Or if they prefer the more expensive and divisive approach of the referendum.The advantage of the law is that it has to be challenged, and that no challenge can seriously stand, as gay marriage would not be unconstitutional, would not be a threat to the institution of civil marriage, and would not deprive anyone of their constitutional rights, or of any rights for that matter.It was also well spotted that a challenge to such a law would fail, and would only be supported by some religious institutions whose record in looking after the best interest of the children is dubious. I just hope it was not misunderstood by religious people as being an attack on their faith… I know it was only an attack on people using their faith for political scoring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *