Debbie Lopez

Keefer, who is also a member of Trinity’s Sexual Diversity Alliance said she protested to “pave the way for future generations, so that they can be free to love without someone telling them their love is wrong.

“It’s important for students to have a safe environment to be themselves and be accepted by their peers,” Keefer said.

The rally was also supported by members of the UTSA’s GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) club. Sean Goerner, who serves as the political committee chair for GLBTQ, believes the anti-gay marriage laws in Texas are largely due to “ignorance and close-mindedness.

“People are just afraid of what they don’t know, and, if they choose to educate themselves or get to know a GLBTQ person, those feelings would vanish,” Goerner said.

Goerner notes that Dick Cheney, a notoriously conservative politician, supports gay marriage, largely because one of his daughters is a lesbian.

With roughly 70 members the GLBTQ club is one of the largest organizations on campus, already an indication of the kind of change that can be brought about when people stand up against discrimination and are free to be themselves. This past Wednesday, Oct. 12, GLBTQ hosted their special ‘Bring an Ally’ meeting in which all who support the GLBTQ community could come out and show their support of equality for members of GLBTQ. Over a hundred members and their allies occupied the UC Ballroom during this event. As support for LGBTQIA rights increases, many are speaking out against unequal treatment by the law.

“This is a matter of human rights,” Isabel Engle said, an organizer for GetEQUAL Texas. “Peaceful protesting and having a voice in the government is what democracy is all about and it may not be long before America looks back on marriage inequality as an injustice of the past.””She was a brilliant scholar and one of the most encouraging professors I have ever known. She always took the time to help me or answer my questions,” wrote Michelle Neuman. “She was an inspiration. I will miss her very much.”

Lopez served as the Graduate Advisor for Master’s program students.

“She was treasured by her students,” said Dr. Mark Allen, English Professor. “Different professors have different profiles in how they stand out as educators. (Lopez’s) profile was her total commitment to her students and that care was reciprocated by her students.”

Students, colleagues, and faculty members remember her as a powerful influence on their academic and personal life.

“She was very special to our graduate students,” said Reina Vargas, Administrative Associate for the English Department’s graduate program. “I can remember many students saying that if it were not for her, they would not have made it through the Master’s program. Her passing has had a profound effect on current and former students alike.”

A memorial service is planned for Oct. 18 at 7:00pm at Vaughan’s Funeral Home in Boerne, Texas.

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