Sunday, 10 June 2007

Gay Bashing / Gay Hate Crime

Gay hate crimes are probably the most terrifying and serious consequence of simply living who you are. It is in no world fair or even defendable that a person may be insulted, seriously hurt or killed simply for loving a person of the same sex or simply for looking like you could. Murdered for living your life without any interference in the attacker’s life. There is no justification for this kind of violence, but it happens.

And living a lesbian (as well as gay or bisexual) lifestyle, it is something that must be considered and guarded against.

Somehow “gay bashing” is considered to be a crime against mainly gay men, but I do not think there is any reason for lesbian women not to protect and educate themselves, as there are plenty reported cases of lesbian bashing.

An examples of a transgender (which could easily have been a homosexual) hate crimes is the horrifying story of
Gwen Amber Rose Araujo (February 24, 1985 to October 4, 2002) .

Gwen Araujo was a transgendered teen who was attacked by a group of mean, which eventually led to her tragic death. She was apparently attacked because of the fact that she was a biological male living as a female, which angered her attackers.

Gwen, who was called Lida at the time, met a new group of friends who spent their afternoons and evenings having parties, drinking and using drugs at the home of one of the attackers.
She was alleged to have engaged in sexual activity with two of the men from her new group of friends and was subsequently invited to a party. On 3 October 2002 it was somehow discovered that Gwen was biologically male and an “inspection” was forced on her by the party-goers. Shocked and angered at the discovery, Mike Magidson started choking Gwen. Jose Merel and Jaron Nabors were also implicated in the assault and subsequent murder of Gwen Araujo.

Jason Cazares claimed that he left the house during the attack, but could not leave as he had arrived in Mike magidson’s vehicle. Once the party was cleared out the three men attacked Gwen, in which she was hit over the head with a frying pan and then assaulted with a can of tomatoes, which caused her to bleed severly. Jaron Nabors then hit her with a barbell weight. She was kneed in the head by Mike Magidson and hit against the living room wall with a force strong enough to damage the plaster walling. She was thereafter strangled with a rope in the garage. She was thereafter hog-tied, wrapped up in a blanked and buried in a shallow grave. In the post-mortem it was declared that Gwen Araujo died of strangulation linked to the blunt force injuries to her head.

It took the authorities two weeks before discover Gwen Araujo’s body. a horrifically long time for a mother to fear for her child.

Gay bashing in government was quite serious in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Many gays were forced out of their employment by boards created by United States President Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Examples of gay hate speech that is obviously dangerous and could inspire vicious hate crimes are the following:-

"'Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years,
one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.
Dr. Paul Cameron, a "scientist" often quoted by religious right groups (see below),
speaking at the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference

"Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death (Romans 1:32)," Phelps quoted by State Press (Arizona State University), March 11, 1998.

It seems that gay hate crimes are not limited to the 21st century. An anonymous pamphlet dated 1641 reported the story of John Atherton, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, who was hung for sodomy under a law that he helped to institute. His lover, John Childe, who was also his steward and tithe proctor was also hung (see sketch).

The FBI reported in the United States that 15.6% of hate crimes reported to police in 2004 were based on perceived sexual orientation. 61% of the attacks were against gay men, 14% against lesbians, 2% against heterosexuals and 1% against bisexuals, while attacks against GLBT people at large made up 20%.

"Sexual orientation remains the third-highest recorded bias crime in our country, which underscores that anti-gay hate crimes are a very real problem nationwide," Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, USA.