Friday, March 02, 2007

A Rash of Hate Crimes

Maybe it's just me, but has anyone else noticed a rash of anti-gay hate crimes lately? Here're the stories I've read about in just the last week or so:

A 21-year-old male in New Jersey was beaten up for "wearing pink pants." The police believe it was an anti-gay assault.

A 72-year-old man was beaten by another man who yelled anti-gay slurs at the openly gay victim. The victim later died from his injuries (this occured about 2 weeks ago).

Police arrested a 24-year-old UMass student for assaulting a gay peer while yelling homophobic remarks at him.

In Santa Cruz, CA, a man was beaten by 3 men that yelled homophobic remarks at him during the assault. The attackers first became upset when the gay man inadvertantly cut them off in traffic.

An employee of Mercedes Benz and AutoNation allegedly attacked a man at the dealership and used discriminatory language about his sexual orientation during the assualt.

Ok, so that's all in just the week or two. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

I got to thinking about this topic because the other day, I read this post from Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin. Jim attended Love Won Out, an ex-gay conference put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus. During one of the meetings an Exodus staffer, Mike Haley, told the crowd that Christians should be the first to stand up and speak out when tragedies like what happened to Matthew Sheppard occur. But, here we are with 5 incidents in the last 2 weeks, and Exodus, Focus on the Family, and others have remained silent. As Jim points out, their words seem a little hollow given the current silence during a period when there seems to be such good opportunity to speak out against anti-gay violence. I guess politics ends up winning over promises and what's right in this case.


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