Gay Bashing In Utah

Many people have gotten upset when they hear the Gay Rights Movement compared to the Women’s Rights or Civil Rights movements, that it’s not the same. I agree that there are big differences between the three, but the similarities are striking. I’m going to talk about one of those similarities today, violence.

Throughout history, people who are different have been subject to all manner of offenses. From private and public vocal ridicule, to discrimination and violence. Sometimes you hear about them and they even catch the nation’s attention for a short time like Matthew Shepard. But most often you don’t ever hear a thing. for instance did you hear about fifteen year old Lawrence King? He was murdered just days after he came out publicly at school that he was gay in Oxnard, CA. This young boy was shot on Feb 12, 2008 by a 14 year old school mate in the computer lab of his school.

Sounds like a story you would have heard about doesn’t it? But you don’t, you don’t hear about the vast majority of these events, including here in Utah. Did you hear about David Bell and his partner Dan Fair? On July 4th, 2008 their neighbors through an all night party that kept up the party throwers kids. After several hours without sleep, the 2 children went to Mr. Bell and Mr Fair’s house next door looking for a quiet place to sleep. When the children’s parents realized where they went, they and several other family members and friends broke down their neighbors doors, took the kids and left both Mr. Bell and Mr. Fair close to death.

Now again, violence has struck in Utah. Early this morning, a 50 year old man left a bar/gym near 1400 W and 200 S that is well known for being gay-friendly. Before reaching his car, he was assaulted from behind, had several sexual-orientation slurs yelled at him, and beaten with a bottle.

This needs to be noticed!! We cannot let any of these hate crimes pass without our attention and involvement. When will the legislature step up and force the courts to hand out harsher punishments and stricter guidlines for hate-motivated crimes if we don’t voice our anger and resentment?

To see the story about Lawrence King, see http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/23/us/23oxnard.html

To see the story about the 12/3/08 Utah bashing, see http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_11128265

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Casandra on December 3, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Utah never added sexual orientation or gender identity to the hate crimes bill, yes? As I recall it was narrowly defeated several years ago, but I admit that I haven’t looked into it.

    Reply

  2. Posted by ethingtoneric on December 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Casandra;

    I believe that is correct

    Eric

    Reply

  3. Posted by Rhonda on December 7, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Yes, the hate crimes bill did not get passed.

    HRC is putting in some bills into congress. We need to show our support.

    I am talking to HRC to see if a sit-in will help when these bills go to the house, (I believe in January), to show our support for these bills and to say NO MORE!!!

    These hates crimes need to STOP. A hate crime of any kind should not be acceptable here in Utah or anywhere.

    Good writing Eric.

    Reply

  4. Thank you for writing about this.

    Interestingly, I just read that prosecutors will be revisiting the David Bell incident.

    Here’s the link: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_11138078?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com

    Reply

    • Posted by ethingtoneric on December 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Joshua;

      Thanks for your comment. I did see the trib article the other day, but unfortunately the way things are still leaning, the only person who might face trial would be David Bell himself, for these supposed kidnap charges. Sigh, the world we live in.

      Eric

      Reply

  5. I see a lot of similarities between the 3 movements, and the similarities are even closer to the women’s movement. Women’s rights and gay rights activists should really be allies because the same bigotry that hurts one of us really hurts both of us.

    Reply

    • Posted by ethingtoneric on December 8, 2008 at 7:05 pm

      Hi greenjenni!

      I agree that the movements are incredibly similar. It’s a bit of a fine line comparing them though, a lot of feelings tend to get hurt pretty quickly. Unfortunate, but I can still understand the problems with it. Thanks again for the comment!

      Eric

      Reply

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