Tag Archives: Federal Hate Crime Laws

October 6, 1998: The Murder of Matthew Shepard

October 6, 1998: Remembering The Heartbreaking Murder of Matthew Shepard

23 years ago this night, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson for the first time at the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming and became the victim of one of the most brutal and heinous anti-gay hate crimes in history.

McKinney and Henderson said that they would give Matthew a ride home but instead  they drove him to a remote rural area and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip, and torture Matthew, tying him to a fence and leaving him to die. Matthew hung there all night in the freezing, in pain and alone until he was discovered 18 hours later by Aaron Kreifels, a cyclist who initially mistook Shepard for a scarecrow.  Matthew was still alive but by that time has slipped into in a coma.

Matthew suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He experienced severe brainstem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature, and other vital functions and there  were about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face, and neck. His injuries were so severe that doctors could not operate.

Matthew was pronounced dead at 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998.

Both McKinney and Henderson were convicted of the murder, and each received two consecutive life sentences.

What happened to Matthew angered both America and the world. His senseless murder garnered immense media attention that brought forth and shone a light on the bigotry and hated that LGBT individuals endure

The life and death of Matthew Shepard changed the way we talk about, and deal with, hate in America. Since his death, Matt’s legacy has challenged and inspired millions of individuals to erase hate in all its forms. Although Matt’s life was short, his story continues to have a great impact on young and old alike.  His legacy lives on in thousands of people like you who actively try to eradicate the hatred from those who preach against us and fight to replace it with understanding, compassion and acceptance.

On October 2009, the United States Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (commonly the “Matthew Shepard Act” or “Shepard/Byrd Act” for short), and on October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law

Rest well sweet Matthew. We shall never forget.

The "Far Right Christians Help Kill Gay Kids" Flow Chart

The ever awesome and brillant Rob Tisinai created the Christomaniac hate flow-chart above using the quotes from Maggie Gallagher, Theodore “Vox Day” Beale, and Sen. Jim DeMint.  You can read Rob’s FULL Post over at Box Tuurtle Review by clicking his name above. 

Wold be Soilder John Richard Shannon Bashes Man After Screaming That He"hates faggots" In Palm Beach Bar

John Richard Shannon who was supposed to join the Army today blew off some steam on Thursday night right before HE gets to join the Army at the Hotel Biba bar patron in West Palm Beach, FL by screaming that “he hates faggots” while accosting  a group of people in the hotel. One of the men defended himself and his friends,  incensing Shannon even more.  Shannon then then displayed one of his hands, which was in a cast, telling the man that the cast was the result of “beating up a faggot”  Onlookers say then Shannon began screaming “I hate faggots!” and jumping up and down until a hotel employees escorted him to outside.

After being thrown out Shannon snuck back in through a back entrance, found the man he was arguing with and hen smashed  the man he was arguing with in the face  with his hand in a cast, knocking him out.
Oh, the man who Shannon gay bashed.  Wasn’t gay.

Shannon was to enlist in the army on Sunday. Instead, he is being held on $25,000 bond, charged with aggravated battery and despite that the man who Shannon bashed was not gay his charges were super-sized by “evidencing prejudice while committing offense.” (Hate Crime)

9 Teenagers Attack Lone 20 Year Old Gay Man In Orkando, FL – Police Investigating It As A Hate Crime

A-20-year-old, Orlando, FL man who wants his name to remain anonymous told deputies he was walking in the area of Long and Barbara roads when he was approached by the group. The victim told investigators he was asked whether he was gay before the attack.

The victim said the attackers first asked to use his cell phone and then chased him across a field

“One asked if I was gay, and I said, ‘What if I am?  The next thing I know, I felt somebody hit me from behind, and then they punched me”

Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said because he was targeted because of his sexual orientation, the case will be investigated as a hate crime.

The Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals in Orange County, they understand what the victim is going through. They cited nearly 1,300 attacks in 2008 based on sexual orientation alone.

The center itself was vandalized, and a security system was installed.

Tennesse Lesbian Couple Harassed and Victimized. Home Destroyed By Arson

Carol Ann Stutte and her partner, Laura Stutte of Vonore, TN are afraid to return to whats left of their home after being victims of an arson and having the word “queers” spray painted on their garage.  The couple, who have been together for more than 16 years, were in Nashville celebrating the five-year anniversary of moving into their Vonore home, the night it was burned to the ground.

Carol Stutte said she and Laura have been being harassed and threatened, specifically by one neighbor, on and off for about five years.“The last in-depth threats were several weeks ago,” The couple tried to ignore the threats, but eventually decided to file a report with the Sheriff’s Office.

“It is an arson and we are continuing the investigation  said Detective Travis Jones, with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department

Becky Lucas, president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Maryville, said she is outraged by the Vonore arson. “We are hopeful that the authorities will investigate it fully and that this couple will get justice.  I think this happens every day to people in this community and many times they don’t speak up because they are afraid. Everybody deserves basic human rights.”

Catholic High School Students Protest Dismissal Of Lesbian Dean of Students, Christine Judd From Cathedral High School In Springfield, MA (Video)

Last week Christine M. Judd was forced to resign as dean of students and athletic director at Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA.  Judd has been at Cathedral for 12 years, working her way up from science teacher to dean of students and athletic director. Her promotions speak to her abilities. The school’s Website describes her as “one of the key members of the faculty and staff who serve as positive role models for the students.” So why the forced resignation?

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield forced Judd to resign because she is a lesbian who married her female partner last month.

“Without being specific to this matter, it should be clear that all employees of our Catholic schools are made aware of our policies and regulations,” said diocesan spokesman Mark E. Dupont. “This includes language that clearly states that whenever by public example, an employee engages in or espouses conduct which contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, that employee may be subject to disciplinary action. To do otherwise would be in contradiction to the values we believe in and are teaching in these same schools,” he said.

So in a nutshell, So, twelve years of hard work dedication means absolutely nothing the day these sycophants discover she’s legally married another woman.  The statement that Dupont gave above is not only ridiculous but also hypocritical  “This includes language that clearly states that whenever by public example, an employee engages in or espouses conduct which contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, that employee may be subject to disciplinary action…”

Obviousl this disciplinary action is just limited to just a witch hunts of gays and lesbians, or are divorced people, people who use birth control, had abortions, sex before marriage, etc. purged as well?  I highly doubt that or else Catholic schools would have no faculty at all.

Luckily the students at Cathedral High School saw Judd’s forced resignation for what it really is,   hhomophobic hate and discrimination and they too to the streets yesterday MA to rally for Judd and show their disgust at her forced resignation.

Ironically, Springfield. MA is named the 13th friendliest city in the U.S. for gays and lesbians.

Openly Gay Kansas House of Representatives Candidate Dan Manning Receives Death Threat

Dan Manning, who is is running for the Kansas House of Representatives in the state’s 91st District is a 29-year-old West Point grad and eight-year Army veteran who was discharged under DADT and i9s now also a victim of a hate crime. This weekend, Manning found a ransom-style note attached to his front door threatening to behead and kill him

Dan’s opponent is long-time incumbent Brenda Landwehr. Landwehr, a notorious far-right conservative, has been a vocal opponent of equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgendered Kansans. Since February, she has used Dan’s sexual orientation to stir up her constituent. She has gone so far as to use language that Dan was told was “too offensive” to repeat.

This weekend, the homophobia and name-calling took a dangerous and criminal turn.

Dan arrived home from work on Saturday to find a death threat attached to his front door (above).

The note is clearly an offensive way to use threats of deadly violence in an attempt to intimidate and silence Dan and his campaign and, by extension, our entire community and our interests in Topeka. Dan has no intentions of backing down and has seen this latest example of bigotry as proof that his campaign must go on. He and his campaign team’s resolve is now stronger than ever

Manning Tweeted a response to the threat on Twitter in the form of a quote: 
“With vision there is no room to be frightened. No reason for intimidation. It’s time to march forward! Let’s be confident and positive!”
A BRAVE man who DESERVES our support.  –  Visit Dan Manning’s site HERE

John McCains’s BIG GAY Meltdown On The Senate Floor Over D.A.D.T and Hate Crimes (Video)

Grandpa Munster, John McCain had a major hissy fit on the Senate floor yesterday as he obstructed Senator Carl Levin’s (D-MI) attempts to schedule floor debate on the Defense Authorization bill for when the Senate returns from its one month recess,

So why is Mr. Senility pissed?  Because last year The Hate Crmes Act was attached to the Defense Authorization bill and this year D.A.D.T might be attached to Defense Authorization bill.  So mcCain is objcting to us GAYS!

It”s like this guy is the Manchurian Candidtae for the Family Research Council.

The Senate needs Term Limits, a Mandatory Retirement Age, and an Idiot Test,.


The NAACP Recieves Death Threats From Tea Baggers After Asking The Tea Party To Reject Racism. Meanwhile in Cincinnati…….

The NAACP has received a number of bigoted death threats and chilling voicemails at local units and chapters around the countrry after the passing of last week’s resolution to encourage Tea Party leaders to rreject and fight racism within their ranks,

CLICK HERE to listen to one..  (Caution it is VERY disturbing and NWSF)

Meanwhile in Cincinnati, OH.  In 2009, the local NAACP gave money to COAST, a right-winged group founded by Tea Party activist Chris Finney, featured in the clip below. Finney who is also a founding member of the Ohio Anti-Gay Hate Group the Citzens For Community Values later last year also became the Chair of Legal Redress for the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP because of his good friend Christopher Smiterman the NAACP local President.who threatened the Cincinnati Gay Community if they made waves over his appointment. 

Kind of fucked up, huh?

Gay Basher Gets 45 Day Sentence for Assaults on Three Gay Men Because NYC Judge Ronald A. Zweibel Doesn’t Think Calling People "Faggot" And Beating Them Constitutes A Hate Crime


In 2009 during Gay Pride Weekend  and the 40th Anniversary os the Stonewall Riots, Driton Nicaj committed three assaults on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, including one attack on a gay man which was originally charged as a hate crime.  And what was his sentence?  45 days.  Because the Judge who heard the case, Judge Ronald A. Zweibel dismissed the hate crime elements like callinf domeone “faggot,” while you beat the shit out them because it was “just typical trash-talking.”

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” said Joseph Holladay, (pictured above) who was assaulted on East 85th Street.  “It’s not justice. I didn’t expect him to go away for years… I certainly didn’t expect it to end up being 45 days.”

In a deal with the Manhattan district attorney, Nicaj pleaded guilty to the assaults and began his sentence on May 20. He was released on June 9, of this year after accounting for time served and good behavior.

Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), which serves the queer community, agreed.  “Faggot is a word that is used in a very specific context and with a very specific meaning,” she said. “To us, it’s clear that this is a hate crime.”

But wait it gets even worse……

The victim Joesph Holland is also critical of AVP, which highlighted his case by including him in a July 1 press conference where it released its annual hate crime statistics“They were no help whatsoever,” Holland says. “These people, the AVP, are supposed to be checking in with the police, checking in with the DA, looking out for my interests…They were just useless.”

And of course Sharon Stapel will not respond to Hollands remarks citing that AVP doesn’t discuss thier clients. (Even though their clients will discuss them.)

Tell me, do we have even ONE large LGBT Organization that is NOT inept?