OUT AND ABOUT: Crime should not slow fight for LGBT rights
Two assailants beat a man Oct. 8 in Queens, N.Y. for being openly gay.
The victim, Jack Price, spent several days in a coma. His two alleged attackers, Daniel Aleman and Daniel Rodriguez, are in police custody.’
Captured within the media frenzy that followed the attack was the testimony of one Marcel Gelmi, a friend of Rodriguez’s. ‘
In an interview with WABC Channel 7 in New York, Marcel claimed that Price deserved his ‘beat down’ because he was openly gay. Marcel then displayed his tattoo of the famous Leviticus quote regarding homosexuality that certain people like to bring up every now and then.
What’s interesting about this is not Marcel’s quoting of Leviticus 18:22, but that just a few lines later is the phrase: ‘Ye shall not make any cuttings into your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you,’ (Leviticus 19:28).
In the state of Washington, Referendum 71 is being spearheaded by state Sen. Val Stevens. This referendum would uphold or undo previously passed legislation that extends certain marriage rights to members of domestic partnerships and elderly couples.
An open letter that Stevens wrote bashing the referendum was published on a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reader’s blog. In the letter, Stevens asked if the referendum signified ‘the final battle,’ declaring that it would ‘strip away the protections of traditional marriage that were ensured with the passage of (the Defense of Marriage Act).”
Stevens continued by asking whether or not the legislation would allow gays and lesbians to ‘take control of our culture and push their depraved lifestyle on our children and families.’
University studies student Mark Phillips was disturbed by the quote.
‘It’s funny when you think about it, but it also shows how scary some of the people that still have problems with gays are.’ I think it’s good, though, that average people are starting to come around,’ Phillips said.
While general acceptance of gays and lesbians in America is improving, the numbers of reported hate crimes against them is on the rise. ‘
According to FBI statistics, the number of reported hate crimes driven by sexual orientation rose roughly 20 percent between 2005 and 2007.’
However, as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community moves closer toward the rights that they have been fighting for decades to obtain, it is imperative that they not allow the cowardly attacks of hate mongers to stand in their way. ‘
Despite the lack of media coverage of the National Equality March in Washington D.C. on Oct. 11, the event did prove that there is solidarity within the LGBT community, and unity is what is needed more than anything. ‘ ‘