From July 18, 2007 :
In 1999, a 13-year-old boy by the name of Jesse Dirkhising was raped and murdered by two men
In 2002, mother of four, Mary Stachowicz, was viciously raped and murdered.
These two crimes are terrible in and by themselves but the repercussions continue to be felt by people who had nothing to do with the cases.
You see, the men who killed Dirkhising were gay. And the man who killed Stachowicz was allegedly gay. Supposedly he killed her after she continued to question his orientation.
There is no excuse for the murders of Dirkhising and Stachowicz. Having lost my father to violence, I know the grief and pain of having a murdered love one. I know that no matter how many years passes, these emotions never go away.
But like I said in a past column, I would be angry if my father's death was used to distort world views. And unfortunately, since my father's murderers were African-American (like he and myself), I am sure that there are some racists out there who have used his murder to denigrate black people on the whole.
When Dirkhising was murdered, he became a cause celebre to the anti-gay industry.
Rather than focus on the fact that a child was murdered, they focused on the orientation of the murderers.
They claimed that because the murderers were gay, the media were hesitant to pursue the story. This was a lie of course, but when have you ever known the anti-gay industry to be truthful about our community.
Our friend Peter LaBarbera had field day with the case, even devoting a special web page to the sordid affair, complete with a picture of Dirkhising.
Please bear in mind that since Dirkhising's death, there have been several high profile cases of murdered children, including that of Samantha Runnion and Dantrell Davis; the latter one happening when Davis was caught in gunfire while walking to school.
Strangely enough, the anti-gay industry did not talk about these stories.
Probably because the perpetrators weren't gay.
Nor is it known whether or not they have pushed for laws that would protect children from predators, whether these predators are gay or heterosexual.
And I definitely know that none of them have vocal on gang violence, except for that recent ridiculous moral panic on "lesbian gangs."
But just as he hysterically pushed the Jesse Dirkhising case as an example of the "gay menace" towards children, LaBarbera is claiming that Mary Stachowicz murder proves that lgbts should not be added to hate crimes legislation.
Never mind that the case had nothing to do with hate crimes, but of a young mentally ill young man who took his aggression out on an innocent women.
But who cares about the facts when you have something you can exploit.
And what else can you expect from a man who has a page on his web site devoted to the "Victims of Homosexuals Murderers."
Don't forget to ask for donations, Peter.
It's sad when someone's life is taken away due to violence.
It's even worse when someone uses those crimes to attack people not even involved.
And it's equally sad that lgbts are not judged by our contributions to society but by the criminal behavior of a few who share our orientation.