Wednesday, August 16, 2006

String Of Gay-Bashing Assaults---Who's To Blame?

On July 30th in San Diego, California's Balboa Park, 6 gay men were brutally attacked after attending the San Diego Gay Pride. As attendees started filtering out of the festival, the 6 men had no idea that they were about to be attacked by 4 homophobic men lying in wait in the bushes. The men were armed with 2 baseball bats & a sharp object, presumed to be a knife.
The 6 gay men leaving the festival were set upon in seperate attacks. Four of them, while walking alone.
Four of the victims escaped with minor to moderate injuries, such as bruises. One was stabbed in the back, & the sixth man remains hospitalized with a fractured skull after being hit 10-12 times with a baseball bat. He will need reconstructive surgery, & recieved a tracheotomy tube to help him breathe.
And again, on August 2nd, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported another gay bashing. This time a group of 15 teenagers made anti-gay statements as they attacked a security guard. The San Diego police have officially called this a hate crime.
In response to these latest gay bashings, mroe than 1,000 people gathered on August 14th at the LGBT Community Center, then marched to the Obelisk Bookstore (where there is a metal plaque commemorating the 1991 stabbing death of 17 yr old John Robert Wear, victim of a gay-bashing) & held a street rally there.
Why, 37 years after the birth of the Gay Liberation movement & countless LGBT struggles, do these violent attacks against gays continue?
I feel that the recent passage of laws prohibiting same-sex marriages in state after state, has sent a strong message to gaybashers & bigots everywhere--that the United States goverment views gays & lesbians as less than equal.
Then you have the influence of religious organizations that have embarked on a crudade of sorts, aimed at making sure gays are denied the same rights as straight people, by shoving money down the throats of politicians everywhere---including Bush.
Also, the influence of the U.S. military should be considered. In the face of political threats, Clinton reversed his pre-election promise to end the ban on gays in the military, instead he instituted the "Dont ask, dont tell" policy that is responsible for witch-hunts against LGBT military members.
And in June, the discovery of a Pentagon document that still classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder appeared. Pentagon spokesmen, Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin, announced that this policy is "under review".
Until the goverment, politicians, & religious groups stop promoting bigotry against gays, we can be sure that more disgusting, cowardly, gay-bashing assaults will continue to take place.

News story link