September 27, 2014

Jumping the gun on Philly "hate crime"

Back on the 19th I wrote a post ridiculing for, among other things, offering up a sympathetic look at one of the alleged attackers of a gay couple. It appears I may have been hasty in voicing my frustration with the inconsistency of so-called "hate crime" laws, and about the nature of that apparent "hate" attack in particular.

While I still feel that any hate crimes legislation is laughable if it doesn't include provisions for gay Americans, it seems there was (a lot) more to the story of the gay couple's beating than previously told. For instance:

According to court records, the couple, ages 28 and 27, were walking around 10:30 p.m. when they encountered a group of friends out celebrating a birthday.

The couple and the group exchanged words, leading to an argument that resulted in an altercation, during which members of the group used antigay slurs, according to the records. One man suffered a broken jaw, broken orbital bones, and a cut that required 24 stitches; the other, facial fractures.

Attorneys for Williams and Knott have characterized the incident as a mutual fight and not motivated by the victims' sexual orientation.

OK, so it wasn't just the group berating the couple for merely being gay. Both parties apparently tossed around some epithets and then things got out of control.

This doesn't justify the beating; however, how often have we read, say, about a black-on-white attack where racial epithets were used against the victims ... but no hate crimes charges were filed (because the motive ascribed was "robbery/economic")? If the gay couple in this case uttered some nasty words themselves, then why isn't their attackers' motivation then, just "retributive?"

If hate crimes laws are to be used in addition to other charges, then -- again -- they need to be utilized consistently. (But don't hold your breath.)

RELATED: The LGBT community's hypocrisy.

Posted by Hube at September 27, 2014 12:22 PM | TrackBack

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