Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter December 15, 2006

The volunteer staff at Stop Hate 2000 would like to wish everybody a very enjoyable holiday season and the best in 2007.

* * *

There are a couple of people to remember this month. In December, Ellis Rubin and Matthew Shepard can be remembered.

The web site has an article about the death of Ellis Rubin, a champion of gay rights. Rubin was 81. About thirty years ago, he fought against a gay rights ordinance in Dade county Florida. In 2004, he joined the Equality Campaign as legal counsel. At his own expense, Ellis Rubin is reported to have represented dozens of same-sex couples in lawsuits in Florida. The story of Ellis Rubin gives hope to those who struggle for human rights and for an end to hate crimes. There is hope, even for those who strongly oppose equality and human rights. The thoughts and prayers of the volunteer staff at Stop Hate 2000 are with Ellis Rubin's family, loved-ones and friends.

Matthew Shepard was born 30 years ago. His life and death helped galvanize public attention on the need address the issue of violence aimed at gay and bisexual people. Information about Matthew Shepard's life can be found on the Stop Hate Matthew Shepard Memorial pages. People wishing to assist the work the Matthew Shepard Foundation can purchase items from the Foundation store, support the Foundation online, or can share their story.

* * *

Our October Newsletter discussed the shootings in Montreal and at the Amish school. Because the shooter at the Amish school, Charles Carl Roberts, is dead, we may never get to understand the reason why he shot the girls at the Amish school. The shootings at the Amish school could be classified as a hate crime. According to a British Broadcasting Corporation news story, there were fifteen male students and ten to twelve female students. Roberts told the male students, the pregnant woman and those with infants to leave. The fact that the gunman chose to let all of the male students leave, might be an indication the crime was motivated by hatred of women. In a Pullman Human Rights Commission article, the FBI definition of a hate crime is described as “a criminal offense committed against the person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offenders bias against race, religion, sexual orientation group, or ethnicity/national origin.” The California Association of Human Relations Organizations defines hate violence as “an aggressive expression of hatred against another person or group of people simply because of who or what they are.” The key element in a hate crime is bias against the group of people against whom the crime was committed. When only girls were the target of Charles Roberts' attack, this appears to be a crime based on bias against a group. While gender is not generally protected by hate crimes legislation, the shooting of the Amish girls appears to be a hate crime.

* * *

A few of the news stories we have been following appear below:

  • Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church gained fame by picketing the funerals of gay people. More recently, some of the church members have picketed the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq. An Associated Press article on the web site states that a Westboro Baptist Church has been ordered by the courts to pay over $3,000 in expenses associated with a summons and a complaint filed by the family of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • A November 15 article on the Advocate says Shahab Darvishi was executed in Iran for sodomy.

  • The Journal Live site has an article about a Bangladeshi family. The family's home was attacked by an arsonist. The grandfather of the family collapsed and died.

  • An Advocate article says Dr. Emery Lane, a GLBT health advocate in Louisville, Kentucky was beaten to death. Two men have been arrested and charged with murder and robbery. The death has not been classified by the police as a hate crime. We hope this was not a hate crime.

  • A very good news item is that the Canadian House of Commons voted against debating same-sex marriages again. Canadian law allows for same-sex marriages. The Conservative government campaigned on holding a vote to open discussion on same-sex marriages again. An article can be read on the PlanetOut web site.

  • A article explains the complaints Eric Rudolph, a man convicted of bombing an Atlanta gay bar, has about his treatment in prison. Evidently, the convicted is in solitary confinement.

Anybody with news about hate crimes or discrimination is welcome to email us.

Back Issues of Newsletter

You can subscribe to the Stophate Newsletter. Our Newsletter will help you keep up to date with information about hate crimes.

Email Us Your Name and type "Subscribe" in the in the Subject Line.



1 1 1