Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter July, 2010

Willís father commented about how difficult school is for queer students. ďMost parents worry about if they make a grade, make a team, or do things like that. When we sent Willi to school, we worried that it would be the last time we would see him.Ē Stated in interview in the documentary movie Anti-Gay Hate Crime: A & E Investigative Reports. Available from Amazon.Com and Amazon.Ca.
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Mexico's queer community is suffering a staggering loss of life. Advocate reports from Mexico indicate seventeen people were murdered when gunmen opened fire on a gay party in Torreon, Mexico. The Advocate article notes local police think hate could be a factor, but seem to favor the theory that drug trafficking was the reason. A 365gay.com article states the death toll has risen to eighteen. Articles on the SameSame and Fox News web sites indicate the death toll stands at 18, and informs us that over 200 bullets were shot into the party. An Associated Press You Tube video does not mention the party was for gay people. Some of the news reports, such as a CBC News article, indicate the gunmen opened fire without saying anything. The SameSame news article cites a witness as reporting an attacker said to kill all of the people.

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In January of 2009, a police officer working in the subway system in Oakland, California shot a Black man, Oscar Grant. We gather the officer, Johannes Mehserle, had tried to subdue the man. The jury did not find Mehserie guilty of either murder or voluntary manslaughter. Instead, he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The court ruling caused increased racial tensions. In Oakland, a protest march was held, and there are reports of some violence too. An article about the trial and sentencing can be read on the British Broadcasting Corporation web site.

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A Voice of America article carries news of violent classes between Islamic and Christian groups in the Nigerian city of Jos. A curfew was enacted to help maintain peace.

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From Uganda comes a story that leaves readers feeling troubled and unsettled. The lives of those who support gay rights in Uganda now appear to be in danger. The head of Pasikali Kashube, a Ugandan queer rights activist, was found by Ugandan police. An article on the 365gay.com web site states his severed head was found in a latrine. A few days earlier, we are informed, what could be Kashube's body was found in the area. The body is reported to have been sexually mutilated. An article on the Queerty web site indicates the body was found about a half a kilometre from the farm where Kashube's head was found. Readers are cautioned that the article contains a You Tube news video, which has content some might find disturbingly graphic.

Waymon Hudson, a commentator on Huffington Press, wonders if there could be a link between this murder and recent calls for violence from those who are in favor of a proposed bill that could result in gay Ugandans being executed. The 365gay.com article indicates another gay rights activist, Rev. Henry Nsubuga, has been missing since he gave a sermon support gay rights in Uganda.

Most of the news articles cited in this news item are from GLBT web sites. The Yahoo news system also has an article about this murder. Information in the Yahoo article seems to confirm what was found on the queer news sites. An Episcopal News article about the murder can be found Episcopal Life Online.

After news of the horrifically violent murder was made public, news articles started to surface that paint a slightly different picture. Some people feel the person murdered was not a gay rights activist in Uganda. An article on the Back 2 Stonewall site says it has been confirmed that Kashube had no connections to Integrity Uganda. Jim Burroway, on the Box Turtle Bulletin, indicates the chair of Integrity Uganda says Kashube was not with Integrity. There are contradictory news reports. We will try to keep you updated as more news about this ghastly murder becomes public.

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An article on the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission web site states the agency received 3,273 charges of religious discrimination in 2008. Over 2,700 of those charges were resolved.

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News reports from Iran do not look good. A news report on The Miami Herald web site cites sources with Freedom and Democracy iran. According to those sources, Ebraim Hamidi was sentenced to death for having same-gender sexual relationships. The article indicates around 107 Iranians are believed to have executed for homosexuality between 1979 and 1990.

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The media is full of stories about Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged from the military for being gay. Since Donít Ask Donít Tell was implemented, over 13,000 American servicemen have been fired for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Many talented and experienced people, such as Dan Choi, are no longer in the American armed forces. This results in a weakened military. One would think that since a strong military is something the conservatives want that conservatives in America would be calling for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

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Concerns about the possibility there is a direct link between Christianity and homophobia in Uganda have been simmering since a bill was introduced into the Ugandan Parliament that would, in some cases, allow for the execution of gay people. Some people have drawn a link between some conservative American Christians and the rise in homophobia in Uganda. The involvement of a Ugandan pastor in promoting public passion and a public outcry against homosexuality causes deep concern.

The role of religion in homophobia is a delicate topic. Almost all church denominations officially condemn violence. They do not advocate violent actions against people. Unfortunately, there are times when church denominations and ministers unintentionally end up promoting violence against those who are deemed to be outside of God's will. They do that every time ministers use angry tones to rage against gays, proclaim God's judgement against the gay community, and advocate using ďanyĒ method necessary to stop gay people from having the equal human rights. Violence is unintentionally promoted when ministers, Christian ministries, and church denominations paint gay people or same-sex marriage as an enemy of the state, as enemies of society, and as enemies of the family. Painting a minority group as enemies to things people know, love, and value helps establish a climate where violence against minority groups is seen to be religiously, and morally justified.

Those who in one breath portray gay and bisexual people as enemies of society, country, church, and God, and in the next breath say they do not advocate violence against sexual minorities, cannot wash their hands from all responsibility in establishing a climate that is dangerous for sexual minorities. Like Pilot, when Jesus was crucified, they attempt to publicly wash their hands of responsibility. But they cannot escape the court of public opinion. Pastors, congregations, and denominations that constantly cry wolf regarding everything ranging from protecting gay people from hate crimes to same-sex marriage lose credibility as spiritual, moral, and community leaders. When countries that provide basic human rights to gay people do not, as predicted, fall apart, or face the sudden and devastating judgement of God, these spiritual leaders are increasingly seen as irrelevant and lacking credibility.

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Bullying in schools is an ongoing problem faced by students. Because there is a trend toward zero tolerance bullying policies in schools, school staff and faculty also struggle with bullying. From the United Kingdom, we learned of a 15 year old who was fatally stabbed during a fight in a London school. An article about the boy's death can be read on the British Broadcasting Corporation web site.

An article on the Business Week web site indicates that students who have difficulty resolving problems with other students are more likely to become either bullies or the victims of bullying. Poorer social problem-solving skills appears to be a factor. Evidently, bullies and the victims appear to have similar problems with elements of their self-concept. People interested in bullying will want to read the Business Week article.

Cyber bullying is becoming more common. Unfortunately, some of the social networking sites are being used by some students to bully. An article on My4News informs us there is a new facebook application that allows parents to monitor cyber bullying through facebook. The application, Go-Go-STAT, alerts parents when inappropriate words, pictures, or postings are made.

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A bill allowing for gay marriages in Argentina passed the lower house, the Argentine Senate, and was signed into law. The Catholic church asked the Senate to have the same-sex marriage bill voted on by the general public. The Argentine Senate rejected the request. Additional information about this element of the news story can be read on the OnTop Magazine web site. A British Broadcasting Corporation article indicates at Sunday Mass people were asked to protest against the approval of gay marriage in the Argentine Senate. According to another British Broadcasting Corporation article, the law, also allows same-sex couples to adopt children. With passage of the bill, Argentina is the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. The British Broadcasting Corporation article has a map of the world showing the countries where gay marriages are legal.

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In our February Newsletter, we provided some statistics on Anti-Semitism in Canada. Anti-Semitism reports for 2009 other areas are becoming available. The Anti-Defamation League web site has short descriptions of reported anti-Semitic acts from numerous countries. Reported anti-Semitic acts range from graffiti to vandalized cemeteries, to physical assaults, to a rabbi having part of his finger bitten off.

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Recently, we provided a link to a You Tube channel, where a gay man living in Edmonton, Canada reported being punched in a restaurant by a man who did not like seeing two gay men on a date. The gay man filed a report with the Edmonton Police and appears to be very happy how seriously the Edmonton Police took his assault. A video updating us on the assault can be seen on the Grimace TV You Tube channel.


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


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