Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter – March 13, 2006

Fear may help breed hate crimes. There is a human tendency to lash out against people or ideas who frighten them. The deeper the level of fear, the more likely there is to be a response of anger. When there is reason to fear for one's physical life, the emotional reaction can be very strong. There were terrorist attacks in London in early July, 2005. A July 23, 2005 Guardian Unlimited article states the Metropolitan Police “recorded 800 race and faith hate crimes since the July 7 attacks.” The more we know about groups of people who are different than we are, the less we tend to fear them. Should you find yourself feeling very afraid of a group of people, that may be a sign that you need to learn more about that group of people.

People interested in researching trends in crime may find the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation web site very helpful. The FBI web site has statistics on different types of crime. On the FBI web site, one can find hate crime statistics from 1995 to 2004. There is information about data collection guidelines and there is a training guide for hate crime data collection. The 2005 hate crime statistics do not appear yet. The statistical information for the United States for 2004 is interesting. According to the statistics, it appears racially motivated hate crimes are the most common form of hate crime. Just under 54% of the hate crimes reported were racially motivated. Religious hate crimes came in second place, at 16.7%. Hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation were in third place, at 15.6%.

We encourage everybody who thinks they were a victim of crime based on race, religion, ethnic background, gender, or sexual orientation to report the crime and to ask that the police log the crime as a hate crime. Having accurate statistics about hate crimes is an important part of the struggle to end hate crimes. The California Attorney General's Office has an online hate crimes pamphlet. The pamphlet contains information about how to prevent hate crimes and how to report hate crimes. One important thing people can do to help reduce hate crimes is to ask political figures what their position on hate crimes is. That can be very effective during political campaigns.

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

  • In the news for this month, an 18-year old walked into a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts armed with a hatchet and a gun. The youth wounded three people with the weapons. According to news reports, the young man went into a gay bar, got a drink and asked if it was a gay bar. After learning he was in a gay bar, the man went to the back of the bar where some men were playing pool and attacked two men with a hatchet. He shot three people before leaving the bar. A good description of the attack can be found on The Patriot Leader web site. Anti-Semetic comments were written on his bedroom walls. Additional information about the story can be found on the WFSB/Eyewitness News Everywhere, Anti-Defamation League web sites. The suspect, Jacob Robida, was shot and killed in a gun battle with the police. A CNN news article provides more information about the gun battle, in which Robida killed two people. The Human Rights Campaign president is calling for more uniform hate crimes. In his statement, he summarizes the crime as a man walking into a gay bar, asking if it is a gay bar and then shooting people.

  • Across the nation, from the San Francisco Bay area, we learned that a man who attacked two men outside a gay bar. An article about the conviction can be read on the Bay Area Reporter web site.

  • A article reports on two murders in the Dallas area that have caused fear in the gay community. Fortunately, the police do not think there are any similarities in the murders. Frank Gonzales and Gary Hashaway, both only 43, were murdered. The article states there have been eight gay murders in Dallas since 2004. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the men who died.

  • A candidate for the United States Senate, Merrill Keiser, Jr., is cited as being in favor of the death penalty for gay people. The WorldNetDaily and the Advocate have stories about Merrill Kesier. Should the news report be correct, this is a very serious situation. This would be a case where a person standing for election to a powerful political office is advocating making being gay a capital offense.

  • A more positive note about sexual orientation based hatred was forwarded to us. Christianity Today has an article about a man who was convicted of murdering a gay man. Gary Titus was convicted of murdering a gay teacher, Ken Eaton. According to the article, Gary Titus' brother came out to him and initially wanted nothing to do with Gary. Fortunately, Gary's brother and a spiritual experience were able to help him overcome some of his hatred of gay people. Gary makes a very important statement about religion and homosexuality. While Gary Titus feels same gender sexual activities are not supported by the Bible, he comments, “Today I see many people using the Bible as a weapon of hate against the gay community. Their actions make them gay bashers . . . People who profess a Christian belief yet respond to worldly situations out of hatred not only hurt their communities, but they damage the unity of believers.”

  • James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is reported to support legislation that would allow same-sex couples some of rights heterosexual couples enjoy. More about Dobson's position can be read in an article on the Planet Out web site.

  • Fred Phelps is famous for picketing at the funerals of gay people. According the a Planet Out news article, Fred Phelps recently started to protest at the funerals of American soldiers. The article says some states are dealing with the problem of people protesting at funerals by passing bills keeping protesters at least 300 feet away from funeral and memorial services. An Associated Press article on the Planet Out web site cites a member of Fred Phelps' church as saying they do not plan on protesting at the funerals of soldiers in states where there are laws against protesting at funerals.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union sued the chief of police who blocked attempts to save a gay man's life, because he felt the man was HIV positive. According to an article on the Planet Out web site, Claude Green Junior, a 43 year old gay man, lost control of his vehicle. A friend in the truck managed to pull the truck to the side of the road and performed CPR. The chief of police arrived later, ordered the friend who was performing CPR to stop. When the friend continued to perform CPR, the chief of police is reported to have physically prevented him from continuing to administer CPR. Unfortunately, Claude Green Junior passed away later. He suffered from coronary artery disease. Any article that reports the police prevented a gay person from receiving first aid is very disturbing.

  • One of the long standing assertions of people who are not comfortable with gay people is that homosexuality is a choice. There is a growing feeling that sexual orientation is not a choice. A recent Planet Out article states an unusual cell trait has been found in some mothers who have two or more gay sons.

The book, Pink Blood, was briefly mentioned in our last newsletter. We are mentioning it again in this newsletter, because the book is a must read for people interested in homophobia-based hate crimes. Information about the book can be found on the Pinkblood web site. The book can be purchased at or

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

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