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Why I’m going to a Texas vigil to mourn a lesbian couple

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The more victories the LGBT movement racks up, the more vicious our opponents become.

When I look at the anti-gay extremism in 2012, I’m reminded of 1998’s “Summer of Hate,” which began with a national “ex-gay” advertising campaign, escalated with a flurry of anti-gay legislation in Congress, and ended with the horrifying death of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

“We didn’t know who Matthew would be, but we could have certainly predicted that there would be some very, very tragic violent deaths over the summer,” former Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Elizabeth Birch told the “Today Show” following Shepard’s murder.

Following an eerily similar outpouring of raw hatred coming from politicians and the pulpit, two teenage girlfriends in a five-month relationship were shot in the head with a large caliber handgun in Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, this weekend.

Mary Christine Chapa (left) and Mollie Judith Olgin

Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, died in the attack, while Mary Christine Chapa, 18 was rushed to a hospital where she is now listed in serious but stable condition.

Although it has all the hallmarks of a hate crime, we still don’t know precisely what happened and we should not prematurely jump to conclusions.

“There’s no evidence to suggest that this crime was committed as a bias against the girls or their lifestyle,” said Portland Police Chief Randy Wright. (Although a cop using the odious term “lifestyle” hardly inspires confidence)

Nonetheless, as Birch previously pointed out, we know that a heightened level of anti-gay vitriol inevitably leads to violence. When you have fanatical enemies dedicated to bullying, berating, and belittling, it can come as no surprise when their behavior eventually devolves into brutalizing and bashing.

As if on cue, the Texas Republican Party just released a repulsive platform that went out of its way to demonize the LGBT community:

“We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

It is folly to separate such vituperative voices from the violence that follows. A report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center in November 2010, analyzing FBI data from 1995 to 2008, found that LGBT people are 2.6 times more likely to be attacked than blacks; 4.4 times more likely than Muslims; 13.8 times more likely than Latinos; and 41.5 times more likely than whites.

The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) released their national report on hate violence for 2011. Nationwide there were 30 killings of LGBT Americans due to hate which is ‘the highest yearly total ever recorded.

Could these awful numbers surprise anyone, considering the whackos are coming out of the woodwork?

Exacerbating matters are the dangerously false and inflammatory claims by anti-gay organizations that Christians must choose between gay rights and religious liberty.

For example, in a May 8 Family Research Council fundraising letter focusing on gays in the military, the group’s President Tony Perkins wrote: “Enemies of Christianity, those who would silence the Gospel and eradicate our faith, are pushing hard, working fast…Forcing acceptance of open homosexuality in the military was only the beginning. Muzzling those who speak out against this policy goes hand in hand with it.”

Bryan Fischer, a talk radio host for the American Family Association and major player in GOP politics, has a daily show that reaches a million listeners in thirty-five states. In one broadcast he told his audience, “Homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.”

Here are a few more chilling incidents that recently occurred:

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Filed under: Views & Voices

17 more reader comments:

  1. i thought that was so sad and wrong and straight hateful

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:03pm
  2. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:08pm
  3. Is their an update on the one who was in critical condition? Please let me know..

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:09pm
  4. its funny how they said in that article that “…its against god…” i’m sorry but didn’t our founders of america say ‘seperation of church and state’ ignorant ppl get me angry…and yet after all this h8 towards gays, lesbian, transgender, bi sexuals and anyone else i forgot (sorry) you notice we don’t rise up and say hateful and hurtful things towards them let alone attack them…because we are more understanding i hate to say it but behavioral wise we are better than them…i pray to god who DOES ACCEPT AND LOVE US that one day this will all just be a bad dream. i dont hate anyone. i forgive cause that is what christianity taught me to love and forgive. not to hate and condemn! i am a presbyterian and i am bi sexual and you know what god loves me cause this is how i was made and i am no different than a straight women. i am me and guess what….I AM PROUD!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:10pm
  5. How many people have to die before they get it?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:12pm
  6. Amazing how all the “end bullying” campaigns are gaining momentum at the same time that hateful, bullying mentality is tolerated and encouraged toward the lgbt community.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:13pm
  7. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore :/

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:16pm
  8. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business on who anyone takes home at the end of the day. People are entitled to their privacy.. And no one else gets to decide who anyone loves, as a matter of fact no one gets to decide who lives or dies because of who they are or what they like.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:27pm
  9. This is horrible

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 7:41pm
  10. A hater or haters may have taken this young woman’s life and possibly her girlfriend’s life too. Hate attacked love because that is what the devil always wants… The one who pulled the trigger may well think they are better of godly for this sickening crime, but they have to either be dangerously mentally ill or full-on in the grip of the devil to do this thing. God judges hearts, not gun-toting Texas haters, which is sick anyhow. I know some awesome folks from Texas, gay, lesbian, bi, straight, asexual, even ones who own guns & have strong opinions, but they are not haters, murderers of young girls sitting in a park with the person they love.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 9:48pm
  11. </3

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10:26pm
  12. This is horrible </3 it needs to stop! Theres not a damn thing wrong with same sex couples

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 11:05pm
  13. is the girl in the hospital being protected

    Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 11:15pm
  14. Tragic.

    Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 12:15am
  15. heartbreaking !

    Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 1:22am
  16. i read this the other day and it just broke my heart…

    Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:58am
  17. sigh…

    Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 6:18pm