Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Homophobic Death Threats Against Gay Seattle Mayor, Councilwoman Draw Hate Charges

Michael Munro Taylor, 32, accused of threatening to assassinate Seattle's first openly gay Mayor.

Michael Munro Taylor, 32, accused of threatening to assassinate Seattle’s first openly gay Mayor.

Seattle, Washington – Openly gay Mayor Ed Murray and Councilwoman Kshama Sawant were targeted with a cascade of hate-filled, anti-gay messages on Facebook on January 14–just nine days after they were sworn into office in Seattle.  Now, a Magnolia man stands accused of cyberstalking and hate crimes because of his alleged homophobic tirades and threats, according to Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch.  SPLC reports that King County prosecutors charge Michael Munro Taylor, 32, with threatening the life of Mayor Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor, and Sawant, an outspoken socialist, in a torrent of incriminating emails sent to the city officials.

Seattle Post Intelligencer, in a major post on the crimes, reports that one of the messages sent to Mayor Murray’s Facebook page referred to the assassination of Harvey Milk, the San Francisco gay city supervisor murdered in 1978 alongside his mayor by a disgruntled former supervisor.  In court papers, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff stated: “The posting included many homophobic slurs, a description of killing babies, rape and death references, and several menacing references to Harvey Milk.”  The court papers go on to allege that Taylor’s messages urged Mayor Murray to kill himself, and bristled with “frightening and rage-filled” screeds calling for feminists to be raped, Mexican babies to be exterminated, and police to be killed.
The Mayor’s Office contacted Seattle Police, who traced the messages to Taylor’s Facebook page.  Taylor was taken into custody on January 16, and is being held on $600,000 bond.  He is charged with malicious harassment under the state’s hate crimes law, two counts of cyberstalking, and a further count of harassment.  He is to be arraigned on February 5 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle.

January 25, 2014 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, cyberstalking, gay men, GLBTQ, harassment, Harvey Milk, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, LGBTQ, Seattle, Slurs and epithets, Washington State | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Homophobic Death Threats Against Gay Seattle Mayor, Councilwoman Draw Hate Charges

   

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