Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Florida Woman Brutally Raped for Being “Dyke” and “Lesbian”

Lesbian rapeOrlando, Florida – A rape victim says she was violated by three men under a downtown Orlando overpass on Sunday.  The woman who remains unidentified for her own protection, told police that her assailants attacked her as she paused to do a good deed after leaving a popular LGBT club.  As they pressed the attack, and raped her, the victim said the men yelled anti-lesbian slurs at her: “dyke” and “lesbian.”  One of the rapists reportedly snarled, “I’ll show you what a REAL man feels like!”

According to News 13, police are investigating the attack as a bias-motivated hate crime.  The woman, who had left Club Revolution, stopped under the overpass to give a homeless man some change and a cold soda, when the three rapists charged up in their vehicle, caught her, ripped off her clothes, and assaulted her as they heckled her for being a lesbian.  Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices”, in all the reports of the assault they gathered, says nothing to confirm or deny that the victim is indeed a lesbian.  It does not matter.  The woman’s sexual orientation was assumed to be lesbian by the homophobes who raped her.  The crime is heinous in whatever case, and the Orlando Police Department is correct to investigate it as a hate crime.

WESH/NBC News Orlando reminds us that seven people were reported by the FBI as attacked for their sexual orientation in Central Florida last year alone, and the number of unreported anti-LGBT hate crimes would undoubtedly be higher.  This summer has been particularly deadly.  Randy Stephens of the Center, a local LGBT advocacy organization, said to WESH, “There are still people out there that hate us. Even with all the victories wave had, we may have let our guard down.”

There have been no arrests in the case as of yet.

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, FBI, Florida, GLBTQ, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Mistaken as LGBT, Orlando Police Department, rape, Sexual assault, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, The Center (Orlando), Unsolved LGBT Crimes, women | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gay University Student Attacked, Raped, Barely Escapes with His Life

Keire Gartica, 25, Gay Hate Crime victim, recovering from his wounds.

Corpus Christi, Texas – A gay university student says he was captured, beaten for hours, raped, and would surely have died if he had not escaped his assailants through a window.  Keire Gartica, 25, a Texas A&M Corpus Christi Political Science student, was found naked and bleeding from multiple wounds on Thursday after his harrowing escape.  The police took him to a hospital where he was treated and released.  Gartica says his attackers, two Hispanic men in their 20s or 30s, held him hostage and repeatedly assaulted him, calling him racial and homophobic slurs, after he came by their house on Elizabeth Street to repay a $5 debt he owed them.

KRIS TV News reports that police are treating the investigation as a simple assault until the District Attorney makes a determination on hate crimes charges.  Gartica, in the meanwhile, has left Corpus Christi for his home in another locale to recover from his wounds.  According to his Facebook page, authorities are “dragging their feet,” and police have not yet interviewed him about the heinous hate crime which took place almost a week ago.  On Sunday, Gartica posted: “I was the victim of a heinous hate crime that has rendered me a shell of myself. Action ten news in Corpus is covering the story and I conducted an extended interview that airs tonight at ten. There is also footage of me immediately after my escape thursday night on the action ten site… the people responsible for this will be held accountable and brought to justice.”

The attack was prolonged and brutal.  Gartica told KZTV 10  reporters that he was forced to clean the house naked by his assailants, who beat him with a belt buckle, glass cups, a frying pan, a pistol, and their fists while he complied in fear of his life.  At one point, an attacker threw bleach in his eyes, blinding him. The men debased him racially, and violated him sexually with a variety of items.  Gartica is certain he would not be alive today if he had not taken a chance and jumped out of a window.

Now Gartica, shaken by his ordeal, has lost his sense of security. He says he will not feel safe again until his attackers are apprehended and are behind bars.  As he said in a telephone interview for Six News, “I don’t feel right at all. It’s hard to fathom that this actually happened. It doesn’t seem like this actually happened.”  Though Gartica is appreciative of the outpouring of support for him by friends and classmates all over the state of Texas, he posted on his Facebook page,“It has been almost a week. I just feel powerless.”

March 14, 2012 Posted by | African Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latinos, LGBTQ, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, rape, Sexual assault, Slurs and epithets, Texas, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hillary Clinton to the World: “Gay Rights are Human Rights”

Graphic from beingliberal.org on Facebook

Geneva, Switzerland – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared to the leaders of the world that LGBT rights must be a priority for the world community.  As reported by the BBC, Secretary Clinton said in a speech to international diplomats at the Palais des Nations on International Human Rights Day, “Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality.” In a powerful declaration of the full humanity of LGBT people, she refused to excuse discrimination against gay people because of religious beliefs or social mores: “Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority,” Clinton said to the U.N. audience, “being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Clinton reflects the policy power of the United States government, making it clear that, despite difficulties with allies who discriminate willfully against LGBT people, the Obama Administration will combat discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people using foreign aid and diplomacy to promote change.

On violence against queer people around the world, Secretary Clinton acknowledged that there was still much to be done at home in the United States, where LGBT people were unindicted felons in 14 states as late as 2003 (when the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling struck down sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas), and many face attacks and all manner of bullying even today.  Still, Clinton argued, “It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives.”  The effect of these words on the continuing physical violence against LGBT people in the U.S. and throughout the world remains to be seen, but the results could be inestimable, according to Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle. “Today, Secretary Clinton served notice on all who perpetrate violence to terrorize LGBTQ people anywhere in the world that harm against this marginalized population will not be tolerated by civilized people. Cloaking anti-LGBT bigotry in religious or moral special rights is coming to a close,” Sprinkle, an ordained gay Baptist minister, said. “We are reaching the tipping point in the culture wars in this country, and the scales are falling in favor of security and justice for members of the gender variant and sexual minority. United States foreign and domestic policy has entered into a new era of advocacy for LGBTQ people on a par with racial/ethnic minority people, religious minorities, and women.”

Known for her advocacy for women and children, this speech indicates that the rights of LGBT people, always part of Mrs. Clinton’s public agenda, now has moved to a front-and-center priority for the most prominent woman in American politics. The speech was sweeping in scope, announcing that, in words redolent of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, gay rights are “inalienable.”

‎In the moving conclusion to her remarks, Secretary Clinton spoke directly to all gay people who find themselves persecuted and in fear of harm (and, by indirection, to their persecutors, as well): “And finally, to LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this: Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America and you have millions of friends among the American people.” 

The full text of Secretary Clinton’s speech may be found on the State Department website by clicking here.  A link to the full text of the speech, and video of Secretary Clinton delivering it, may be accessed on Huffington Post here.

December 7, 2011 Posted by | Bisexual persons, Bullying in schools, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Hillary Clinton, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Politics, President Barack Obama, religious intolerance, Sexual assault, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, U.S. State Department, U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Anti-Gay Rapist Sought by New York City Police

Suspect Julius "Stinky" Wright (NYPD photo)

Brooklyn, New York – “Stinky” is as “Stinky” does (allegedly, at least).  The New York Police Department is searching for suspected hate crime perpetrator, Julius “Stinky” Wright, 21, for a sexual assault in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district on a 24-year-old Hispanic male.  The Advocate reports that Wright confronted the Hispanic around 3 a.m. on September 5 with a fake firearm, and demanded to know his sexual orientation.  Wright then allegedly cursed the Hispanic with homophobic slurs, and berated him for being weak.  Social justice advocates report that the assailant then brutally sodomized his victim.  The New York Daily News posted that the suspect stole his victim’s cell phone, and ran from the scene. The victim was transported to Woodhull Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries, and was later released.

City Council Member Al Vann who represents the district where the crime occurred was joined in a statement by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn: “We are disgusted and horrified to hear about this incident. Hate crimes hurt everyone, and any act of violence against one member of the LGBT community is an act of violence against us all. Too often we hear about acts of violence committed against LGBT people in our city. We must put an end to the intolerance that breeds this hatred. New York City prides itself on diversity and acceptance of all its residents and this act goes against the very fiber of what our city stands for.”

The NYPD is asking anyone with information about the whereabouts of Wright to contact them immediately at 1-800-577-TIPS.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | African Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Brooklyn, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, gun violence, harassment, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latino and Latina Americans, Latinos, Law and Order, LGBTQ, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, rape, Sexual assault, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Anti-Gay Rapist Sought by New York City Police

   

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