Hate Crimes Act to hit Obama’s Desk

Matthew Sheppard
Matthew Shepard

Thursday the Human Rights Commission and the Matthew Shepard Foundation announced the passage of the The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The act, named to honor Matthew Shepard as well as James Byrd, an African-American resident of Texas brutally dragged to death in 1998 in a notorious hate crime. as a provision of the Defense Authorization Conference Report in 68 to 29 vote.

“Dennis and I are extremely proud of the Senate for once again passing this historic measure of protection for victims of these brutal crimes,” said Judy Shepard, president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board. “Knowing that the president will sign it, Continue reading

KTVB “Cruises” back to 1955. . .

Jody May-Chang©
July 2, 2009 PrideDEPOT.com

Photo by Milwaukee John

Cruising is not a Sex Act as KTVB Channel 7 recently reported. Cruising is an activity aimed at capturing the attention of someone of the same sex. It can lead to a sexual encounter, but it can also be a non-verbal way to communicate to others that they are not alone.

In the 1970s, gay men established a color-coded technique called the “hanky code” as a way to find a sexual encounter. Today, it is looked at as nostalgic since it has become mainstream.

Further back in time, certain word-phrases would be meaningless to heterosexuals, but would signal a possible encounter between gay men. Long before the Stonewall Bar riots, a simple question such as “Do you have the time?” would be a signal. Another was to ask someone if they are “a friend of Dorothy.”

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KBCI TV-2 manufactures “gay news” for ratings

H. Lukas Green and Jody May-Chang©
June 25, 2009 PrideDEPOT.com

The recent arrest of two elderly men for allegedly attempting to engage in sex with an undercover Garden City police officer became the top story at KBCI TV-2 in Boise as the station launched into a sensationalized version of the facts surrounding the incidents.

KBCI TV-2 manufacture The arrests of Wayne Olin, 65 (left), and an unnamed 80-year-old, took place in a heavily wooded area adjacent to the Boise River in an area known as Plantation Island. Rather than simply report the news, the local CBS affiliate decided to hype the story and push it out as gay story.

KBCI Reporter Adam Rodriguez and Managing Editor, Paul Fredericks, both contacted PrideDEPOT.com for an on-camera comment in an attempt to gin up this story as a gay rights issue.

We chose to ignore these requests because it was apparent from the angle that the station was taking that they were manufacturing this into a gay rights story where none exists. The news value of the story amounts to two adult men who may not have exercised the best judgment, but it did not elevate itself to anything having a direct impact on Idaho’s LGBT community.

Fredericks and Rodriguez apparently saw this differently. They wanted to push this out as a gay issue in time for their evening shows. The story ran for at least four consecutive broadcasts along with sensationalized teasers for later broadcasts.

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Murder in Indiana: State of Neglect

H.Lukas Green and Jody May-Chang©
June 29, 2007 PrideDEPOT.com

Indiana’s Christian Conservatives lobbied aggressively to kill HB 1459, a hate crimes bill. Indiana is one of four states without any kind of hate crime legislation.

Indiana’s religious conservatives mirrored the same tactics used successfully in other states; lie, fear monger, and label homosexuals as a threat.

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Murder in Indiana: “Gay Panic” – A License to Kill

H. Lukas Green & Jody May-Chang ©
June 29, 2007 PrideDEPOT.com EXCLUSIVE

Murder victim Aaron A family member of a man brutally beaten and murdered in a small rural Indiana town spoke out in an exclusive interview with PrideDEPOT.com about Aaron “Shorty” Hall (left) and those accused of killing him.

Sabrena Baker, the former girlfriend and mother of Hall’s child, says the victim was not gay as the defendants alleged and she has doubts that justice will be served in a heinous crime that has garnered very little media attention in Indiana.

Baker, who lives near North Vernon, told PrideDEPOT.com that she lived with Hall for nine years and raised his 10-year-old daughter, Day-Z Mae. The couple was separated for about six years, but still maintained a relationship as parents of their daughter.

“He was far from being gay. It just looks like they are trying to make him look like he was gay,” Baker said in reaction to the “gay panic” defense presented by the accused.

She said that ever since the murder, Day-Z has gone to therapy once a week in North Vernon, Indiana.

“She cries every day,” Baker said. “And she is constantly asking me why they would do anything like that, and I don’t know how to answer her question why somebody would kill someone and how they done him.”

Hall was murdered on April 12, but his corpse was found by local police 10 days later wrapped in a tarp and hidden inside a garage belonging to Terry Gray, the local Jackson County Deputy Coroner, who is the father of Garrett Gray, 19, one of the murder defendants.

Bloomington Alternative, 'Hate Crime in Indiana?' by Steve Higgs
Click to read more: PDF File | Website Article

“Yesterday, I heard from some people down there that after they stuck him in the garage they were inviting people in and showing him off like some kind of trophy or something,” Baker said. “I don’t understand why they would do him like that.”

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Murder in Indiana: Media Lethargy

By H. Lukas Green and Jody May-Chang©
June 29, 2007 PrideDEPOT.com

Two years ago, Crothersville, Indiana, was the scene of a national media frenzy. In January 2005, every major television network and news service wanted to know what happened to 10-year-old Katie Collman who was the subject of a massive search involving hundreds of local volunteers.

Katie’s body was eventually found in Cypress Lake, just north of Seymour, Indiana. Anthony Stockelman of Seymour pleaded guilty to murder and child molestation for the girl’s killing. In exchange, prosecutors dropped their request for the death penalty.

The little girl disappeared Jan. 25, 2005, as she was running an errand for her mother. Her body was discovered five days later in a nearby creek. Her hands were tied behind her back and there was evidence she had been sexually molested, according to the autopsy.

Three men arrested in the murder of Aaron 'Shorty' HallNow the same town is dealing with the horrible murder of Aaron “Shorty” Hall, but it is not generating the same level of coverage that the Collman killing did in 2005.

Unlike an innocent little girl, Hall was by no means a candidate for sainthood. Hall abused drugs and alcohol, and he associated with some characters who would hardly be considered model citizens.

Barring his personal life, it is the absolute brutality that the man suffered, which eventually resulted in him being murdered, that merits nothing less than full and complete news coverage. But for the most part, the Indiana media decided not to defend the public’s right to know and simply depended on quick sound bites and press releases.

An editorial published by Steven Higgs of the Bloomington asks why The Indianapolis Star, Indiana’s largest news paper, has yet to cover the brutal murder of Aaron “Shorty” Hall.

“The case should have been big news,” Higgs contends. “Yet The Star left the Hall murder to the Jackson County media, the never-to-be-trusted Indianapolis and Louisville television stations and bloggers”

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