March 5th, 2009
Times are changing. If you need any proof of that, look at this recent verdict in Dallas:
A 32-year-old Garland man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday, March 4 for his role in a brutal anti-gay hate crime that occurred in the heart of Oak Lawn last July.
Before recommending the sentence to Judge Ernest White, the same 12-person jury found Jonathan Russell Gunter guilty of first-degree felony aggravated robbery following a two-day trial in Dallas County’s 194th District Court.
Gunter and Bobby Jack Singleton, 29, also of Garland, are accused of beating and robbing now-43-year-old Jimmy Lee Dean on Dickason Avenue, just a block from the Cedar Springs strip, in the early morning hours of July 17, 2008.
Dean, who was hospitalized for 10 days after the attack and suffered permanent physical damage, said Wednesday he was relieved Gunter had been convicted. Dean added that he hopes Singleton, who’s still awaiting trial, is sentenced to at least a 60 years in prison because he was responsible for inflicting most of the injuries.
What a difference twenty years makes.
On May 15, 1988, [John] Griffin, 27, and [Tommy] Trimble, 34, drove to the Crossroads, where they met Richard Lee Bednarski, an 18-year-old high school senior weeks from graduation. Bednarski rode with Griffin and Trimble to Reverchon Park, where he shot both men three times. Trimble died at the scene; Griffin died five days later.
…Bednarski, the son of a police officer, had no criminal record. But that didn’t stop him from targeting gay men along Cedar Springs Road. Testimony showed that he and several classmates set out to gay-bash, with Bednarski saying their intent was to “pester the homosexuals.”
Bednarski was convicted of two counts of murder. The prosecuter demanded a life sentence. But Dallas County Criminal District Court Jack Hampton only gave him thirty years for two brutal killings — a very light sentence by Texas standards. Why did he go so easy?
“I don’t care much for queers cruising the streets. I’ve got a teenage boy,” Hampton told the Dallas Times-Herald. Hampton said Griffin and Trimble wouldn’t have been killed “if they hadn’t been cruising the streets picking up teenage boys,” and that he would have handed down a harsher penalty if the victims had been “a couple of housewives out shopping, not hurting anybody.”
“I put prostitutes and gays at about the same level, and I’d be hard pressed to give someone life for killing a prostitute,” Hampton told the newspaper.
That comment sparked outrage nationwide, and multiple protests in Dallas. Hampton was finally censured by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. While he was never removed from the bench, Hampton has since retired. On July 9, 2007, Bednarski was released after serving less than 19 years for killing two gay men.
Dallas has changed a lot since then Bednarksi was sentenced. Dallas County now has a a sheriff by the name of Lupe Valdes — the only lesbian Latina sheriff in the country. And yesterday, a man was sentenced to thirty years for aggravated armed robbery of one gay man. The same sentence that Bednarski got for murdering two in cold blood.
Yes, times are changing. For the better.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.