Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fishwrapper upset because gay drug addict won't be honored by high school

Yesterday the Fishwrapper ran this story about how Southridge High School's principal had canceled the play "The Laramie Project." This is of great concern to the media because the play is about a gay man, and if anything involving a gay man is cancelled then obviously bigotry and blind hatred must be involved.

The story ran with quotes such as this:
"Southridge has prided itself on being diverse," said Jason Kniss, a 2005 Southridge graduate. "And if the school district and principal were to take this out, it would conflict with the founding principles there."

And my very favorite from Bill Johnson, Century High theater instructor:
"We looked at it from a discrimination standpoint," Johnson said. "It's a murder story and the victim happened to be gay, and that's why he was killed.

The above quote can only be expained by (1) Mr. Johnson is a liar or (2) Mr. Johnson pays absolutely no attention to the news or (3) the media did such a poor job of reporting the fact that new details came out about the murder of Matthew Shepherd that showed he was killed for refusing to pay his drug dealers, that Mr. Johnson missed this important item. And why did Fishwrapper reporter, Amy Hsuan, allow that quote into her story?
According to a new ABC "20/20" investigation, which confirms a previously published MassNews exclusive, Shepard's murder was in fact a bungled burglary, motivated not by hate or homophobic rage but by money and drugs.
From ABC:
"Everybody knew Matt Shepard was a partier just like Aaron, just like the rest of us," said Bopp.
In fact, Bopp said he had seen Shepard and McKinney together at parties. "Aaron was selling [drugs] and him and Matt would go off to the side and they'd come back. And Matt would be doing some meth then," he said.
Not to be deterred by actual facts, Steve Duinn decided to reiterate the point that this play should not have been cancelled in his column today.
Shepard was 21 when he left a Laramie bar with two straight men, who beat him savagely and left him to die on a bitter October night, tied to a buck fence.
While Steve doesn't come out and lie, like Bill Johnson did, he certainly implies that sexual orientation had something to do with this killing when we now know that it did not.
The "we hate anyone who is opposed to hate crimes" crowd doesn't mind repeating false stories, outright lies, or using a drug addict as their poster child as long as it advances their agenda.
The whole point of printing these stories is to bully the principal of Southridge into allowing this play all in the name of "tolerance."


Kari Chisholm said...

Easy there, chief. You don't want to go hammering on our good Senator Gordon Smith, do you?

After all Senator Smith was the first U.S. Senate candidate ever to openly run campaign ads on gay rights - and was endorsed by Matthew Shepard's mother.

Daniel said...

I don't mind hammering Gordon Smith, or any Republican, if I think they deserve it.

And being endorsed by Matthew's mother means nothing. I care about that as much as I care who Eminem endorses.

My point was that the media and the schools should stop operating under the false premise that this was a "hate" crime.

GayRightsWatch said...

Daniel - you are mistaken. If you actually look at the official court documents, where there defense tried to use the infamous "gay panic defense" that never holds up in court, as it didn't in this case either... the defense was in fact defending their client on the basis of it being a crime motivated by Matthew's sexuality. The reason for that? Read the the confessions of the murderers.

Read more about 'gay panic defense': Gay Panic Defense

Also, direct from the case:
After nearly a week of expressing doubts, Judge Barton Voigt barred Aaron McKinney's lawyers from using the so-called "gay panic" defense. McKinney's lawyers, who refused to refer to their proposed strategy as a "gay panic" defense (when that is what is was), had argued that their client went into a blind rage after Matthew Shepard allegedly made an unwanted pass at him. The defense argued in opening statements that this rage — and McKinney's fatal beating of Shepard — was spurred partly by the defendant's own prior homosexual experience and aggravated by drug and alcohol abuse.

But Judge Voigt disallowed this defense, telling McKinney's lawyers that their proposed strategy was a form of a temporary insanity or diminished capacity defense, neither of which are allowed by Wyoming law.

Also, McKinney's one-time girlfriend, Kristen Price, testified that he told her that he and Henderson had planned to pose as homosexuals and rob Shepard before he was beaten to death.

So yes, they were dealing with the fact that this crime was spurred by hate - maybe more of self-loathing than anything else. Self-loathing on the part of the ruthless murderers.

You are trying to spin the death of Matthew Shepard as his fault. You are calling him a drug addict, when in fact this is untrue. For the amount of denial that you have I'm quite surprised that you weren't with Rev. Phelps protesting the funeral of Matthew Shepard. You are sick. Your hate is disgusting.

Daniel said...

Wow Bryan, you were calmly making your case until the end when you spiraled into the angry gay activist that you are.

I don't think that Matthew's murder was his fault. The people who did that to him were monsters and they are entirely to blame.

However I don't believe in "hate" crimes. The culprits here got the death penalty but gay activists aren't satisfied with that for some reason.

I also can't ignore the stories that revealed the murder had nothing to do with sexuality. That revelation says that you should stop using this murder as the poster child for "hate" crimes.

GayRightsWatch said...

You are spitting out complete inaccuracies. No, they did not get the death penalty. Do your research.

Matthew's mother brokered a deal for life sentences instead of letting them get the death penalty. As you will read below. You will also read below that the two killers both attempted to justify their actions by claiming that they were dictated by the Bible. Does the Bible say: Thou shall not kill; unless the victim is gay? Wow -- for some reason in all my years in Christian school - I do not recall that. And to think that you are sticking up for the brutal murderers... it's pathetic.

The facts:
Henderson pleaded guilty on April 5, 1999 and agreed to testify against McKinney to avoid the death penalty; he received two consecutive life sentences, without the possibility of parole. The jury in McKinney's trial found him guilty of first degree murder. As it began to deliberate on the death penalty, Shepard's parents brokered a deal, resulting in McKinney also receiving two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. Shepard's parents stated, "We are giving him life in the memory of one who no longer lives". Since being imprisoned, McKinney and Henderson have both attempted to justify their actions by claiming that they were dictated by the Bible.