There was a gruesome murder in rural Indiana back in April. Two teenagers are alleged to have savagely beaten a man to death, even having the audacity to e-mail a photo of the deed to someone. The crime has been largely ignored by the major media, according to the posts that have been racing through the blogosphere, even though it should have gotten major attention as a Matthew Shepard-like crime. The victim is said to have made "gay overtures" to the teens, who reacted with "gay panic" and reacted like any red-blooded Hoosier would. On the other hand, maybe that's not what happened:
Some have publicly suggested that in fact Shorty made no sexual advance on Gray and King and that he was not, in fact, gay.
Instead, it's been suggested that the two teens cooked up the gay angle because they believed that in homo-hating Indiana, it would help excuse their murder.
In the twisted teenage wasteland of their minds, the theory goes, the so-called 'gay panic' defense is still operative in Indiana: If you simply say your murder victim made a queer pass at you, you'll probably get off lightly.
I read the piece three times, trying to follow the logic that flows from this until my brain hurt. It goes something like this:
1. Indiana legislators fail to pass hate-crimes legislation because it would protect gays, thus pleasing their right-wing Christian masters who would just as soon round up all gays and hang them.
2. This sends the message that gays are fair game here. Go get yer guns, boys!
3. This leads murderous teens to believe that claiming "gay panic" will get them a parade in downtown Indianapolis instead of the needle or a lifetime in a small cell in Michigan City. Or, hell, I don't know, maybe it leads them to seek out someone to kill, knowing they have a defense that homophobic Hoosier hicks will accept without question.
4. Jesus weeps.
Maybe instead of hate-crimes legislation, which enhances penalties when the crimes are against groups that the government decrees are more deserving of protection against hate than other groups, we should have false-hate-crime-claiming laws. Pretend to have hated your victim when you really didn't, the penalty is doubled, and if you get the major media to ignore the whole thing, triple it.
Two teen thugs killed somebody. Squash 'em. Anything else is agenda-driven tunnel vision.