What Can You Do?

by: John Aravosis

As you know, the House Republicans are bragging on their Web site that they killed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Now consider these recent events:

* A lesbian college student was attacked in Minnesota, after attending a vigil for Matthew Shepard, by two men, one masked and armed with a knife. One of her attackers was 5-foot-9, 225 pounds; the other was 5-foot-7, 190 pounds. Before they fled on foot, one told the woman: "You're a smart dyke. Don't say anything to anyone." The woman, about 5-foot-7, was treated at St. Cloud Hospital for a bruised right eye and cuts to her face and hands.

* Four men were brutally attacked recently in San Francisco by five men who jumped out of a van yelling "fags" and "honey."

* Two gay men were shot dead in Guerneville, California recently just after one man had repeatedly been harassed by a stranger.

* On October 15, UPI reports that a bisexual Cincinnati man was found beaten and strangled in his home.

* Days before Matthew was attacked, a court in Hawaii sentenced the murderer of a gay man to a simple misdemeanor offense, with a maximum sentence of one year.

* On October 20, someone posted this message on my Matthew Shepard bulletin board: "It's not too late to try and be STRAIGHT. Give up your homo lifestyle or more fags will die and lesbians raped and impregnated and forced to bear straight children. This is war against you homo perverts!!"

The Republicans in Congress say we aren't victims of hate, and need no protection from people who want to kill the fags and rape the lesbians. If you disagree, then do the following things:

  • Call the US Congress switchboard at 202/224-3121, ask for you Senators and House Member, and ask their office if they did or did not support the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. If you don't know your House Member, visit this Web site to find out http://www.house.gov/writerep/

    Now remember: the cowards didn't even let the bill come up for debate, let alone a vote. So there's no record of who voted for or against the bill, since no vote happened. Therefore you need to be very firm and demand to know whether they support this bill or not - i.e., will they vote for it in the next Congress or not.

  • Send letters-to-the-editor to your local paper immediately - either by postal mail (look at your paper's editorial page for the address, and see if you can fax it to them), or send it by email. You can find email addresses for a lot of local papers at http://www.berkshire.net/~ifas/activist/.
  • Print out this message, or copy and paste it into an email message, and distribute it widely via email, on message boards, to colleagues, coworkers, fellow church-goers, family, students, etc.

Get the latest on the Matthew Shepard anti-gay hate crime case at the Matthew Shepard Online Resource center:

The site includes:

  • latest news on the case
  • action center to: email Congress; email Matthew's family; donate money
  • info on anti-gay hate crimes
  • photographs from the DC candlelight vigil - Oct. 14
  • email subscription list
  • email links to major and local newspapers
  • links to other useful sites
  • online bulletin board to share your views on the case
To subscribe to the email update list, visit http://www.wiredstrategies.com/shepard.html and use the easy online subscription form. Generally I only send one email per day. This site is sponsored for free by Wired Strategies Political Internet Consulting.

What's your opinion? We want to know!! Send a letter to the editor or fill out our reader survey!!

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Other Writings On Matthew Shepard:

Matthew Died For You and Me
-- By: Dr. Rembert Truluck

Silence Killed Matthew Shepard
-- By: The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston

Matthew Shepard Web Sites:

Matthew Shepard Tribute

Matthew Shepard Memorial Website

Candles For Matt

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