Monday, August 07, 2006

A Hate Crime in Virginia



The word "FAG" sprayed painted on the mailbox was just a small portion of the estimated $10,000 worth of propery damages to a home in Loundoun County Virginia.

Imagine waking up one morning and finding the over 100 trees in your yard cut down, gasoline pured all over your lawn and words inspired by hate sprayed painted all over your driveway and other parts of your property?

On Saturday July 29 2006 a gay couple in a section of Loudoun County Virginia called "Aldie" woke up that morning to find just that.

This is an action that has hit many members of the community through their hearts to face such a high level of hate that would be behind this kind of destruction.

There is a plea for any help or info as well as more photos of the property on the Equality Loudoun web-site to be found here:

http://www.equalityloudoun.org/aldie_hatecrime.html

If we look at history, hate and Virginia have been linked before as we reference to that famous case "Loving vs Virginia" when an interracial couple fought against the laws that banned the marriage they united just over the border in Washington DC June 12, 1967.

Now, nearly 40 years later the debate on who has a legalized partnership is once again in debate.

Now, a differenct kind of couple is facing the same legal challenge for it is the
same sex couple
as this fall Virginia faces a Marriage referendum that will ban and deny any chance of same sex relationships and/or purhaps other kinds of unmarried partnerships the same rights of the legal union between a married man and woman.

This is what the intent to change the Virginia State Constitution will read if this passes by the vote of the public:

ARTICLE I
BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 15-A. Marriage.

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage


Now, I know what you all are thinking. You are thinking: Isis is it fair to tie a hate crime to a referendum based in state legislation?

Well, dear readers, I usually do not rant or rave or show a bias in my reporting, and I pride myself on that. But, if you clicked onto the link for Equality Loudoun and saw the photos, you will see that I was the photographer who took those photos, and the pain I felt during that shoot is beyond words to describe.

It is one thing to have a political based rally and voice an opinion, I will never condem anyone for that, but a crime of violence to this degree is not exceptable.

According to several reports including this one from the Southern Poverty Law Center
http://www.splcenter.org/center/splcreport/article.jsp?aid=152

Gays and lesbians in America are victimized in hate crimes twice as often as blacks, and numerous studies show these attacks are much more brutal than most assaults.


And, there are many links to this rise in hate crimes to gays to the rhetoric, actions and legislations put forth by the anti-gay movement even if it is indirect as this hate crime might have been.

It is one thing to step on a soap box against people you disagree with.

I am a die hard Constitutionalist and freedom of speech, anyone's speech, is something I will always defend the right to.

But, once there is an opening of a door to pass laws that do indeed target and scapegoat, I cannot agree.

And, if there are law makers who try to disempower members of our community though legislation it is the responsiblity of all citizens to take the stand to say NO.




As a proud citizen of the United States of America and as a resident of the state of Virginia, I will not stand around idle and watch a group of people being viciously targeted both by violence and by legislation.

*deep breath*

Peace OUT!

Isis