Editorial: How many more must we lose before Hate Crimes Legislation is passed?

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-16T03:06:32-05:00 March 1st, 2007|Uncategorized|

The recent brutal murder of Andrew Anthos, 72, in Detroit is yet another, tragic example of the devastation wrought by hate crimes. This decent, eccentric, delightful man was killed for one reason – his attacker knew he was gay. That was enough justification for his murderer to stalk Anthos, scream anti-gay epitaphs and beat him senseless with a lead pipe.
Yet there is no hate crime legislation at the state or federal level that protects people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Elected officials claim that LGBT people are not a unique class that can or should be protected. We think that Anthos’ distraught family would beg to differ.
Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” We implore our elected officials to do something about anti-gay hate crimes and pass a bill that includes LGBT people in the state and federal hate crime legislation.
How many more examples of anti-LGBT hate crimes must we see before the message is heard in the halls of government? Who among our elected officials has the courage to champion legislation to protect us?
Anthos’ killer is still at large, and with each passing day his trail gets colder. It is possible that this predator felt justified in murdering a gay man, someone he felt was unimportant – even a freak, this tiny man singing on the bus, enjoying the ride and celebrating life. How did this killer come to believe that it was acceptable to destroy this gentle man?
It is because our society and its leaders refuse to speak out against hate crimes perpetrated against LGBT people. It would be so easy for political leaders to just say that killing and maiming people because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is not acceptable. But politicos in today’s polarized, frightened environment are cowed by right wing activists who promote terror against LGBT people with their indifference, and with their specious arguments that if LGBT people are protected then it somehow dilutes the protections already afforded other people.
It’s time. Now. For the Michigan legislature to stand up for Andrew Anthos and all the others who have lost their lives to anti-LGBT violence. It is no longer acceptable that people don’t do anything about it.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.