1. Me says

    I side with the marine guy on this one. Having been sexually assaulted myself, I kind of wanted to do this to that guy. It really messed my life up for a few years, now it’s hard to get back going.

  2. says

    Wow, J. BOCCA, you certainly jumped to a conclusion quickly. Do you really think that Belton would write the was glad Michael “came into his life” about a rape victim?

    Hopefully there will be a fair trial and justice will be obtained. Even if there was coercion, that does NOT excuse returning days later and killing the offender.

  3. Doug says

    So wait: you’re siding with the killer rather than the dead man who can’t defend himself against the charge of alleged rape. Okay. Just wanna be clear on that.

  4. Dennis says

    This has ‘internalized homophobia freak-out’ written all over it…closeted, or bi-curious man has sex with another man (TWICE!) and then the shame/remorse sets in and homocidal rage ensues…it’s a sad, sad story, one that we’ve seen occur far too many times.

    The only victim sympathy Griffin deserves is being a victim of his own mental influences from internalized societal/religious homophobia. Now we have one man dead, and another probably behind bars for the rest of his life (if there’s any justice)…sorry for Griffin’s fucked-up mental state, (probably not helped by his military background/experience PTSD?) but I sincerely hope a ‘gay panic’ defense fails here.

    TWO lives ruined, all because we can’t deal with gay sexuality in this country. Sad, just sad.

  5. DR says

    I don’t know what I think at this point, but I see the way this will develop on both sides:

    Decorated Marine gets painted as borderline sociopath who was seeking sex and/or “coming out” guidance from older, successful, and well-known openly gay man, things go too far, and as an expression of his “internalized homophobia”, he goes to confront the openly gay man a few days later about sex gone bad and commits murder because he “doesn’t want to be gay”.

    Older gay man gets painted as sexual predator who gets a decorated Marine and his girlfriend drunk and has sex with someone(s) too intoxicated to consent, and when confronted about it several days later, probably says or does something which triggers victim into stabbing him.

    This will be one ugly trial. Vic and perp are both sympathetic in their own way, and no matter what the resolution, someone will cry about some sort of “ism”.

  6. BMF says

    Well, the responses to this have been interesting to say the least. This guy confronted the professor to get him to admit it was a mistake? And if he did admit it, what then? If he assaulted you, why not go to the police? And according to story, this guy was assaulted “twice.” Does that mean he came back for a second assault?

    Look, I don’t know what happened. But I think what happened is that these guys had consensual sex of some sort, this guy couldn’t cope with what happened (as a result of internalized gay prejudice) and an killing him was the only way to deal with what was going on in his own head.

    Usually on T-Road when a straight person claims that a gay guy assaulted him or came on to him as an excuse for violence, the gays are quick to “pounce” on the straight guy.

    Yet, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of outrage. And some posters have “sided” with the Marine who had military training and 28 years on the professor seemingly without considering that this might just be an attempt to excuse murder.

    I wonder if the tenor of the responses would be different if the professor was white.

  7. Jane Roe says

    “If the professor indeed raped this guy, then my sympathy gets slightly ratcheted down.”

    White privilege, y’all.

    53 year old college prof rapes 25 year old strapping Marine. News at 11.

  8. anon says

    The only defense will one of temporary insanity. You can’t claim an affirmative defense post hoc to any assault, it has to be an immediate threat or assault. Normally, this can’t be even brought up in trial. I’m thinking PTSD. Now, was this guy bi-curious or something? Probably, as a lot of recent hate crimes seem to indicate gay leanings in the perpetrators.

  9. DR says

    For starters, there isn’t a lot of outrage because this seems more like a domestic case than “random stranger at bar assaults gay guy for grabbing his junk”. It’s hard for me to get outraged, whether you like it or not, BMF, where I’m seeing a situation arising where the parties involved know each other. This wasn’t random. Does that mean I don’t feel terrible about what happened? No. But I’m not gonna get on my gay soapbox and cry to anyone who will listen about how evil Griffin is, nor will I tolerate the race card. This does not appear to be a random murder, and I will not get righteously indignant about it (in the same way I would a random assault) without more information. The fact that the victim apparently knew his assailant puts this in a whole different category.

    @PATRICKNYC, as an attorney in the criminal justice system, which reason would you like for me to give as to why the sexual assault wasn’t reported to the police? Shame because it happened and he, being a tough Marine, couldn’t stop it? Guilt over the fact that he had sex with another man and is dating a woman? Remorse over the sexual act itself? Or maybe he wanted time to process what happened and discuss it with the person who did it, whom he may have considered a friend, instead of opening up the drama of a male/male rape investigation, which in utterly humiliating, ESPECIALLY for the victim of a sexual assault? Or maybe knowing that if he went to the police, they would ask “why did you get drunk and have sex with another man and why are you bothering us with it?” because we all know they would. And every single one of those reasons will be justifiable in a jury’s mind.

    The one fact which is gonna hurt Griffin… the knife. He can try to explain it as the fear of confronting his victimizer (straight women do this as well), but it’s always a tough sell to cry “heat of passion” when you show up at the place where the incident happened to confront the man you’re claiming raped you, and you have a knife not of the kind Joe Citizen is allowed to carry….

  10. DR says

    @Jane Roe: Yes, it must be race, because we all know that 53 year old men NEVER get younger men drunk and take advantage of them. Oh, wait, that happens a lot more than we like to admit in the gay community.

    And it’s not like the Professor was a tiny guy, I was floored when I heard he was in his 50s. Looks younger to me in the pics.

  11. Jane Roe says

    “I wonder if the tenor of the responses would be different if the professor was white.”

    You bet your ass they would be. No one, and I mean no one would be siding with the alleged murderer or lending even the slightest credence to this rape theory. People would be calling it out as the bogus gay panic defense it most likely is.

    But cute young white boy kills dreadlocked black old prof, and it’s uncanny how some sympathies are even expressed for the alleged killer.

  12. Chitown Kev says


    Thank you for a reasonable discussion of some of the salient points.

    Race was probably NOT a factor in the crime itself.

    But it is obviously a factor as reflected in these comments. And, as you suggest, it could be a factor in the trial itself.

  13. Jane Roe says

    DR, we will never know whether there was an assault or not, because the person who could have defended himself from that accusation is now dead.

    Let’s not be so quick to portray a 25 year old as some callow youth, naive to the ways of the world. He’s a man and a marine, a trained fighter and killer.

    Well, the prof probably looks younger because, as the saying goes, black don’t crack.

  14. TJ says

    “Gay Panic” written all over this one. Important to point out that, at least here in CA, one cannot legally give consent if intoxicated. Getting drunk may have unleashed the Marine’s inner gay beast, but it wouldn’t have given the professor the “right” to take advantage of the situation. However, while the “gay panic” and “internalized homophobia” are concepts that help one understand, they don’t excuse. You don’t get to stab someone to death.

  15. johnosahon says

    i came to the comments SOLELY to see the reactions to this case, as soon as i saw it was a black gay man vs a white cute twink.

    you guys did NOT disappoint in the conclusions that were drawn.


  16. Tom Nunnery says

    I am disturbed to see some of these comments saying he deserved to die. Killing another person is never right. All of the facts are not in. We sometimes react without complete knowledge of the facts. It seems strange that a marine could not stop this professor from rapeing? There again the facts need to come out.

  17. BMF says

    @ DR: I’m a bit puzzled by your post. First, I’m not sure where this “tolerating” the race card business comes in. I don’t think it’s playing the race card to ask whether the response would have been different had the victim not been black. And given that I don’t KNOW what race you are and I assume you don’t KNOW what race I am, I’m not sure how you can, effectively, accuse me of playing the race card. If you’re uncomfortable with talking about race, that’s really on you, but you need to own that and not project whatever discomfort you may have about race on others.

    Second, I have to wonder if you really red my post versus going on autopilot. I clearly said that I have no idea what happened. I don’t remember telling people that they had to either get on or off of a soapbox. And, I certainly didn’t tell you that, so I’m not sure why you took my post so personally unless a part of it rang true for you in some sense. Had I said, “we all should be more outraged” I could understand part of your response. I am not outraged per se because I have no clue what happened. That doesn’t mean that I cannot notice how the collective responses are of a different tenor than other incidents.

    Third, I find your “logic” about why this case is different very curious. So, it’s ok to get “indignant” about cases where an assailant doesn’t know the victim but not ok to get indignant where an assailant does? From where does that come? Generally wouldn’t one presume that there is a higher duty to people that one knows than to random people? As for me, I’m pretty indignant when it comes to things like domestic violence where the perpetrator knows the victim.

  18. fred says

    NO ONE IS SAYING HE DESERVED TO DIE. Jesus. And this is NOT about rape.

    There were some mitigating factors, however, in the murder, including, without limitation, sexual assault.

    The fact the professor is black and the perp is white has no bearing on my comment that no one has clean hands in this case IF the professor is found to have assaulted the killer.

  19. Disgusted American says

    WELL- we will all find out eventually – Hopefully – what really happened…but, that young guy “looks gay” – sounds like a GUILTY concience.

  20. TJ says

    @ WES: Legally, if one is under the influence, one can’t give consent. As long as both parties are still okay with what went down, this is not a problem. But alcohol alters perceptions and reduces inhibitions. People do things that they would not do otherwise. So when some guy (usually) plies some girl (usually) with lots of alcohol and she doesn’t (or can’t) fight back (or even seems, through his altered perception, to be enjoying the act), he sets himself up for a mess of trouble should she wake up the next day and call the police. Neither party, if you think about it, ought to be held completely responsible for bad judgment. But the one acting as the instigator/aggressor/perpetrator is the one who is going to be in hot water. Again, it makes the actions understandable, but not excusable.

  21. Jane Roe says

    “…IF the professor is found to have assaulted the killer.”

    And how the eff can this determination be made conclusively when the accused rapist is riddled with stab wounds and is conveniently buried six feet under?

    The allegedly murder gets to say we was drunk, drugged, raped. And the only person who can defend himself from that accusation is not here.

    Knowing the system of criminal justice, and given the knee-jerk reaction to the optics of this situation, I predict the marine walks scot free.

  22. patrick says

    When I heard about this last night, I didn’t for one SECOND think that the Marine was acting on the level.

    Then I check comments here and see comment after comment about how the dead English Professor was the perp.

    What is the difference in this story than any of the others where a gay man is killed by another man after supposed sexual advances??

    No rape or sexual assault has been proved or reported – just accused. A murder has been committed. The girlfriend of the accused is reported to have tipped the cops off. The accused murderer had the weapon in his possession, is half the age of the victim and is a soldier.

    Innocent until proven guilty is how we roll – and that covers the accusations levied against a man brutally stabbed multiple times who cannot defend himself against the rumors that WAY too often are levied against gay men by men that are sexually conflicted. The murderer is as innocent as the professor is at this point.

    And as far as I’m concerned – the Marine has much more explaining to do than the English Professor.

    WTF?? Why is it easier for so many of you to accept this murder victim as a rapist than any other of the similar gay defense stories of the past few years??

    Is your racist training showing in this case?

  23. Chitown Kev says

    Well..for one , I do think that there are a few trolls on this posts…

    But two, I also do sense that white guys are defending a white murderer of a black gay man because the white guy fulfills their fantasies.

    And of course, NO black guy could be gay or could be so smart as to be a damned college professor or a real contributor to our community.

    Yep, the racial aspect of this is uncomfortable, y’all, but it needs to be talked about, nevertheless…

    Oh, and you white people really need to do something with the horrific and virulent homophobia in the white community. (and I hope you realize that that’s snark)

  24. Rovex says

    Forgive me, but what situations can people think of where a Gay black 53 year old English professor shares a drunken night with a white 20 something marine, that dont involve some sort of implied future consensual cock play? Especially given the journal entry..

  25. says

    I knew Don, and he was not a sexual predator. Period. Secondly, where the hell does it say that the Marine was drunk? Thirdly, I have heard dozens of stories about sexually confused ex-marines going nuts and killing gay men, very few about a gay man getting a Marine drunk and then sexually assaulting him. Fourthly, as a rape survivor, I understand the knee jerk reaction but folks here saying dude got what he deserved are fucked up beyond belief. Not even the Marine has claimed rape, he has claimed sexual assault, which are different. AND, the penalty for touching someone inappropriately should NOT be the death penalty. And, btw, going to someone’s house, days later, with a bowie knife and then killing a person that does not give what you think is a proper apology is what I would call PREMEDITATED MURDER. Michael had already decided that if Don did not give him what he wanted, Don was going to be killed. That “human” may claim gay panic, but this was murder in cold blood. Period.

    Here is my take on it:

    I am willing to be wrong, but right now something doesn’t add up, the journal, the knife, the strapping young man that is fully capable of defending himself against a 53 year old man. An ex-Marine with hypermasculinity issues that were BEATEN into him in the Corps…yeah me thinks that the evidence, little as it is right now, points to a young guy that got his rocks off, enjoyed it, and then regretted it and instead of dealing with his shit, murdered in cold blood an innocent man that was an asset to our community.

  26. says

    And further for you out there that are lambasting this dead man and pronouncing him guilty, making heinous statements, remember that there are people that knew him, valued him, loved him, and we read these things too. Have some self respect or at least respect for someone that is dead.

  27. Jane Roe says

    Thank you for your insight, Brandon.

    You would think that from the responses here, Michael Griffin is the credit, asset and hero to the gay community and Prof. Belton is the villain.

  28. TJ says

    @ Brandon First line of piece: Gay Indiana University professor and author Don Belton (left) was stabbed to death in his home by Michael Griffin, a decorated Marine who claims Belton sexually assaulted and raped him in front of his girlfriend while they were intoxicated.

  29. johnosahon says

    fred | Dec 30, 2009 1:41:31 PM

    you are making NO sense, all the other cases where the killer has accused the dead of rape, i did NOT see people jumping onto the killer’s defense, so why is this case so different?

  30. says

    Seems to me that all the evidence that we know of, points to premeditated murder…..just because the Marine couldn’t handle the sex part of the relationship is in no way exculpatory……the diary entry indicates the Prof was happy to have a new guy in his life….hardly an indication of violence….and who goes back (a third time) for an apology with a deadly weapon ? A dangerous Marine without the education or skills to handle emotional conflict….and too eager to resort to violence to resolve differences.

  31. DR says

    BMF, I’m willing to admit that perhaps I engaged in a bit of a pre-emptive rant, but sadly it appears it at least part of my rant was right. Some of these comments are are absolutely ugly.

  32. Chitown Kev says


    Thank you.

    Although…while I agree with you to an extent that internalized homophobia is a factor here, I think that a lot of it is also not-so internalized racism.

  33. Gast says

    “Do you really think that Belton would write the was glad Michael “came into his life” about a rape victim?”

    Yes. Belton did what he wanted to do, he wasn’t the one allegedly raped. Unfortunately for him, Michael didn’t had the reaction he was hoping for. Since when is it okay to rape anyone? if these allegations prove true, then my sympathy is with Michael, and I believe the jury and judge would sympathize with Michael too.

  34. Chitown Kev says

    So, let me see if I have this right?

    In spite of the age difference (which would speak a little to physical consition) and the fact that Griffin was a trained Marine…some of you still believe that Griffin was raped…

    So the myth of the black rapist is alive and well in the gay community.

  35. johnny says

    Take away age, race, background and all other information, there is one single fact that makes this whole thing lean towards guilt of the marine:

    The marine had sex with the prof TWICE?

    That’s two separate occasions? If he really didn’t like what was going on the first time seems like he’d not have gone back for seconds, especially in front of his girlfriend.

    And how big is the prof vs. the size of the marine? I’d like to know, he may not have been able to even defend himself. I doubt that a prof/writer has the hand-to-hand combat skills of a “decorated” marine.

  36. John says

    Sounds like the same old America to me.

    A black homophobe attacks a white man and it is a bloody outrage.

    A white homophobe outright kills a black man and he is innocent because, you know, blacks are rapists.

    Same old, same old.

  37. Wes says

    “Yes. Belton did what he wanted to do, he wasn’t the one allegedly raped. Unfortunately for him, Michael didn’t had the reaction he was hoping for. Since when is it okay to rape anyone? if these allegations prove true, then my sympathy is with Michael, and I believe the jury and judge would sympathize with Michael too.”

    You have no idea what he did or didn’t want to do, in fact the only thing we KNOW that isn’t ‘alleged’ is the brutal fucking murder of this man.

    Maybe you should wait for some evidence before treating a freshly murdered man (who was a respected member of his community, I might add) like a convicted rapist.

  38. Dr. Freud says

    I think people need to ignore the trolls on here. It’s obvious to any reasonable person that this kid had fantasized about getting fucked by a black man, and after it had happened, he couldn’t deal. I mean really. It’s a classic case. He probably thought that he could maintain his straightness by having this encounter under the context of a threesome, and having his girlfriend there.

    My friend who is a phone sex operator says that the #1 fantasy she gets from supposedly “straight” men is getting screwed by a big black cock, and she has to narrate it, thereby making it a hetero enough experience for their psyches, warped by society. Voila.

  39. DR says

    Kev, you said you appreciated my comments earlier, so let me try and add another one, in the same more-logic-less-emotional manner…


    As many of us have indicated, we were not there, so we have no idea what happened. But, protestations to the contrary, even Marines can get drunk and be taken advantage of. The fact of the matter is that if Griffin were intoxicated enough it is likely that he could not consent and felt violated the next day.

    I realize that there are a lot of people saying rape (not me, I know better!), and perhaps that is the wrong word to use, but think about this. ANY unwanted sexual advance is a sexual assault, and we have no idea if this was an over-the-clothing grab or an all-out rape. Griffin didn’t say he was “raped” he said he was “sexually assaulted”, which means any number of acts.

    Actually, anyone reading this ought to keep that in mind and not call the victim a “rapist”.

  40. Wes says

    It is also possible that he wasn’t sexually assaulted at all. I mean, just cause the killer says it doesn’t make it true.

    Not saying it couldn’t have happened but people say all sorts of things to justify the crimes they have committed, especially when its so easy to make such a charge against a gay man.

  41. Walter says

    So they had a drunken threesome — and adult man (not a twink in any sense — a trained killer) got into it and allowed the professor to stimulate his prostate …. with his (well you know how it works).

    The self-hate the trained killer felt toward himself for enjoying his body in a way that made him feel less ELITE — he turned on his lover.

    If if was rape. Bad.
    But rape is not worse than MURDER.

    I hope he gets the chair.

    The professor can of course never defend himself now.

  42. Walter says

    One last stereotype based on fact — since this guy is a Marine — I 100% doubt this is his first time having sex with a man.

    Been around the block and know all about Marines.

    It sounds like the issue is the professor BLEW HIS COVER and did it infront of his girlfriend – thus outing him as bi.

    His response to being outed and losing control of his image: MURDEROUS RAGE

  43. OnyxEsq says

    You racist white gay men are disgusting. It’s sad that most of you will never admit to your internalized racism. The only thing that separates most of you from white supremacists is your sexual orientation. In my experience, white gay men are substantially more racist that white heterosexuals. If you don’t believe it, read the comments on this blog, and check out the profiles on any gay dating website. The overt racism is horrifying. The white gay community can forget about receiving any support from the Black community until you change your racist ways.

  44. GrabbinNewscum says

    Lovely to see all these people play the race card when it suits them but when others point out the fact that a majority of African Americans consistently oppose homosexuality and gay marriage, these Marys screech and scream.

  45. Chitown Kev says


    Of course. And the alcohol factor would hold true (I think) even if he had sex with Belton previously…however…

    He went to Belton’s apartment with HIS OWN KNIFE?


    But white gay men have little or no institutional power to enforce their racism.

    Don’t get me wrong, some of the peckerwood queens on this thread are disgusting. However, it’s not as if the black churchified community has been doing a whole lot to help the gays in the black community anyway (though black politicians have)…

    And I will NOT allow any straight black people (not saying that you are straight) to even attempt to use this case as a billy club upside the gay community’s head.

  46. says

    Grabbinnewscum, so do you have data that shows that the majority of white people support homosexuality? Because last time I checked there’s a hell of a lot of conservative white people out there too. Homophobia is not limited to one race. And apparently racism is an equal opportunity experience for both gay and straight.

  47. Rowan says

    @ GrabbinNewscum

    Yep. Exactly the same thing.

    Don’t know if you READ tlrd but a lot of the people here calling the ‘race card’, are aslo some of the posters who said AA’s are overwhelming more homophobic than whites.

    So lets deal with this situation as what it is, regardless of race.

    An old WHITE proffessor who is RESPECTED in hos community and has NEVER shown violence and wrote in his journal that he was HAPPY to have met the WHITE Michael who is young and a trained Marine who is strapping and has been trained to fight and kill, was stabbed to DEATH with multiple wounds after have sex TWICE (allegedly) with the WHITE Michael.

    So leaving race aside….what would YOU think?

  48. DR says


    If you go back and reread the post you commented on, you’ll see where I said “the knife is going to cause a problem” (It was in the post you complimented me on). He clearly went there looking for something, and went armed. That indicates something, I’m not going to say what. I didn’t feel the need to repeat that again since I was focusing this last post on the issue of alcohol.

  49. says

    Wow people are defending a cold blooded murderer? Pretty pathetic. This “marine” will rot in prison where he’ll be raped several more times (if that is indeed what even happened)

  50. Chitown Kev says


    You beat me to it…see, Grabby can’t answer that.

    Lawd knows what this thread would be like if Belton was white and Griffin was black…

    but instead we get all these tortured defenses of Griffin’s action and folks resort to the all black men are rap…oops, sexual assulters myth…and besides…

    What does this thread have to do with black homophobia?

    And I trust that most people here knows that I will call out black homophobia here, in my life, in my family, and on the blogs where I encounter it.

    So now y’all white queens ARE getting a taste of what I put black homophobes through…only now I’m calling out your racism.

  51. says

    Don Belton was no giant of a man. In a physical contest with a 25 year old, he would lose. Even a drunk Marine would have been able to take him down.

    And yes, people, let’s also not omit the fact that Michael alleges that he was assaulted TWICE on Christmas Day.

    Thank you to those of you that have reacted with compassion or at least constraint until more information comes out.

    And I concur, while there is alleged rape and most definitely internalized homophobia, the comments here demonstrate that racism will play a factor in how this plays out as it has already in such a short time.

  52. Wes says

    OnyxEsq, some of us white gays are as disgusted with the prevalent racism as anyone. I think the black community should support the elimination of homophobia as much as the gay community should support the elimination of racism.

  53. Jane Roe says

    GrabbinNewscum is a disgusting conservative troll.

    Anyway, my faith that Prof. Belton will get justice is very low. Even on a gay blog, you have gays instinctively siding with an alleged killer (maybe racial solidarity, maybe they think he’s “cute”?) over a respected member of the community. It’ll probably play out the same way in the community at large, instead of how it probably is, a scumbag lowlife thug (allegedly) murdered a respected professor.

    And to all the abject morons saying that rape allegations will somehow be litigated and proved, the guy being accused is dead! How can this happen?

  54. DR says

    @ Kev

    Maybe he planned on using the knife to threaten, scare, intimidate, or bully. Extortion, blackmail, and robbery could also be possible motives for having the knife. And yes, it’s certainly possible that his plan was just murder.

    One of the biggest problems is weapon choice.

  55. GrabbinNewscum says

    Public opinion opinion polls consistently show that about 50% of whites oppose gay marriage compared to about two-thirds of blacks.

    Among those who voted in the California November 2008 election, a majority of blacks voted FOR Prop 8 while a majority of whites voted AGAINST Prop 8.

  56. Rowan says

    @ Jane Roe

    He was also a realy gay activist and also wrote for the Advocate.

    I’d really go on to Rod 2.0 and read what people are saying about him who he taught. Te guy was well known and apparently really gentle and open minded.

    Again, for me, what was he thinking with this 25 year old thug?

    Furthermore he wrote in his journal that he was happy about the relationship….

    Was this Marine guy even bright? Or an intellectual?

    I’m not judging at all and I love a risk like anyone but times are really hard now. Actually they always have been and gay men to watch their back with whom they let into their life for sex or a fling.

    I hope this man’s supporters like Brandon kick up a real fuss…

  57. Jane Roe says

    “Among those who voted in the California November 2008 election, a majority of blacks voted FOR Prop 8 while a majority of whites voted AGAINST Prop 8.”

    Hey, moron. What happened in Maine, a state that is 97% white? A majority of whites voted against gay marriage.

    Blacks make up a whopping 6% of the CA electorate. Yet they get all the blame for the passage of prop 8.

  58. Wes says

    GrabbinNewscum, regardless of Prop 8 statistics, do you really think THIS MAN who got murdered was some sort of opponent of gay rights?

    In fact, which do you think is more likely to have opposed Prop 8, the professor or the marine?

    Not that any of this Prop 8 talk is even remotely relevant.

  59. Jane Roe says


    Whether or not Griffith is an intellectual, he is a smart man. With this sexual assault allegation, he made sure that sole focus of his murder trial will not be his actions on the day killing, but the sexual conduct and behavior of Belton. We are probably going to hear salacious details of a dead man’s sexual history that he cannot even defend.

    Griffith did what he wanted to do with these allegations.

  60. CheekyPeaches says

    Are we 100% sure the Marine was raped?? In front of his girlfriend?? TWICE??!!?? And then the Marine goes alone to the Professor’s house??!!?? My first thought is anger… not at the Professor but at the Marine. Sounds like a “gay panic” defense set up to me!! I’d be more willing to bet that the Marine has a terrible sense of guilt and self loathing over who he is.

  61. Wes says

    Jane Roe, the sad thing is that you don’t even have to be that smart to realize that.

    People are ready to believe a gay man is a sexual predator about as much as they’re ready to believe a black man is a violent criminal.

  62. John says

    It has nothing to do with Prop. 8, of course, which whites with pre-existing prejudices against African Americans use as a justification for murder.


    It is not even hyperbole here. They are actually defending this murderer using the results of a ballot initiative. Even for shameless racists, this is a new low.

  63. patrick nyc says

    Brandon I’m sorry for your loss, Belton sounds like a wonderful man. It’s sad to read all the speculation about what happened, when no one knows but the three who were there. Since Belton’s only testament will be his journal, I doubt a rapist would write what he did.

    The statements by Griffin are very questionable. I was raped when I was 17, I answered a personal ad and he was much stronger than me. I told no one, I was living at home and not out. One thing is for sure, I would never step foot in his apartment again, which this guy did twice.

    The third party, the missing girlfriend, seems to be the one who can shed light on this event. Either way, Belton did not deserve to die. As for the racism here, it is no different than everywhere in this world, on the net they have the power to hide, like the KKK did under the sheet.

  64. Mike Burns says

    I knew Don. He was an itty bitty little thing and completely harmless and a sweetheart. There is no way short of horse tranqilizers he could have “raped” anybody of this kid’s size. Even if he was so inclined, which he was not. Shocked by the support for the marine? Sadly, not at all. He’s hot and young and I know gays who would still go for Jeffrey Dahmer. Nobody EVER lies about sexual assault? Bull. Shit. Convenient that a dear, sweet man is no longer able to defend himself. Hopefully his friends and journals will allow him to speak in his own defense. The real shame is that he should have to. What with being murdered and all. He will be deeply missed.

  65. Paul R says

    I can’t believe it took many dozens of (mostly pointless, utterly predictable) comments before Patrick NYC pointed out the obvious: no one really knows a damn thing about this case except the accused and the girlfriend. The accused is a murderer, so the girlfriend is the real missing link. She was there, and hopefully she can shed light on the case.

    I’m sure she’ll be willing to come back to town if they, say, threaten to charge her as an accessory to murder. Not saying that she was in the slightest, but the police have ways of getting needed information from persons of interest in a murder case.

  66. Adrian says

    I knew Don. He was a brilliant writer and an even more gifted teacher and mentor. Don gave me support and advice when I needed it most, and he cared deeply about his craft and all of his students.

    Don was a gentle soul, fragile and delicate, and certainly not the thuggish black rapist implied by several of these posts. I just want all of you to know that Don was — is — a real presence in my life, and your conjectural posts that paint him as someone that “deserved to die” not only reflect your own racism, but also wound everyone who has ever known such a sweet man.

    I pray that none of you ever know the pain of seeing someone you love so carelessly vilified and destroyed while still reeling from the fact of their violent and untimely death.

  67. steve says

    i really can’t buy that a 25 year old trained Marine in peak physical form was raped my a 53 year old professor

    sorry it doesn’t jive

    *two* “assaults” – yeah, right

  68. patrick nyc says

    I’m sure she’ll be willing to come back to town if they, say, threaten to charge her as an accessory to murder. Not saying that she was in the slightest, but the police have ways of getting needed information from persons of interest in a murder case.

    If she was present, even if she did not commit the act, she is an accessory if she did not report it. It appears that she did call the police, why they did not insist she come in, or try to find her, is probably due to both homophobia and racism by the police.

    If it was a white woman who was killed, they would be all over it.

  69. Rowan says

    @ Jane Roe

    Sorry, by intellectual I meant in terms of clicking with the proff in relationship terms.

    No. This guy is cunning. You are taught to be cunning in the Marines but like Wes said, it’s soo easy to kill someone and than say they tried to rape you. The gay panic defense that so many people want to believe without eveb doing any work or research.

    The more pictures I see of this man, the smaller he looks. How can someone so tiny, small and frail rape a trained Marine who has youth on his side?

    To all the friends of Don. Work it guys. This is horrible but in his memory something amazing can come out of this.

    This is the beauty of being black. No one sees past your colour, so wow, the amount of time people just eff up and don’t care. Well sorry guys. This time you lost. This person-all black of him-is not some ‘nobody loner’ but someone who was deeply respected and well known.


    @ Mike Burns

    People are funny. It’s not a gay man thing, women are just as bad. And some straight men too who get swindled.

    Loneliness of the heart is a b*tch.

  70. Ealan says

    I took a class taught by Belton @3 years ago and while he did have a provocative personality, I don’t see him as an agressor of any kind.

    To me, this story sounds like the reason you don’t bother messing around with “trade”. The morning after, the first thing they want to do is flip the script and make themselves the victim and you the big bad gay. I’m 110% in favor of victims rights, but how did this guy wind up being assaulted twice? And why isn’t his girlfriend backing him up on this.

  71. says

    I’m surprised you bunch didn’t go the “I’d do him, he’s hot” route right off the bat. I was actually shocked at the sympathy for the murderer that came right up.

    Wonder what would be said if the races and hair had been reversed?

    Some of you do your race no favors.

  72. Jane Roe says

    “I’m surprised you bunch didn’t go the “I’d do him, he’s hot” route right off the bat.”

    Whatever you do, don’t go to, becuase over there, they did that.

  73. Fred says

    I can’t imagine a 20 something decorated Marine being raped by anyone much less a 50 something college professor. And why 5-6 stab wounds – a decorated Marine would only need one.

    I think the Marine is gay or at least questioning.

    Sorry 50 something professors just don’t rape 20 something Marines – even cute ones!

    Damn, I’ll be his cell mate – for one night.

  74. Jane Roe says

    Thank you for posting that, Ava. Lots of interesting stuff in there.

    Griffith was 6’0″, 220lbs.

    Griffith was read his Miranda rights and waived them. He admitted to killing Belton.

    I take back what I wrote above, Griffith is not terribly bright. He thinks the sex stuff is going to prevent him getting the chair. I wouldn’t be sure of that.

  75. DR says

    Affidavit of PC doesn’t contain anything all that startling, at least not to me, but I read these things every day. Most interesting thing is redacting the girlfriend’s name. Probably because she’s “not available”?

    Looks like Indiana has the death penalty. Wonder if the prosecutors will go for it or LWOP. Wonder how long it’ll take Griffin to lawyer up… wonder if he’s gonna go for murder three or manslaughter of some sort.

    I still find the naivete on both sides amusing, but maybe that’s because I’m part of the justice system. I readily admit to being jaded, I’ve seen it all. Will be following this one as much as possible, though. Lots of questions which I would like to see the answers to…

    And for the guys commenting on Griffin’s “hotness”, can you please keep in mind that a man is dead? If the best you have to contribute is “gee, he’s hot” can you please use a bit of discretion before hitting the “post” key. It’s bad enough wading through all the bickering and accusations of various “isms”, the last thing we need to aggravate matters by sexualizing Griffin. He is probably gonna be charged with murder and those posts are just creepy.

  76. Nate says

    Do you really think a 53-year-old PROFESSOR could force a 25-year-old MARINE to do ANYTHING? He couldn’t even force him to have a drink, much less to have sex. Plus, MURDER IS MURDER, and it’s not self defense if you wait two days from when you were supposedly “forced” to do something against your will.

    Not much of defense. RIP Don Belton.

    P.S. Bloomington, and Indiana at large, can’t let someone get away with murder, and we won’t.

  77. jeff s says

    I’m a 40 something black gay man who lives in the same city as the crime. and i tend to date younger white men. i’ve lived here a long time. i do not believe race will be the issue at trial. it will be a town vs. gown coupled with gay vs. straight issue. and alcohol related crimes are always big news in this Big 10 town. The Prof was highly accomplished, highly respected. This was an unfortunate crime. But we will never know the whole story, will we?

  78. NancyBoyDrew says

    The facts are not real clear on this one. The marine had sex with the professor twice? Then it is rape? Something is amiss here. And why would the professor write that he was glad the marine was in his life in his journal if the marine was indeed, a rape victim. This does not add up and is worth watching to see what the outcome it.

  79. Pinky Tuscadero says

    HMMMMMMMMMM I smell a rat….
    MISS GRABBYSCUMMYWUMMY time for your ridlin or did your Mummy dearotten give it to you already.

    Do any of you gurls remember the Jenny Jones murder? This in many ways seems kind of like that. If this professor was revered at IU…This Marine is DONE!

  80. Wheezy says

    The girlfriend who witnessed the “rape” ( 2 X’s no less!) is the one who turned Bolton into the police for murder.

    I’m putting my money on post-gay-sex-homo-phobic-hustler freak out killing, myself.

  81. mark says

    if you were sexually assaulted, you need counseling, std and hiv testing and not confrontation and violence. a restraining order and some competent professionals to assist can help. however, we live in an imperfect world, with situations like this, and I can imagine living in a town in indiana can confuse things. gay on gay crime is handled or taken more seriously in larger metropolitan areas and can still be a problem to resolve, and for the victim to be taken seriously and have competent understanding of the issues. my hope is that there will be some way to make sense out of this for all the parties involved.

  82. TANK says

    Wow, this is quite an eye opener about the mainstream response to a tragedy of this nature. First, we had people siding with the perpetrator based on…not information, so good old george bush “gut reaction”. But in the context of the invalid gay panic defense in its many formulations being the go to legal strategy for slayings involving gays, it seems all the more overtly homophobic and perhaps racist.

    And then we have the idiots who are blaming the potential rape victim by insisting he should have gone to the police, and that he didn’t equals he wasn’t sexually assaulted. These people live in a fairytale, apparently…populated by retards (no offense). Why don’t male victims of rape seek help? Because of sexism, amplified by military culture in this case. WHy don’t many female victims of rape go to the authorities? Fear, shame, sexism…a lot of the same reasons that men don’t, only men aren’t supposed to be “helpless victims”, creating an additional hurtle.

    How many of us are quick to kick the legs out from the gay panic defense when it involves someone who isn’t white male ex military? We would even be entertaining the possibility of the accusation being true if it were just another white male homophobe, or if the murder victim was robbed? No.

    But let’s do it. Let’s say it’s true, and that belton sexually assaulted what’s his face when he was intoxicated. Interesting that he mentioned intoxicated to increase plausibility of a 53 year old english teach having his way with a 25 year old decorated marine…interesting, huh? He still killed him, and should go to prison. However, rape is one of the best reasons to kill someone else, and that should mitigate the sentencing. Of course, people like to say that there’s no good reason to kill someone ever…but given reality, that’s awful hard to prove that absolute. Yes, virginia, some people deserve to be murdered…and murdered brutally.

    Whether or not Belton sexually assaulted the perp in this case is irrelevant to the fact that justice won’t be served. Belton has two hits against him…black and gay, and in the eyes of your average american jury, that’s hardly a person at all.

    In the absence of actual information, I suspend judgment. But, I’m awful curious to find out how don belton and michael marine…met. Doesn’t seem like they’d travel in the same circles.

  83. PiercedStrong says

    Listen to you people gossip and slander… I feel like I’m in a gay bar… Clearly, the facts of this case haven’t come out yet and it’s premature to speculate with so little information. Why are you guys getting so hot and bothered without any facts?

    Would anyone here care about this story if one of the people was a woman? Sadly, no.

  84. says

    Of course, the gays aren’t going to have outrage why would they right? After all, a black gay man died he isn’t a “real” member of the LGBT community in some white queers eyes. The apathy here is racism that’s pretty obvious. Belton was a black gay man and not white. Since Griffin is a young white guy some white gays probably have sympathy for him. The gay community makes me want to vomit sometimes. The apathy and racism here is just disgusting.

  85. Robert says

    This makes me feel like I’m from BizarroWorld – Belton is MUCH more attractive from my point of view than Griffin. I wouldn’t even notice him in a room, but the prof I’d spot a half block away. Go figure.

  86. TJ says

    Wow. What a mess! Posted earlier today; came back to all hell till busting loose.

    One man’s OPINION:

    It seems unlikely, given all the info that I have read so far (AND NOTE – I have just READ, don’t know for sure), that the slight, 53 year-old professor raped or otherwise assaulted the much bigger, younger, former Marine. Education about gay panic, internalized homophobia, and the likelihood that not being able to handle same-sex attractions further informs an opinion about a situation of which I still don’t have all of the facts. Prudence, not prejudice, makes me want more info. ANY hesitation or offering of additional information on my part, in this discussion, is NOT because I think the Black Man is a rapist, or that I find the murderer “cute.” I can’t speak for anyone else. I ask, unrealistically, for your trust. And I only post this because there might be others here who may have been painted over by a wide and unfair paint brush. I GET the mistrust, and the finger-pointing. But if we are to ever progress as a society, we have to to get past the stereotyping. And even if racism is most properly the domain of the powerful, stereotyping is universal.

  87. bruceG says

    @ Brandon –> Thank you. I grieve for your loss and you’ve stated everything you wrote with clarity and truth. Others here should take note.

    I am a 50 yo man of colour, who has also written for the Advocate and marched at the front of pride parades. I consider myself a musician/teacher. I have loved men 10+ younger than me and 30 years older, in my life. Never have I felt the need to explain who I am or defend it, even though I have been goaded. I’ve lived a lot of my life in small towns and big ones. I live with dignity. I have been very lucky. I was also the victim of a sexual assault, once. I believe in love as the most powerful force we share. In such love, I refuse to prejudge ere the facts and try to treat all fairly.

    I greive for every person I’ve lost since 1984, some more than others.

    I am ashamed at some of the comments that I’ve read here.

    I believe to can be better. Much.

  88. Jedi says

    I find that Towleroad readers are mostly white, male, homosexual and racist toward black people.

    Which is the ultimate double standard (no, make that triple standard).

    Just my two cents.

  89. Mike Burns says

    Here’s another question that might throw some doubt on Griffin’s story. What exactly was a strapping young unemployed ex-Marine doing spending Christmas Day at the home of an older gay man he had only recently met? Why wasn’t he spending it with his girlfriend and child or, you know, the REST of his family? And where did they meet? How did they meet? What could they possibly have had in common that Don would consider him a friend?

    Facing a murder charge? Claim you were assaulted, not once but twice and hope for manslaughter, or with the right jury, acquittal. We are not that far removed from similar cases where the judge praised the killer for doing a service to the community. Hell, we live in a time when whole countries want to put us all to death simply for being homosexual.

    And here we stand, the great gay “community”, praising the actions of a hot, young murderer against one of our own who suffered from the twin curses of being black and “old”.


  90. CB3000 says

    Ugh… there’s no need or point to throwing the race card into this one.

    weirdo diary entry works in the favor of the professor, as does the car with all the contact info left by the PC with no other stuff around (Craigslist 101, right?).

    Add the “twice” in there with regard to the “assault” (whatever that means, which we don’t know yet), the fact that our Marine showed up not only with a knife on his person but with a CHANGE OF CLOTHES in his vehicle, and the whole things looks fishier and fisher. I’ll look forward to watching this unfold. Too bad we can’t all bet on it, eh? :-)

  91. forreal says

    This is exactly why I stopped coming to this site. You nasty racist white queens make me want to vomit. You are all caricatures of your straight white brethren. RIP Gay Black brother and I hope they fry that murderous piece of shit.

    – Gay, Black & Proud

  92. THE WISE FAMILY says

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    December 31, 2009 at 11:45 am
    Don was a very humble person if you got to know him. This murder comes as a huge shock to our family. Our family loved Don dearly. I am one of the many cousins that Don has. I would like everyone to know that the family doesn’t believe that the story that Michael has told is true. THE FAMILY LOVES YOU DON R.I.P. WE PRAY THAT THE MEDIA LET’S YOU R.I.P. TOO.

  93. John says

    I don’t know if white folks realize how absurd it sounds when they say “we don’t have all the facts, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and everyone needs to be more patient.” And moreover, that this frosty response has nothing to do with latent racism.


    You ask us to place our faith in a criminal justice system that has vilified African Americans as thugs and rapists for centuries, under circumstances that are incredible to believe (i.e. a frail professor raping a young marine *twice*), compounded by a total lack of emotional resonance and snide comments about the victim from the peanut gallery.

    How exactly did you think it would be perceived?

  94. From Bloomington says

    Here is a website set up by people who knew Don Belton and offer more complete details than the media is offering. Our community is sickened not only by this horrific act and loss of such a valued and loved member of our community, but also at how the media has already maligned Don.

  95. says

    Andy Towle doesn’t even moderate the racist anti black comments on this blog. Of course, Towle can say he cannot “control” the bigotry. However, Towle’s silence about the racism says a lot about Andy Towle and his character as a person. This will be the last time I visit this racist blog. It is incidents like this tragedy which underscore why some gays of colour do not support the white LGBT community. And white gays wonder why people of colour don’t support them. Well just read the racist comments on this blog.

Leave A Reply