Slain Iowa Teen Was Not Gay, Murder Not a Hate Crime, Family Says

The family of Marcellus Andrews, who was killed last month in a mob attack which began with anti-gay slurs, support the police in not investigating the fatal beating as a hate crime, and say Andrews was not gay, the WCF Courier reports:

Andrews His sister, Nichella Andrews, 22, supports the police in ruling out a hate crime. Witnesses' accounts of what allegedly happened have been blown out of proportion, she said. A cousin, Renicia Haywood, 18, noted that a person who displays perceived feminine actions is not necessarily gay.

"They didn't come to beat him up because he was gay," Haywood said. "There's more to the story."

"Gay or not, perceived as gay still ends up being a hate crime under those conditions," said Jim Day, vice president of the Black Hawk County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Perception of gay and being gay still both qualify."

Police say that Andrews' death was motivated by a dispute between two rival groups.


  1. Rick says

    Actually, Mr. Day is wrong. The REASON for the attack has to be hatred for the group in question in order for such an attack to qualify as a hate crime.

    Regardless, this is either a case of yet another black family that is so deeply and tragically homophobic that they will do anything to cover up the fact that a family member is gay, even under the most tragic of circumstances……OR it is a case of so many of you jumping to a conclusion that a hate crime was committed before all the facts are known, which is terribly irresponsible on your parts and will eventually lead to a loss of credibility in such claims by the authorities. Crying wolf when there is no wolf eventually catches up with you, you know…..

  2. say what says


    “yet another…………family that is so deeply and tragically homophobic that they will do anything to cover up the fact that a family member is gay, even under the most tragic of circumstances.’

    see how your statement fits reality = too many families of every ethnicity,race, and religion

    But we all know you just had to get a dig in there with “Black” just like you have always done in almost all of your posts

  3. Rick says

    @Say What This phenomenon is disproportionately common among African-Americans, although there are instances of it among all groups. It derives from the same factors that are causing HIV infection rates to be much higher among black men than among any group in the population, by far–the “down low” effect that is well-documented, etc.

    And I think most African-American gays would acknowledge as much, unless, like you and Derrick, you are so intent on trying to find instances of “racism” where they don’t exist that you try to cover all that up, as you are doing in this instance.

  4. NVAgBoi says

    Ironically, if this were indeed a hate crime, it would be further perpetrated not jsut by this boy’s assailants but also by his family from their own homophobia.

    And when I say that let us recall the fact that one does not NEED be gay for a hate crime to be committed in most jurisdictions, only that they were PERCEIVED as such and this PERCEPTION was the basis for the crime. If it was indeed a bias-motivated killing under this statutorial delineation then the family’s own homophobia would be doing such a great diservice to their son and the community all because it is so deep that they don’t even want him to be associated with any gay aspect whatsoever. Actually, this family is exhibiting homophobia no matter what the facts are related to the motivation for the crime. Just sad all the way around.

  5. Alex Parrish says

    I don’t know whether Mr Andrews was gay or not — and only he could tell us. I seriously doubt that his family is a credible source about this, but neither is anybody else who doesn’t have personal experience with Mr. Andrews expression of his sexuality.

    Nevertheless, Mr Andrews sexuality is irrelevant to whether this is a hate-crime. If the perpetrators acted with malice towards a specific group and/or because they suspected that Mr Andrews was a member of said group, it is a hate-crime (whether the perpetrators are correct in their assumptions or not.) I can only guess what motivation his family might have for trying to dismiss hate-crime enhancements in this murder case; it seems wrong-headed to me, but their wishes should not enter into the discussion as to whether this is a hate-crime or not. Period.

  6. Hollywood, CA says

    Let me tell you something about BLACK FAMILIES: They don’t like to address the gay issue, and unless you write it across your forehead, they are apt to believe anything else. I personally never had a serious girlfriend through High School & College, and I’m GORGEOUS! It wasn’t until I was 28 years old and actually spoke the words “I’m Gay,” did they realize I wasn’t straight. We were a Christian family, and it just wasn’t done. So, the fact that his family is saying that doesn’t mean he wasn’t gay. It just means it was clear that he had no one really to turn to, even his family.

  7. Hollywood, CA says

    Oh, and the “feminine” straight guys? Where are they? Is that even real? I mean, may straight guys do “feminine” things? yes? Would you call them feminine? Only if they did it so much that you thought they were gay… which they all turn out to be (MICHELLE BACHMAN’S HUSBAND!”

  8. redball says

    HOLLYWOOD, CA: you mean SOME black families. but the same goes for many other groups too, including whites.

    the personal story that you related implies that you are black, so it’s a shame that you would grossly stereotype your own kind. i hope it just an honest oversight.

  9. elg/edwin says

    @Redball said:
    “the personal story that you related implies that you are black, so it’s a shame that you would grossly stereotype your own kind. i hope it just an honest oversight.”

    Me (black gay man):
    Maybe it’s not stereotyping IF it’s true.

    Instead of saying “black families”, he should have said MOST (or many) BLACK FAMILES, in order to satify people like you.

    I believe your heart is in the right place, Redball, but I think you’re not looking at the big picture.

    Here’s the thing. Any SUGGESTION that straight black people MAY be more homophobic than other races/ethnic groups brings out the anti-racism folks (and that’s often a good thing) but what if it’s true that STRAIGHT BLACKS, as a group ( exceptions are duly noted), really ARE more homophobic than other groups

    BTW, I consider myself an “anti-racism person” but SOMETIMES it can be taken too far. I fear that eventually white gay men are going to get tired of “defending” black LGBT people if everytime they come to a black gay man’s defense some of us find fault with something some white gay man said or did and decide to leave us to fight our own battles. I would hate to see that happen because what resources does the average black LGBT person have to fight homophobia on the institutional (or even personal level) level?

  10. Craig says

    Killing someone is not a hate crime? How much more hatred do they WANT before they will call it a hate crime?

    Utterly ridiculous.

  11. Chitown Kev says

    Hmmmmm…this evolved into an intersting discussion…

    I’m more inclined to agree with elg.

    I mean, if someone says something that is outright racist then it has to be called out.

    If it’s just ignorant then propose a modified POV with the missing facts/opinions.

    If it’s just a knee jerk defense of straight black folks then…well…that needs to stop.

    Assuming that the overwhelming majority of us are gay, most of us were taught not to air the community’s dirty laundry out in the streets.

    That statement is just as true in gay communities as it is in black communities (although the issues that aren’t supposed to get aired are, for the most part, very different).

    OTOH, not airing some of the dirty laundry out in the streets may be a part of the problem with black gay men. and it my be killing some of us.

  12. elg/edwin says

    Thank you for the support.

    I’ve been feeling this way for some time now but didn’t quite know how to express it without seeming like I was turning my back on the “anti-racism people” or getting “soft”.

    The “anti-racism people” have done heroic work on this blog. Because of their work we can now, I believe, judge each case on a case-by-case basis. As Kev said, if something is “outright racist” then we need to “GO HARD” on the offender. For example, white gay men who show up here using the “N word” need to be thrown to the wolves. But if it’s just “ignorant”, another approach may be in order.

    And we black gay men have to go just as hard on homophobic STRAIGHT BLACK folks. To do anything else means we’re saying that our race identity is “more important” than our sexual orientation. That is unacceptable to me.

    Thank you again CHITOWN KEV.