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04/19/2007


Andrew Anthos Death Inspires Reintroduction of Hate Crime Bill

Anthos2_1_1_1Sometimes it takes a horrific tragedy, in this case the cold-blooded murder of Detroit senior Andrew Anthos, to move people to action.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Senator Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) says he'll re-introduce legislation to expand Michigan's hate crime statues to include sexual orientation. Similar legislation, of which Clarke was a co-sponsor, failed to pass last year. Hopefullly Anthos' murder will inspire people to see that it needs to happen.

Said Clarke: "I believe Mr. Anthos death will be a watershed. It’s going to be successful."

Clarke also vowed to give Anthos what he campaigned for for nearly 20 years — the lighting of the Michigan statehouse dome in red, white, and blue. Anthos cousin, Athena Fedenis, said it was his dying wish:

"One of the last things he said to me was 'Promise me my dearest cousin,' to continue the fight."

Neal Rubin, of the Detroit News, has written a column about Anthos' attempts over the years to get his message heard.

Sadly, it took a metal pipe, a crushed spine, and a man's soul for people to finally listen.

Background
Funeral Set for Slain Gay Detroit Senior Andrew Anthos [tr]
Gay Senior Citizen Brutally Beaten in Detroit Hate Attack Dies [tr]
72-Year-Old Detroit Man Paralyzed After Brutal Anti-Gay Attack [tr]


Funeral Set for Slain Gay Detroit Senior Andrew Anthos

Anthos2_1_1Funeral arrangements have been set for Andrew Anthos, the 72-year-old gay senior citizen who was beaten to death in a homophobic hate crime last week in Detroit.

A public viewing and visitation will be held from 2-9pm tomorrow - Tuesday, February 27 and a service will be held at 1pm on Wednesday at the Ford Funeral Home, 26560 Van Dyke, Center Line, Michigan 48015; (586) 754-2464.

The other tragedy? A senior citizen who campaigned for 20 years is beaten to death with a pipe in an anti-gay attack and not one item from CNN, or the other major outlets. Pathetic.

ADDENDUM: A tipster writes in, "The family has requested that donations be made in the family’s name to go toward Mr. Anthos’ dome fund and to assist them in their campaign to fight hate crimes. Funds in the Anthos family name can be mailed directly to the funeral home, however, I have no idea what or how funds will be used specifically or what anti-hate crime campaign the family plans to commence."

Background
Gay Senior Citizen Brutally Beaten in Detroit Hate Attack Dies [tr]
Gay Senior Victim of Detroit Hate Attack Given Last Rites [tr]
Gay Senior Citizen Patriot Clings to Life After Attack [tr]
72-Year-Old Detroit Man Paralyzed After Brutal Anti-Gay Attack [tr]


Gay Senior Citizen Brutally Beaten in Detroit Hate Attack Dies

Anthos2_1Andrew Anthos, 72, the gay senior citizen who waged a nearly-two-decade campaign to have the Michigan capitol dome lit in red, white, and blue, died yesterday from injuries sustained in a brutal hate attack.

Anthos, whom his niece says had a lifelong disability, was riding a bus home and a stranger, apparently offended that Anthos was singing, asked Anthos if he was gay, followed him off a bus, and beat him with a pipe. Anthos spent the last few days in a coma, paralyzed from the neck down, before dying yesterday.

Cold-blooded murder.

Police have not found the attackers. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has offered to pay for his funeral.

For background, see...
Gay Senior Victim of Detroit Hate Attack Given Last Rites [tr]
Gay Senior Citizen Patriot Clings to Life After Attack [tr]
72-Year-Old Detroit Man Paralyzed After Brutal Anti-Gay Attack [tr]


Gay Senior Victim of Detroit Hate Attack Given Last Rites

Andrew_anthos_1Andrew Anthos, the 72-year-old victim of the horrific gay bashing in Detroit I've been reporting on, was administered last rites on Thursday evening. He is not expected to make it.

His niece reports: "His breathing is very shallow and doctors don't expect him to make it through the next 24 hours."

It had been reported that the victim was asked if he was gay before the beating, but a few of these details are new: "According to family members, witnesses said the attack came after a fellow passenger on a city bus took offense to Anthos' singing, then followed him off the bus. The man then reportedly called Anthos a 'faggot' and beat him with a pipe."

No arrests have been made and "Detroit Police spokesman Leon Rahmaan declined Friday to assign a motive." Uh, doesn't screaming "faggot" and beating someone into a coma with a pipe pretty much describe the motive? Come on!

If folks think we've moved beyond the Matthew Shepard days, think again!


Gay Senior Citizen Patriot Clings to Life After Attack

A sad update on the recent Detroit hate attack:

Andrew Anthos, the 72-year-old Detroit man I reported on Wednesday was brutally beaten with a pipe outside his apartment after a stranger approached him on a bus and asked him if he was gay, now clings to life in a coma and is not expected to live through the weekend, according to the Detroit News.

Anthos2The beating left Anthos paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak above a whisper. Doctors reportedly performed emergency spinal surgery but were not able to reverse the paralysis. His niece, Athena Fedenis, 45, told the paper that Anthos is gay: "There's nothing else they can do but keep him comfortable. He wasn't robbed. It strictly was a hate crime. This monster gave Andrew a slow, painful death...Our family is just sick. We can't understand why someone would do something like this."

The only lead police have of the perpetrators is a vague description Anthos gave them before he slipped into a coma.

Anthos is apparently well-known in Detroit for his 18-year-campaign to light the Capitol Dome, according to the Landing State Journal (see photo):

"Anthos, who lived in Lansing at the time, often stopped in to get copies of the copious leaflets he created in the course of his 18-year-long Quixotic campaign to convince state officials to illuminate the Capitol dome with red, white and blue lights at least once a year, on Independence Day.

With typical Anthos flair, he told one of several State Journal reporters who interviewed him over the years: '(Lighting the dome was) ... a noble, fair, inexpensive and very patriotic proposal - a symbol of what liberty, democracy and freedom espouse.'

Anthos_1Anthos collected endorsements for his idea the way some people collect autographs. He got letters of support from Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, actress Ava Gardner, Detroit radio personality J.P. McCarthy - even recent GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos.

If there's anyone on earth who would appreciate letters and cards from well-wishers, it's Anthos. They may be sent to him at:

Andrew Anthos, Detroit Receiving Hospital, 4201 Saint Antoine, Detroit, MI 48201."

Here's a touching article about Anthos from the State News from five years ago: "The 67-year-old Detroit resident, who collects 'Titanic' movie paraphernalia and idolizes the late actress Ava Gardner, says his biggest passion is his 15-year-old dream to light the outside of the Capitol 'with the soft colors of red, white and blue' on special occasions and holidays."

Anthos was obviously a true patriot who loved his country. If this is not enough to get Michigan to wake up and realize that sexual orientation needs to be part of the hate crime laws, I don't know what is.

While the Lansing State Journal reports Anthos' condition as conscious, the Detroit News obviously reports a more grim situation. I pray that Anthos will come out of it and the police catch the sad, pathetic excuse for a human being who committed this crime.

Our thoughts go out to Anthos and his family.

You may have missed...
72-Year-Old Detroit Man Paralyzed After Brutal Anti-Gay Attack [tr]

(photo source top)
(photo source bottom)


72-Year-Old Detroit Man Paralyzed After Brutal Anti-Gay Attack

A disgusting story out of Detroit — a 72-year-old man pursued and beaten in a sick attack that appears to have been motivated by the man's perceived sexual orientation.

WDIV reports:

Anthos"The victim, Andrew Anthos (right), was riding a city bus back to his residence at Detroit's Windsor Tower apartments on Feb. 13 when another male passenger asked him if he was gay, Anthos's niece, Athena Fedenis said. Anthos was followed by the man from the bus and beaten with a pipe in front of his apartment, Fedenis said."

Due to the repeated beating, Anthos is now paralyzed from the neck down and cannot speak above a whisper.

Said the victim's aunt: "It just doesn't make any sense. Why do people have to hurt each other?"

This is what you get in America for being perceived as gay.

Detroit police are investigating the attack and asking for anyone with information to come forward. Unfortunately, sexual orientation is not covered under Michigan's hate crime statutes.

Man Left Paralyzed In Brutal Beating [WDIV]


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