Hate Crime Hub

French Courts Convict Three For 'Burn the Gays' Hate Tweets

Brûlonslesgayssurdu trendThree were convicted in a Paris court this week on anti-gay hate speech charges for tweeting "#brûlonslesgayssurdu", which approximately translates as, "let's burn the gays" in August 2013. Comité Idaho brought the case to court on grounds of inciting hatred and violence on basis of sexual orientation, and the three offenders have been punished with fines, one for €300 ($336.09) and the other two for €500 ($560.15) each.

There is mixed reaction to the verdict. On the one hand, French LGBT groups are calling it a "significant victory", while other LGBT rights groups consider the punishments to be light given that the maximum penalties for the crimes they committed are up to a year in prison and a €45,000 ($50,413.50) fine.

Regardless, president of Comité Idaho Alexandre Marcel remarked:

It's a small amount to pay for calling for the death of homosexuals.

Police on the Hunt for 3 Men Involved in Possible Anti-gay Hate Crime on West Hollywood Man: VIDEO


Police in West Hollywood are searching for three men accused of committing a potential hate crime that left a 31-year-old gay man with a large gash to his head, ABC 7 reports:

Don Brooks told Eyewitness News he was crossing the street at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday with friends when a group of men in a car drove by and began shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.

He said three men got out of a white Audi Q4. The two parties exchanged words and the men then jumped him. The assault took place near Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. 

"[The suspects were] just shouting things at me, racial slurs, homophobic slurs," Brooks said. "They charged me. It gets a little blurry from there, but I was definitely rushed and pushed." 

Brooks claims the suspects ran from the scene and left him injured on the sidewalk.

Brooks"I fell to the ground, hit the back of my head and then they left me laying there bleeding. Luckily, I wasn't robbed. They just did what they did and I think they saw that maybe I was bleeding and then they freaked out and left," Brooks said. 

Brooks says he blacked out after the hard fall. When he came to, he managed to dial 911 on his cell phone and help arrived. He says he was targeted because he is gay. 

"They saw me crossing, they saw that I was gay, and they wanted to just feel manly, or whatever," Brooks said.

Brooks was admitted to a hospital, where he receied four staples to his scalp. Police are asking anyone with information to call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Watch an ABC 7 report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Passenger Gets Slap On Wrist For Drunken, Anti-Gay Assault Caught On Video At Dallas Airport


The passenger who went on a drunken, violent, anti-gay rampage that was caught on video at DFW International Airport in October will pay $474 in fines for the incident, according to a court spokeswoman. 

BenhamMcCleish Christmas Benham (right), now 28, of Shelbyville, Tennessee, assaulted two people while yelling anti-gay epithets, before other passengers tackled him to the ground and he was arrested on Oct. 23. 

A bystander captured the incident on video and posted it on YouTube, where it's been viewed more than 5 million times.

Benham was charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time. The case was referred to the Municipal Court in the city of Grapevine, Texas. 

Cindy Eteaki, court manager for the city of Grapevine, told Towleroad on Wednesday that Benham posted a cash bond to get out of jail and entered a conditional plea of no contest at the time. Because Benham failed to appear in court, his bond will be forfeited and he will be convicted on both counts, Eteaki said. Benham's bond was $262 dollars on the assault charge and $212 on the public intoxication, for a total of $474.

The FBI has declined to comment on whether it is investigating the incident as an anti-gay hate crime under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act of 2009. 

Expert Pete Schulte, an openly gay criminal defense attorney and former police officer from Dallas, has said he believes authorities mishandled the case — and Benham should have been charged with class-A misdemeanor assault, punishable by up to one year in jail: 

“I’m sure the individual who was punched felt a little pain based on the video,” Schulte said. “Class-C assault is offensive contact without any pain.

“He could be charged with resisting arrest if they decide the person who broke his ankle was attempting to arrest him,” Schulte added. “It appears that DFW airport police may have not done a great job in this case.”

Benham had previously been in trouble for theft and animal abuse.  

Watch video of the attack, AFTER THE JUMP ... 


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Russian Government Bans Transgender People From Obtaining Driver's Licenses

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 4.11.05 PM

The Russian government continues its steady persecution of LGBT citizens as Russian transgender people no longer qualify for driver’s licenses in the country under a new set of revisions to medical controls for drivers, reports BBC News.

The Russian government says the new rules are to help cut down on the number of car accidents. Although most of the provisions refer to physical impairments, such as blindness, “gender identity disorders” including transsexualism and dual-role transvestism are referenced in the revised provisions. Sadomasochism and exhibitionism are included as well according to BuzzFeed’s J. Lester Feder and Susie Armitage.

Human rights activists and organizations, including the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, are justly outraged, calling the new law “discriminatory.” The Association of Russian Lawyers is demanding clarifications from the Russian Constitutional Court and seeking support from international human rights organizations in the process. Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First calls the banning of people driving based on gender identity ridiculous.

Said Gaylord:

"Beyond the denial of basic freedoms, this provision may deter transgender people from seeking mental health services for fear of receiving a diagnosis that would strip them of their right to drive, and leaves the door open for increased harassment, persecution, and discrimination of transgender people by Russian authorities.

"We urge the United States to immediately condemn this provision and to press the Russian government to repeal this decision."

Russian psychiatric experts Mikhail Strakhov and Valery Evtushenko of the Russian Psychiatric Association also condemned the regulations. However, the Professional Drivers Union supported the move, including union head Alexander Kotov. "We have too many deaths on the road, and I believe toughening medical requirements for applicants is fully justified,” said Kotov.

The driving regulations is just one more contribution to creating a hostile, oppressive environment for LGBT Russians and it’s clearly working. Since Russia passed it’s anti-gay “propaganda,” law in June 2013, hate crimes against LGBT people in Russia have dramatically increased. 

Charges Against Philadelphia Gay-Bashing Trio Read In Court This Week

Philip Williams, Kevin Harrigan, and Kathryn Knott

Last September a trio of horrible people were arrested on charges of assaulting a gay couple in Center City, Philadelphia, resulting in the hospitalization of the gay couple.  Due to lack of LGBT protections in Pennsylvania the assailants cannot be brought up on charges of hate crimes, so they have been arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person (REAP). Phillip Williams and Kevin Harrigan are also charged with conspiracy.

Philadelphia Gay News reports:

A judge last month upheld all charges against the three, who have been out on bail since shortly after their Sept. 24 arrest. In the fall, Philadelphia adopted an LGBT-inclusive hate-crime law, but none of the defendants can be charged under it, since it was enacted after the incident. However, at last month’s preliminary hearing, assistant district attorney Michael Barry, who is prosecuting the case, emphasized that the suspects’ alleged anti-LGBT animus was a primary factor in the crime, and served as the basis for the conspiracy charge.

The trial isn't due to start until later this year, but we will be reporting on it once it begins.

Police Search For Clues After Gay Man Is Mysteriously Beaten To Death In Northwest Georgia: VIDEO


After a 2-mile walk, Paul Guerrant was just a few hundred yards from home on the evening of Dec. 22 — a cold, rainy night in Dalton, Georgia. 

Guerrant, 43, had been talking to a friend from out of state on his cell phone as he walked alone across the Northwest Georgia town, 90 miles north of Atlanta near Chattanooga, Tenn. 

At 9:28 p.m., the call ended, cell phone records indicate. Nine minutes later, a passerby called 911 to report Guerrant lying in the street unresponsive. Guerrant was rushed to a hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma to the head, having been struck multiple times with a hammer-like object.  

DaltonNow, police are offering a $10,000 reward as they search for clues about what happened during those nine minutes, in a case that has some telltale signs of an anti-gay hate crime. 

Project Q Atlanta reports: 

The severity of the attack indicates that Guerrant knew his killer, Dalton police spokesperson Bruce Frazier told Project Q Atlanta on Tuesday.

"When you see this kind of violence, typically the attacker and the victim know each other," Frazier says. "That level of violence can occur in a random encounter but it is much more likely that it is somebody that knew the victim and that there was a personal motivation behind it. We don't know that for sure, but that is the assumption you would make from this level of attack."

Frazier says detectives have ruled out any of Guerrant's known associates such as friends or ex-boyfriends as suspects in the homicide. But whether Guerrant's sexual orientation was a factor in his murder isn't clear, he says.

"Whether the victim being gay is motivation for the attack, we really don't know the answer to that. At this point, we have not identified a suspect or motive for the attack. It's possible but it's not something that we're ready to identify as the reason for the attack," Frazier says.

According to The Times Free Press of Chattanooga, Guerrant had struggled with alcoholism and homelessness, but had recently celebrated 17 years of sobriety and been baptized in a local church.

Guerrant's Facebook page shows signs of a recent relapse, as well as intense anger about an ex-boyfriend's plans to marry another man. But on the night of his murder, Gerrant was walking home from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. 

From The Times Free Press

Guerrant, 43, had grown up in Dalton but left some time after graduating high school in 1991, longtime family friend Sally Higgins said. She said he recently returned to Dalton but wasn't in contact with local family members.

"He was trying to get on the right path," Higgins said. "He'd made big strides over the past year." ... 

At Rock Bridge Community Church, Guerrant had grown involved in several small group ministries, the pastor said. And he served on a technology team to help with the church's productions. Turley remembers him always being full of joy and enthusiasm.

"We were excited about the journey he was taking with God," Turley said. "This has just been a terrible tragedy for us as a church. We're heartbroken. We would love to see justice. But we're also very grateful to have been a part of a process in his life to where now we know where he is. For that part we're relieved."

Anyone with information about Guerrant's murder is asked to contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and then enter extension 189.

Watch WRCB-TV's report on Guerrant's murder, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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