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04/19/2007


Documentary About The Murder Of Lawrence King Shows Teachers, Jurors Sympathized With His Killer: VIDEO

Jurors

On Monday night HBO aired Valentine Road, a documentary of the murder of high schooler Lawrence "Larry" King by his classmate Brandon McInerney. Some of the clips available from the show are positively gut-wrenching, particularly when King's former 7th grade teacher Shirley Brown says, without an ounce of shame, that:

"When he asked me what to do about the situation [of his orientation], my response to him was, 'Nothing! What to do about the situation is 'nothing,' and to keep it private, and to dwell upon on it.' Larry shouldn't have expressed himself so blatantly, openly transexual."

He came to her for help, and Ms. Brown tried instead to make him feel shame.

Arguably worse are the attitudes of some of the jurors who can't seem to quite grasp the gravity of the crime of one student murdering another, clucking amongst themselves as if McInerney was an 8-year-old child who had gotten into a fight rather than a 14-year-old young adult who deliberately killed his classmate. They also seem intent on making sure that King bore some of the responsibility for his own murder. Said jurors Diane Michaels and Karen McElhaney to each other:

"Where are the civil rights of the one being taunted by another person who is cross-dressing? They have to address that, it's very important. No, it wasn't addressed, and he had no one he could turn to because the school was so pro-Larry King's civil rights. But where was Brandon's civil rights?"
"It was the high heels, I think it was the makeup, the behavior..."
"Because Marina..."
"Yes, she had a girlfriend, they were told not to hold hands in school, so they stopped."
"She got it."
"Exactly."
"And Larry didn't get it. And had he followed her example..."
"We wouldn't be here today."

It's remarkable they didn't blame King for the gun being loaded. The video clips are tough to watch, but if you have the stomach for them, you can see both of the clips quoted above over at Gawker.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1438

BILL MAHER: Atheism is the new gay marriage.

VALENTINE ROAD: New HBO documentary on the murder of Lawrence King.

CANADIAN VARSITY ATHLETES: Speaking out against homophobia for Get REAL.

WINNER: From out singer-songwriter Brendan Maclean.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


American Bar Association Urges Ban On Gay And Trans Panic Legal Defenses

Yesterday, the House of Delegates from the American Bar Association unanimously voted in favor of a resolution “urging federal, state, local and territorial governments to pass legislation curtailing the availability and effectiveness of the use of 'gay panic' and 'trans panic' defenses by criminal defendants.”

National-Trans-Day-of-Action-protesters-via-Shutterstock-615x345The infamous "gay panic" and "trans panic" defenses dictate that unwanted sexual advances from LGBT people can make straight guys go temporarily insane and become murderous. They are commonly invoked in courtrooms as a way to justify violence against LGBT people. In fact, "gay panic" is currently being used to justify the dragging, beating and buring death of openly gay Clarksdale, Mississippi mayoral candidate Marco McMillian earlier this year.

Right before yesterday's ABA vote, D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the National LGBT Bar Association said:

"Such defenses..." are “surprisingly long-lived historical artifacts” from a time when widespread antipathy was the norm. Kemnitz added that these defenses represent “the notion that LGBT lives are worth less than other lives."

Brandon McInterneyWhile “gay panic” is not officially recognized as a legal defense (falling rather under the umbrella of "temporary insanity" or "diminished capacity"), law professor Cynthia Lee wrote in a 2008 UC Berkeley Law School Review article:

“There is no question that when murder defendants argue gay panic, they seek to tap into deep-seated biases against and stereotypes about gay men as deviant sexual predators who pose a threat to innocent young heterosexual males." 

As a result, it makes sense that disfavor with "gay panic" has occurred with greater acceptance of LGBT people in the U.S. overall.

While the use of such defenses may outrage LGBT spectators of hate crimes cases, in a recent interview with Buzzfeed, David McConnell — a gay panic researcher who authored American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men — said that the defenses don't often work:

"... a legal defense, 'gay panic' doesn’t work. People think it used to be more successful. Historically, in the case of serious crimes like murder and assault, 'gay panic' has never worked. Roman Navarro was murdered in 1965, and his two killers were young hustlers who tried, explicitly, a 'gay panic' defense. No one believed them. So the real issue is that when we say 'gay panic,' we put the focus on the group that’s been victimized and not on the source of the violence... and that’s what we really need to talk about.

Indeed. The 'gay panic' defense was also used by Brandon McInerney (pictured above) to justify shooting openly gay, 14-year-old student Lawrence King twice in the head with a .22-caliber handgun while his 24 classmates watched on. McInerney recieved 21 years in prison for the second-degree 2008 murder, despite his "panicked" plea.


Brandon McInerney to Be Sentenced Today for Killing of Gay Classmate

Brandon McInerney is scheduled for sentencing today in the death of his gay classmate Lawrence King:

McinerneyA Southern California teenager faces 21 years in state prison when he's sentenced Monday for killing a gay student during a computer lab class three years ago.

In a deal reached with Ventura County prosecutors last month, 17-year-old Brandon McInerney agreed to avoid a retrial and plead guilty to second-degree murder, as well as one count each of voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm.

The L.A. Times reports that tensions still simmer at the E.O. Green elementary school where King was killed and some parents still wonder if their children are safe there:

Leaders of the Hueneme Elementary School District, which operates E.O. Green and 10 other schools, say they have no plans to make policy changes as a result of the shooting. Supt. Jerry Dannenberg said there is no need because E.O. Green administrators acted appropriately before and after the shooting on Feb. 12, 2008.

An investigation carried out by the district's insurance carrier determined that no laws were broken nor policies ignored, Dannenberg said. He also defended a memorandum distributed to the school's staff a few weeks before the shooting advising them that King was within his rights. Students "don't have to like it, but they need to give him his space."

Dannenberg said the school board determined that, legally, no changes were necessary. In a lawsuit brought by the Kings, the district admitted no wrongdoing but did settle with the family for more than $250,000.


Hate Group Leader Bryan Fischer Wants to Make the World a Safer Place for Homosexuals: VIDEO

King_fischer

How to do that? Curb flamboyant homosexual behavior at schools, so that kids like Larry King won't get their heads blown off by classmates. Because it was Larry's fault that he's dead now, right?

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

In a written piece, Fischer goes on about how King's killer McInerney, was the real victim:

McInerney complained to school officials about this obviously inexcusable sexual harassment, but school officials did precisely nothing, just telling McInerney to suck it up and take it. Even when teachers reported the growing tension between King and McInerney, still school bureaucrats did nothing. Other teachers admitted during trial testimony that they decided to say nothing because they didn’t want to jeopardize their shot at tenure.

Can you imagine the school would have been as sanguine had a straight student been harassing a homosexual student like that? That student wouldn’t have been around long enough to repeat the behavior.

Rush Limbaugh echoes Fischer:

Now we’re told in Newsweek that an assistant principal was encouraging this kid to be flamboyant because it furthered an agenda. I wonder what that agenda could have possibly been? Anybody want to take a wild guess? Back in 2008, the parents and brother of Larry King, the kid who was shot, claimed that the school was allowing him to wear makeup and feminine clothing, and that this was a factor leading to his death. [...]

Is it any wonder that parents get a little worried when they send the little tykes off to school, because I’ll tell you, folks, what’s happening, especially in these blue states, what’s happening in these public schools, the last thing going on is what we’ve all thought of as traditional education. There is education taking place, and there are agendas that are being promoted, but they’re not what you and I were taught in school. So now a confused 17-year-old is dead because the school, “Ah, there’s nothing we can do. There’s nothing that we can do about this. So sorry.”

Continue reading "Hate Group Leader Bryan Fischer Wants to Make the World a Safer Place for Homosexuals: VIDEO" »


Larry King's Father Reacts to Plea Deal Accepted by His Son's Killer, Brandon McInerney: VIDEO

Father_king

FOX News 11 spoke with the father of murdered gay teen Larry King yesterday after news broke that his killer, Brandon McInereney, accepted a plea deal that would put him in prison for the next 21 years.

Said King: "I honestly believe that murder is murder and that Brandon McInerney executed my son with the precision of a cold-blooded assassin. I don't think this is second-degree murder. I don't think it's manslaughter."

Of McInerney's sentence, King added, "At the end of the day I think this is something that we can accept."

Asked to comment on the fact that teachers reportedly encouraged Larry King's effeminate behavior, King said, "They should have to answer for what they did, but, uh, at the end of the day Larry did not deserve to be murdered and the Defense trying to paint that Larry somehow deserved to be murdered, to me, is unconscionable."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Larry King's Father Reacts to Plea Deal Accepted by His Son's Killer, Brandon McInerney: VIDEO" »


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