I’m doubly conflicted about this story, but facts are never irrelevant.
Though I suspect her motives (the GOP never misses a chance to gay bait), Rep. Foxx may not have been wrong when she said:
“I also would like to point out that there was a bill — the hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills,” said Foxx.
In 2004, ABC News reported one of the lead investigators in the Shepard case dismissed the victim’s sexuality as a motive in the victim’s murder.
“If it wasn’t Shepard, they would have found another easy target. What it came down to really is drugs and money and two punks that were out looking for it,” [former Laramie Police Detective Ben] Fritzen said. …
Helping fuel the gay hate crime theory were statements made to police and the media by Kristen Price, McKinney’s girlfriend. (Price was charged with felony accessory after-the-fact to first-degree murder. She later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor interference with police officers.)
Price now says that at the time of the crime she thought things would go easier for McKinney if his violence were seen as a panic reaction to an unwanted gay sexual advance.
But today, Price tells Vargas the initial statements she made were not true and tells Vargas that McKinney’s motive was money and drugs. “I don’t think it was a hate crime at all. I never did,” she said.
I don’t know if they’re telling the truth. But too often there’s a rush to judgment when it comes to hate crimes.
Last month a Midtown waiter alleged he was gay-bashed behind Blake’s, though charges were never filed.
Despite a flimsy story, some advocates rushed to exploit the allegation in an attempt to get hate crimes legislation passed in Georgia.
I’m uncomfortable with the whole idea of hate crimes, which run contrary to the notion of equality. But if special protections exist for some minorities, why not all?
I’d prefer they existed for none. Just what constitutes a bias crime? I may have been the victim of such an attack years ago, but even I’m unsure. When I share the details, some believe I was, others, not.
I don’t trust politcally motivated bureaucrats to get it right. I don’t trust gay-baiting Republicans, either.