It seems a lot more hate crimes are happening out and about these days. Some say, as more and more people, and states, are becoming more accepting, or more anti-discriminatory, there will be a rise in hate crimes against the LGBT community. So, we need the Matthew Shepard Act and we need it fast.
Case in point: A Washington D.C. grand jury has indicted a man who allegedly killed a gay man last year on a charge of misdemeanor assault.
Assault? A man is dead.
Hanna's lawyers entered a plea of not guilty.
Here are the facts: On September 7, 2008, Tony Randolph Hunter, a gay man from Maryland, was attacked near the bar then known as BeBar.
Police found Hunter lying unconscious on the street minutes after noticing an altercation a few blocks from where they were on patrol. Hunter remained unconscious for 10 days at Howard University Hospital before he died September 17.
On October 15, Robert Lee Hannah was arrested for voluntary manslaughter in connection with Hunter's death. Hannah told police he punched Hunter only after Hunter grabbed his buttocks and crotch.
Now, I know that if I was a straight man, and, admittedly, that's a stretch, I wouldn't be comfortable with having a gay man grab at my crotch and ass, but, and this is where Hannah and I differ, I wouldn't hit the guy.
A simple No thanks would have sufficed.
But now, to have a man who is accused of killing another human being, because his butt was grabbed, being charged with a misdemeanor is unfathomable. Hannah could face up to 180 days behind bars and a $1,000 fine.
For killing someone.
The question I ask is this: if it had been a woman who came on to Hanna, grabbing his ass and crotch, and he had punched her in the face and she subsequently died, would it be considered a misdemeanor.
I think not.