|Mollie Olgin, right, and Mary Chapa|
Police are searching for their assailants. Portland Police Chief Randy Wright does not have any information about the girls’ relationship, though their friends say they had been together for about five months.
When asked if he thought this might be a hate crime, motivated by the sexual orientation of the victims. Wright said, “That’s always something that we’re looking for, but as of this point, we have not been able to establish that that had anything to do with the attack.” he has been communicating with Mary Chapa and says a third party, or parties, was involved in the shooting.
“If we had a name, you know, we’d be having a different conversation right now. But we have not been able to gather enough information to identify a suspect yet,” Chief Wright said. “It appears as if … this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time.”
Police have recovered a bullet casing from a large-caliber gun at the scene, but have not found the weapon. Residents who live near the park recall hearing two loud bangs last Friday, just before midnight, but dismissed them as coming from fireworks.
Friends of the girls gathered at a local high school on Sunday. Olgin's roommate, Samantha Garrett, says neither of the girls ever experienced any negativity for their relationship and has no idea why anyone would do this.
I have a couple of ideas who shares at least part of the blame, and, well, it generally points to the train of thought propagated by the GOP, in places like Texas and elsewhere around this country.
See, the attack on the two girls came just days before the Texas GOP laid out their agenda for the upcoming elections; and their agenda is as anti-gay and mean-spirited as you might find.
The Texas GOP has decided that their planks, their set of beliefs, should include:
Family and Defense of Marriage ― We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage. We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.
We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse. We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.
We advocate the repeal of laws that place an unfair tax burden on families. We call upon Congress to completely remove the marriage penalty in the tax code, whereby a married couple receives a smaller standard deduction than their unmarried counterparts living together. The primary family unit consists of those related by blood, heterosexual marriage, or adoption. The family is responsible for its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property.
Judicial Activism in Marriage ― We support marriage and oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.
Enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act ― We support the enforcement of the State and Federal Defense of Marriage Act by state and federal officials respectively, and oppose creation, recognition and benefits for partnerships outside of marriage that are being provided by some political subdivisions.
Marriage and Divorce - We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be protected at all levels of government. We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws. We support Covenant Marriage.
Family Values ― We support the affirmation of traditional Judeo-Christian family values and oppose the continued assault on those values.
Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit.
Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) - We oppose this act through which the federal government would coerce religious business owners and employees to violate their own beliefs and principles by affirming what they consider to be sinful and sexually immoral behavior.
It’s 2012 and this is the state of the GOP. And not just in Texas.
So, is the Texas GOP responsible for the shooting of Mollie and Mary? In a word: yes.
The Texas GOP, and even the national GOP, to an extent, have come out and blatantly said we as a community, do not deserve equality. That we don’t matter, that we don’t count, that we are somehow a perversion.
Well, if one continues to hear this kind of hate-filled, homophobic, bigoted, intolerant rhetoric from out politicians, how can we ever expect change? How can we ever expect those regular folk not to work to deny us rights with their votes, as they did in North Carolina? How can we expect those regular people not to spew hate at us, and tell us that their God hates us, as the Westboro Baptist church says? How can we expect those regular folks not to come after us with guns when their own elected officials spew such venom in our direction?
It’s time to change this way f thinking. It’s time to get all the homophobes out of politics. It’s time to change this mindset. It’s just plain time for the killings and the beatings and the bullying and the hateful legislation to end.