Meanwhile, in Indiana, Coleman King is about to stand trial for the vicious beating and murder of Aaron "Shorty" Hall. Why was Aaron Hall beaten? For allegedly making a 'gay' remark. For allegedly demanding that a man suck his cock. For being gay. Except Aaron Hall was not even gay. Indiana's hate crime legislation does not provide for sexuality or gender identity, which means that this murder is going to be treated as any other would, not as a hate crime. Well, so what? Who cares, right? Aaron Hall wasn't gay, so technically, it wasn't a hate crime. Except, you know, he's dead. Because a couple of punk kids beat him to death. The "people" who beat Aaron Hall to death aren't some grizzled redneck honkies with beer guts and shotguns in their attics. Coleman King is 18. Garrett Gray is 19. Robert Hendricks is 21.
Is it that simple, though? There is talk that this had nothing to do with being gay or straight. There's talk that this all happened over "fuck you and your mother", as uttered by Hall to Garrett Gray (whose mother is dead). If true, it would mean that these kids are trying to essentially exploit a loophole in Indiana's hate crime legislation, to use the "gay panic" defence instead of standing trial for full-blown murder like they should be. If Indiana's hate crime legislation provided for sexuality and gender identity, Aaron Hall would still be dead. But his killers would never have attempted to use the "he was gay and hit on one of us" excuse to 'explain' the murder, because they would have been prosecuted more harshly for that.
I think a part of pride is also saying "you will not exploit homophobia ingrained in the justice system to try and get away with murder". Not that they will get away with murder, of course, but the idea that saying "he's gay" might gain them sympathy from a homophobic jury instead of a harsher sentence is absolutely appalling.
And there has been almost no media coverage of this case. It's all over the blogs now, but the murder happened in April. Coleman King is going to trial on Thursday. Why is no major publication talking about this? Read this. Talk about it. Pass it on.