Editors' Note: Guest blogger Josh Cohen has been doing various types of LGBT activism for roughly 15 years. Originally from New Jersey (Exit 9), he began his activism at college, staging somewhat militant events on campus. Josh is a technology professional at a small software company in Redmond, WA. As a a member of the Board of Directors for his corporate Employee Resource Group, he focuses on LGBT employee policies and corporate external legislative affairs.
UPDATE: Jerry Swinford, the killer discussed in this post, is eligible for parole in 2009. That's this year. If he's lucky, he'll be out on the streets again soon. People like this are why we need Hate Crimes legislation
On April 29, 2009, during a debate on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill, North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx displays her ignorance of the facts. The bill passed, however, there are still folks who refuse to accept the facts.
As quoted from Pam's House Blend, check it out to see the video of Rep. Foxx's statement:
Rep. Foxx: "The bill was 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 robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. The bill was named for him, the hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's, it's really a hoax, that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."[House Floor Speech, 4/29/09]
The sad fact is that Gays are targeted because they are gay. This is what a hate crime is. Matthew Shepard is just one example, but there are many others. Meet Jerry Swinford.
[Trigger warning: Graphic photos after the jump.]