The Gayly Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 17, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 1, 1999 Page: 1 of 28
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THE STATEWIDE CAY & LESBIAN NEWSPAPER SINCE 1983
Vol 17, Number 7 • April 1,1999
Outrage and Concern Over
Continuing Spate of Anti-Gay
Murders Across the Country
National Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Programs
Express Support for'Hate Crimes Prevention Act'
HATE CRIMES UPDATE
THE HATE CRIMES
STATEMENT BY VICE
‘This past year, our nation wit
nessed a number of heinous and cow-
ardly hate crimes. These shameful acts
of violence — like the vicious murders of
James Byrd and Matthew Shepard, and
most recently the death of Billy Jack
Gaither in Alabama — were attacks not
only on individuals, but against America
and our shared values.
“We must send a clear and strong
message to all who would commit crimes
of hate: It is wrong, it is illegal, and we
will catch you and punish you to the full
force of our laws.
That is why l am very pleased that
Senators Kennedy and Spectorand Rep -
resentatives Gephardt, Conyers. Morelia
and others are reintroducing the Hate
Crimes Prevention Act. This legislation
would remove needless jurisdictional re-
quirements and give the Department of
Justice the power to prosecute hate
crimes committed for any reason.
"I urge members of Congress to
come together in one voice on this issue.
I urge them stand together against intol-
erance. against prejudice, and against
violent and senseless bigotry and pass
the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”
Gay Men Advised
To Get Hepatitis
T he Gay and Lesbian Medical Associa
lion (GLMA) is encouraging universal I lepati
t is A and B vaccinations for men who have sex
T he organization notes that gay men are
at increased risk for both Hepatitis A and B.
both of which are communicable and have a
rate. With their
GLMA is urging
tions to update
vaccination rec ommendations.
“While health care providers working
with gay men have understandably focused
attention to HIV. the fact is that gay men are
at increased risk for other medical conditions
which also have fatal consequences." said Dr.
Darren Carter, chair of GLMA's Policy Com-
mittee. “It is long past time for health insti-
tutions to address other pressing health needs
among gay men. especially Hepatitis A and B.
We hope that funding is available, either
t hrough local or state governments or t hrough
the CDC. to offer easier vaccination accessi
bility. through the creation of outreach pro-
grams such as mobile vaccination centers,
that can target establishments frequented by
gay and bisexual men."
Tlu* National Coalition of Ant i Vio
lcncc Program (NCAVP). an alliance ol
26 lesbian, gay. bisexual and
Iransgcnder anti-violence organiza
lions, joined politicians, activists and
ol her ant i violet ice and human just ice
organizations to support the reimro
dm lion of tin* national I late Crimes
IT event ion Ac t.
As President Clinton slated in his
Stale ol I he Union address on January
lb. ibbb. "... the discrimination gap
lias not been lullv closed ... Discrimi
nation or violence because ol race or
religion, ancestry or gender disability
or sexual orientation, is wrong. And it
ought to be illegal The President
concluded by asking Congress to make
the “Hate Crimes Prevention Act the
law of th(‘ land.”
T he brave action on the part ol the
106th Congress to reintroduce a na-
tional bill condemning and prohibiting
bias related violence comes at a par-
ticularly critical moment for the nation's
lesbian, gay, bisexual a transgender
(LGBT) community. Only a few months
after Matthew Shepard, a 2 l year old
University of Wyoming student, was
brutally beaten and left for dead in a
deserted field in Laramie. Wyoming,
the community continues to reel from
an ongoing series of anti-gay murders
• On February Ibth in rural Ala
bania. Billy Jack (Tail her was kidnapped
and repeatedly and brutally bludgeoned
to death. I lis body was then placed on
a pyre of burning tires by his assail
ants, who later reportedly admitted to
killing Mr. Gaither “because he was
- in Richmond. Virginia on March I.
another gay man. Henry Fdward
Northington s severed head was found
on a footbridge in James River Park, a
popular meeting spot for gay people. I lis
body was found later that same day
almost a mile away in the James River.
His head had been carried up a hill from
the river bank, and some locals fear that
it was placed there as a warning to the
• In February in New York City,
one gay man. Troy Hoskins, was found
stabbed to death in his Washington
Heights apartment. Another is still in
a coma, weeks after being bludgeoned
in his Chelsea apartment.
• In Hartford. Connecticut on March
4. Rev. Thomas E. Otte was found in his
apartment, naked with multiple stab
wounds. I lis wife had recently died and
he'd been become increasingly open
about his gay identity.
• A continuing and disturbing se-
ries of murders in Texas has targeted
the transgender community there: In
early January, Donald Fuller, also
known as Lauryn Paige, died from mul-
tiple stab wounds in Austin. In Hous-
ton. on February 6. Steve Dwayne
Garcia was shot to death. On February
24. an unidentified person of
t ransgender experience was found dead
in a motel parking lot. also in I (ouston.
lie had been shot several times.
"Any of these incidents in and of
themselves would be absolutely Iron
bling." stated Richard flavines exeeu
live director ol the New York City (Jay
and Lesbian Ant i Violence Project, and
member ol NCAVP. "However, all of
these taken together is horrifying, and
speaks to a severe increase in anti gay
bias hate now all too easily turns to
violence, and I hat violence all too often
results in murder. T hat these murders
occurred in seeming isolation from each
other indicates a widespread trend in
anti-gay hate across the country." con-
tinued I laymes.
NCAVP, which publishes an an-
nual report on violence in the LGBT
community, has documented a dra-
matic increase in anti-gay murders in
1998. The report. Violence Against
Lesbians, Gag Men. Bisexuals and
Transgender People in 190S. will be
publicly released April 6. 1999. the first
day of the Matthew Shepard murder
trial. Jeffrey Montgomery, executive
director of Detroit's Triangle Founda
tion, and also a member of NCAVP
stated that. "Preliminarily we have
found that while overall incidents may
be slightly down in 1998. anti-gay as
saults injuries and murders are up
significantly over the previous year."
Montgomery continued. "Today. Con-
gress has demonstrated how swiftly
government can move forward todo the
right thing when there is the political
will to do so. Passage of the Hate
Crimes Prevention Act is critical now
because the last thing we want to see is
this trend continue or gain momentum
either locally or nationally in 1999"
Haymes concurred. “It is time to
put partisan politics aside and do the
right thing. We need to remember that
recently publicized hate crimes, such
as the dragging death of James Byrd,
an African American man in Jasper.
Texas, and the crucifixion of Matthew
Shepard are essentially one and the
same bias crime. Each is a senseless
act of horrendous violence against an
individual, not because of anything
they’ve done, but just because of who
they are or are perceived to be. These
acts are intended to hurt the targeted
victim and send a clear terrorist mes-
sage of hate to the entire community."
“Every day Americans continue to
live without the protection of Hate
Crimes legislation sends a tacit en-
dorsement of these heinous crimes.
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act would
deliver a clear message of zero toler-
ance for hate-related violence in all its
forms," Montgomery concluded.
Gay men are at
increased risk for both
Hepatitis A and B
Tulsa Readies for Gala
4* in! *
by Paula Brown
A well-known Tulsa activist has teamed up with
Tulsa Center lor AIDS Resources. Education md
Support (CARES) to coordinate two of Tulsa's big-
gest HIV/AIDS fund-raisers this month.
Audra Sommers will host her annual IIIV/AIDS
benefit show at the Silver Star Saloon on Friday.
April 16. followed by a gospel concert at St. Jerome's
Church on Saturday. April 17. On Saturday evening,
Tulsa CARES will host its second annual Red Rib-
bon Gala at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel, where
there will be music, dancing, dinner, drinks and
author Chastity Bono as the keynote speaker.
With so much from which to chose, even the
most dedicated supporters of community services
may find it difficult to attend all these events in one
weekend, even though organizers have established
a time schedule that runs almost to the millisecond.
The weekend begins at 10:30 p.m. on Friday
night at the Silver Star Saloon, where a host of big
name performers from across the state will be
staging some very elaborate production numbers.
On Saturday, a gospel concert begins at 6:00
p.m. at St. Jerome's Church, with such names as
Ernestine Dillard, who gained national recognition
ior her powerful and moving performance during the
bombing memorial service at the State Fairgrounds,
a gospel-singing teen hip-hop group called Liber-
ated. and the Council Oak Men's Chorale. Admis-
sion is 815.
On Saturday night, the Red Ribbon Gala begins
at 7:30 p.m. at the Downtown Doubletree. The
evening begins with a silent auction, followed by
dinner, entertainment and Chastity Bono's keynote
address. Bono, the daughter of entertainers Cher
and the late Sonny Bono, will talk about the need for
compassion and community support in ending dis-
crimination. She will also talk about her new book.
Family Outing, which is based on her life experiences
as the lesbian daughter of celebrity parents. Her
appearance is co-sponsored by Parents. Friends
and Families of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG). Ad-
mission is $75. with a limited number of scholar-
On Sunday, the weekend winds down with
another silent auction and show at The Storm,
beginning at 10:30 p.m.
Organizations benefiting from the weekend
events include Tulsa CARES. Our House. Tulsa
Oklahomans for Human Rights (TOHR). Regional
AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) and the Food Pan-
“There is going to be a lot going on that week-
end, but it’s all going to be very exciting and we know
people would hate to miss any part of it," Sommers
said. “As a board member for Tulsa CARES, and a
supporter of the many good things our community
has to offer, each of us who has worked to organize
this weekend hope everyone can do as much as they
can to be supportive of everyone's efforts.
For more information, contact Sommers at
(918) 836-5447 or Tulsa CARES at (918) 834-4194.
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Hawkins, Don. The Gayly Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 17, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 1, 1999, newspaper, April 1, 1999; Oklahoma City, Okla.. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc825239/m1/1/: accessed January 29, 2020), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.