Hate in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Posted on August 23, 2009. Filed under: Don't Practice What Some Preach, Hate Crimes, Just Plain Mean, Promotes hate, Thumbs Down, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

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“A short time later, a group of 8 to 10 children gathered at Zussman Park, across from Hamtramck City Hall. “Vote No!” the children cried. “No homos! No homos! No homos!”

Today’s Hate Speech award goes to a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan who wears a Northwest Airlines uniform.

Warning: What you are about to read is not for the faint of heart. This is the face of hate. This is the fear that gays and lesbians live with, especially teens. This is unChristian, unhuman, revolting and reprehensible.

A 15 year old boy from Portage, Michigan, which is near Kalamazoo, is beaten by two teens because he is gay. This happened while the community is already in heated debate over including LGBT people in their hate crimes law, which already protects people based on their religion. This article includes some of the communities input into why these laws are needed. It amazes me that people feel so compelled to shout such truly hateful comments. And in the name of God. We protect hate speech but we don’t protect people from physical violence.

We all grew up learning to rebut name calling with “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”. We all know names do hurt. But why do we protect the name callers yet we don’t protect people from the sticks and stones?

If you are looking for more information on Human Rights in Kalamazoo, contact Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center

At approximately 10:30 AM at St. Ladislaus Gymnasium, a man in a beige vehicle turning onto Brombach from Caniff yelled out his window, “No special rights for faggots!” Two men from the repeal campaign cheered and yelled back, “That’s right! No rights for fags!”

Later in the morning at Hamtramck City Hall, a man in a Northwest Airlines uniform approached both a supporter and an opponent of the Human Rights ordinance. “Which one of you is against the gay ordinance?” the man asked. A supporter of the ordinance began to speak in favor, to which the man replied, “Fuck you, you fuckin’ faggot! Say anything more and we’re gonna have issues.”

A short time later, a group of 8 to 10 children gathered at Zussman Park, across from Hamtramck City Hall. “Vote No!” the children cried. “No homos! No homos! No homos!”

At 2:00 PM at Hamtramck City Hall, an older man from the repeal campaign approached Joseph M., a voter. “Vote no, no, no to special rights for faggots,” the man told Joseph.

At approximately 2:30 PM at People’s Community Services, a supporter and opponent of the Human Rights ordinance were talking. The supporter informed the opponent that hatred and violence against gay and transgender teenagers often leads them to suicide. “Good,” the man said. “I’m glad.”

At about 3 PM outside Hamtramck High School, a man and a woman from the repeal campaign approached a voter. “Insurance rates are gonna go up because gays are diseased!” the woman exclaimed. “And they injure themselves!” the man added.

At 4:30 PM at Hamtramck High School, a man from the repeal campaign told two voters, “They [gays] should be put to death. It’s against God.” These incidents merely scratch the surface of a culture of homophobia in Hamtramck. Needless to say, for every one documented incident, there are countless others that go unreported, out of fear, embarrassment, or the threat of re-victimization.

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