The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

The Love Behind the Hate?

In his week’s QueerlyKos roundup I briefly mentioned the recent gay bashing in New Mexico.

The woman said she and the gay man left the party and had walked halfway down the driveway before the others caught them, knocked them to the ground and took them to an adjoining yard that contained “several large barking dogs,” the warrant says. Smith told them they should get ready to be thrown to the dogs, but instead he and others took them to the camper parked in the mobile home’s front yard, the warrant states.

While some of the partygoers tied up the gay man with rope and began hitting him, “Uriah told them that this was a kidnapping and they were not going to die yet,” according to the warrant. A female from the party lifted the woman’s head and kicked her in the face, the warrant says. The woman said she felt her nose break, the warrant says.

“(The woman) was not tied up, but was held in the camper for most of the night while all of the male subjects kept hitting, kicking, slapping and knocking (the gay man) down,” the warrant states. “The male subjects would knock (the gay man) down and if he did not get up off of the ground within a certain count or if he would make any noise, they would jump on him, hitting and kicking him.

“This continued all night until the sun was about to come up.”

Turns out, in their own twisted minds, the three gay bashers were trying to do the gay guy a favor.

Ex-Gay Watch links to a report that says the attackers claimed they were just trying to beat the gay out of him.

[Lt. Rick] Anglada said the attackers told the man “they were going to scare him straight.”

Is bashing, in that context, an act of love? Does that fall under “tough love” or “love the sinner, hate the sin”? Maybe it even constitutes an “ex-gay ministry” of the fist. Timothy over at Ex-Gay Watch makes a case for such ministries having some degree of accountability in violent acts like this and the others I mentioned in the QKos round-up, in which I asked:

How does someone get to the point at which they see another person as undeserving of humane treatment? How does someone absorb the idea that another person is an acceptable target for violence because of who they are? Who’s responsible for reinforcing a culture in which those values are readily absorbed? Who silently (or not) stands behind the attackers? Who tacitly approves?

Timothy answers:

Some might consider it extreme to blame this young man’s torment on the ex-gay movement. And it is true that I cannot prove that any of his attackers were familiar with any of the literature disseminated by Exodus or other anti-gay organizations. But it’s clear that they share some beliefs in common:

Gay people can become straight

Gay people don’t deserve to be treated the same as their heterosexual counterparts

Gay people are not entitled to defining their own lives

Gay people are the enemy

Extreme measures are justified against the enemy

The attitudes of these thugs and the anti-gay political organizations that pass as support groups for SSA strugglers is the same: if gay people do not become straight, they are responsible for the consequences

… If your words lead to violence, beating, and death, don’t you have an obligation to do something about it? Once you say that gay people are not equal to straight people and once you’ve been used to give a veneer of “caring” to those who say that gay people are having sex with infants and animals, is saying “I oppose violence” enough?

When you falsely characterize someone as the enemy of society, you are morally responsibly when society beats them half to death. The political ex-gay ministries need to take an objective look to see if they have blood on their hands.

That pretty much sums it, up. But saying as much will get you called everything from an extremist to a chicken-litle, to an anti-religious bigot. But if Tom Metzger can be held accountable for his words leading to someone’s death, why can’t ministries like these? Why shouldn’t they?


  1. I’ve always believed that if we see a sharp rise in violence against gays, those groups and others can all share in the blame.

  2. T, thanks for the post and links. This is infuriating and sad. So many people just don’t see their dehumanization of others, they are so empathy-challenged, and they can easily dismiss the crucial step of putting themselves in the other person’s shoes. I agree, our construction of others as enemies, vermin, contaminants of society, and so on, facilitates our thoughts and actions of extermination, of beating, kicking them, and cleansing ourselves, purifying ourselves. This is tragic. This is not news, Sam Keen wrote about it quite a while back, about the dehumanization of the Japanese during WWII, but it bears repeating and emphasizing. Thanks T,