Louisville’s FairnessCampaign has expressedconcern to law enforcement
ofcials, including the FBI,
following the burglary andextensive vandalism of twohomes owned by gay couples.The two crime scenes are located in the Germantownneighborhood. The crimes took place within approximatelyone week of each other this past month.
Chris Hartman, Director of the Fairness Campaign,
stated that the crimes that took place at the two homes were“clearly motivated by prejudicial hate against homosexualcouples.” Hartman pledged to “work with (Louisville
Metro) Police Chief Robert White and the FBI to bring
these criminals to justice and set a lasting precedent forany individuals considering future illegal acts motivated by prejudice and hate in our community."Harman said that “Louisville is a city of proven
acceptance and inclusiveness, and we will not tolerateprejudice, discrimination, or crimes of hate within ourcommunity.” In addition to Louisville’s Fairness ordinancethat prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and
public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation
and gender identity, the city has had an inclusive hate
crimes law since 1990.
In addition to the local hate crime ordinance,
perpetrators of the recent crimes could also face charges
thanks to the historic Matthew Shepard and James Byrd,
Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that was signed into law byPresident Obama last October.As of press time no witnesses have come forwardto identify individuals believed to have committed therecent crimes. However according to a report posted on
the WLKY-TV website, a “red, full-sized pickup truck with
plastic covering the back window” was seen by a neighbor
around the time the rst burglary is believed to have taken
Information regarding the identity of the individuals
who committed these crimes should be reported toLouisville Metro Police by calling their anonymous policetip line at (502) 574-5673.
Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, TylerClementi, Raymond Chase and Caleb Nolt. All six of
these openly gay youth have one thing in common:they were victims of vicious anti-gay bullyingimmediately prior to taking their life.
A Fort Wayne, Indiana teenager, Caleb Nolt, has been identied as the sixth gay youth in the US to
commit suicide within the brief span of three weeks.
As of press time few details of Not’s suicide were
known. However some of his high school classmateshave told to police that he had been bullied for beinggay by classmates just before his death.
The suicide of 19 year old Raymond Chase, anopenly gay student at a prestigious Rhode Islanduniversity, was the fth suicide by a gay teenager
that took place during the same period in September.
Police reports indicate that Chase, a Culinary Artsmajor, apparently hung himself in his dorm room at Johnson & Wales University.
Has the incidence of gay teen suicide caused byanti-gay bullying reached the point that it deserves to be referred to as an “epidemic? Some pundits believe this problem isn’t any worse than t was forprevious generations of gay youth. The only difference is that the mainstream media have onlyrecently begun to more consistently give the problem the attention it deserves.
To add insult to injury in the wake of the recent string of gay youth suicides, late last month
the Rap artist known as "50 Cents" sent out a message to his followers through his Twitter.com feed
that stated, "Any man over the age of 25 that hasn't eaten pussy should just kill himself." Whilethe performer denies his comments were anti-gay, the timing of them certainly shows extreme
Regarding the problem of anti-gay bullying and suicide among queer youth, the followingstatistics illustrate the widespread nature of these problems. These gures appear on the Lambda.
• 45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians report having experienced verbal harassment and/or
physical violence as a result of their sexual orientation during high school.
• 42% of adolescent lesbians and 34% of adolescent gay males who have suffered physical attack
also attempt suicide.
• 20% of gay youth skip school at least once a month due to feeling unsafe while there.• 19% of gay/lesbian youth report suffering physical attacks based on their sexual orientation.
The RespecTed souRce foR GLBT News siNce JuNe 1990
VOLUME 21, ISSUE 10 • OctObEr 2010