Friday, January 2, 2009

"Gay Panic" is a strange defense

Imagine that you are a 21-year-old man, approached by a 62-year-old man you know. You agree to go over his house, and while there, he takes off all of his clothes, and makes a homosexual advance at you. By your own admission, the advance is not a demand for sex or a threat of violence. He simply put his hand on your crotch. You are so taken by surprise, that you find a baseball bat (he doesn't own one, it came from somewhere else), and you beat his brains in until his head resembles several pounds of ground beef with hair imbedded into it.

So frightening was this experience for you, that you then you take his body (he's still alive, by the way), and you stuff it into the trunk of his car, and leave the car on the side of the road, where he dies. Later, you return to the car, and grab his wallet, and you go on a $1500 spending spree with his credit cards, buying video games, a TV, and an airplane ticket to Texas.

Clearly, you were the victim of a homosexual, and shouldn't be called a murderer, because you were under the effects fo "Gay Panic".

Now suppose you are a high school kid, and you and your friend are offered a ride home by your Music teacher, whom everyone reguards as "a fruit". You agree to go to his house, first, where you play video games. Later on, he asks you to come up to his bedroom, where he asks if you want to have sex. You refuse, and he understands, so he offers to drive you and your friend home, and he does.

After stopping in front of your house to drop you off, you choke him, and your friend helps you, and it takes about 10 minutes for him to die. You then drive back to his house, put his body on the couch, and load up the car with all of his valuables, which you take home with you.

Obviously, you're just another victim of Gay panic!

Many may recall the Matthew Shepard case, where Shepard was beaten with a baseball bat until near death, by 2 men who picked him up at a bar, then left to die on a barbed-wire fence. They used the Gay panic defense, too. Apparently, they later admitted that it was just a robbery gone bad, but their initial plea was Gay panic.

I wonder if the definition of Gay panic that a psychiatric dictionary would have includes something like "Symptoms include violence followed by desire to commit robbery." Of course, the victims of Gay panic are never just innocent little school-boys. In all of the above cases, the people using the Gay panic defense all had previous police records, or were known as trouble-makers to local cops. These poor victims are just misunderstood. I mean, they only wanted to rob the victims, but somehow finding out that they were gay created such painful trauma for their young minds that they couldn't just commit their robberies like they would if the victim was not gay.

Of course, this argument -- that we should excuse murderers because of Gay panic, sort of reminds me the Emmett Till murder, in 1955, where a group of white adults were so offended by a 14-year-old black boy wolf-whistling at a white woman, that they simply had to beat him to death and throw his body off of a bridge. Back then, they only pleaded "not guilty", but I'm sure that if the phrase "Black Panic" was in use back then, that's what they would have pleaded.

I'm waiting for "dumbass panic", where I get to get off of murder and robbery charges, because I was extremely offended by what a dumbass the victim was.


Micgar said...

I have felt like murdering someone who's a dumbass on TV! Yeah this whole defense is ridiculous-considering that fact that the young murderers in both cases helped themselves to credit cards, $, etc. If they were afraid, they wouldn't have done these things.

Derry said...

I wonder what a high school teacher was doing asking sex from his students in the first place...

David W. Irish said...

How do we know that the murdered persons even asked for sex? They're dead, and the only story is the murderer's. You could pick out any number of people at random, murder and rob them, then just say "they asked me for sex, and I freaked out!"

I'm sure that the high school teacher was well aware of the inappropriateness of asking students for sex. For all we know, the kids knocked on the door, were let in because they were familiar, and then just killed him and robbed him, making up the story only when they got caught.

After all, how is anyone except them going to know what really happened?

Besides -- asking for sex from a minor (not forcing it on them, or raping them) does not merit death. If he tried to rape them, using force, then it would be a different story.

Derry said...

Well, I wasn't saying it merited anything but being unethical. As far as I can tell, the kids were over 18 anyway, so I didn't see a legal problem, just an ethical one. I never said it merited death, or any real punishment. I was just saying...

David W. Irish said...

I hear you!

I still think that the young men invaded the guy's home, killed him, and stole his stuff, and made up their story about being propositioned only when they got caught.

Derry said...

Well, yeah, that is probably true. Still, it's kind of creepy for a 30 something teacher to ask a 18 year old student for sex.

However, if it's made up, and it probably is, couldn't they make a more convincing and sympathetic story up?