(EDIT: I feel now I was quite wrong with my first impressions in this post; this incident may have been a genuine anti-gay hate crime. Thanks to those of you who've shown me the other side of the story presented in the Tribune. I apologize for jumping to conclusions.)
I'm out of town so this will be quick, but I just read this story in the trib, here.
A man (who happens to be gay) is accused of a kidnapping. Read the story for the details, or the following may not make sense.
I just want to say, I hope your stance on this was misrepresented, Marina Gomberg, spokeswoman for the Utah Pride Center.
Even if everything went down as the suspect claims (originally) and even if he thought he was doing right to help get these kids some z's, he took children from their parent's home without telling their parents (allegedly...). Thank goodness nothing happened to the children. That is the most important fact here. Look though, even with the kids being okay, I'd be likely to have performed a "hate crime" on that gay man if I were those parents. My sympathies are with them here, not the gay man, and the leadership of the gay community should not be putting a concern about whether or not the family overreacted because of the suspect's orientation at the top of the heap. I mean, who the h*beep*l does the suspect think he is? And now he wants to claim his beating was some anti-gay hate crime?! When he was supposedly invited to their party? It makes no sense.
This is exactly the thing that makes hate crimes laws less and less likely. As a gay man, I don't feel threatened by this man's beating, why? Because I'd don't take children from their parent's home. I feel threatened by the gay man's (alleged) actions here, as a parent. It's that simple. Gay community leaders, backing this guy seems like a good way to sink hate-crime laws and hurt us everywhere else.
In fact, next to anti-gay rights activists, such gay men and women, crying homophobia when they are at fault, are the greatest threat to our rights. Most conservative LDS in Utah reading that article are going to think, "Yep, look at that. Look at how those gays want to kidnap and molest children. And they want marriage rights? To be parents?! No way." They will use this to harm the gay community on whole and my family. It doesn't matter that in the same paper, the same day, a heterosexual was convicted of much worse, of actually kidnapping and raping a child. They won't see that as a critique on themselves. As a minority we are judged by the worst of us and no one thinks, for example, "Remember Wanda Barzee and Brian David Mitchel? I guess you just can't trust those straight folks with children."
So please, Utah pride center, be careful and thoughtful. When interviewed, try to find some objective perspective, if not for the right reasons, for sake of justice, then for the sake of the gay community on whole. It is not pro-gay to be only pro-gay.
I hope I'm wrong and that you'll tell me so. I hope it's not like it seems in the article: that your main concern was that these people will be prosecuted for beating a man who took their children, gay man or not. Please, tell me I'm way off base; this is one instance in which I'd love to be reprimanded for jumping to conclusions.