Thankfully, ABC News has run with the story of the 15 year old gay student who was savagely assaulted while his attacker yelled out anti-gay epithets. The attack is in my view the direct by-product of the incessant anti-gay mantra voiced virtually daily by Christianists, disingenuously named "family values" organizations and their political whores in the Republican Party. One can only hope that as members of the general public watch the video that captured this gratuitous violence they will connect the dots that lead back to the religious extremists and hate merchants of the far right such as Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins, Linda Harvey, Don Wildmon - and yes, Pope Benedict XVI. Each of these falsely Christian individuals and their respective organizations bear responsibility for this attack because they help foster an atmosphere and mind set where anti-gay bigotry is deemed acceptable. I sincerely hope that the beating victim's mother (pictured at right) will hang tough and settle for nothing less than maximum criminal prosecution against her son's attacker. A lawsuit against the school division would also be most welcome. Here are nightlights from ABC's coverage:
An Ohio high school student waited in a classroom to attack a 15-year-old gay classmate, beating him repeatedly in a vicious assault captured by a bystander on a cellphone.
"I covered myself and shielded my body, and he kept hitting," the gay student, who did not want to be identified, told ABC's affiliate WSYX in Ohio. "Nobody did anything."
Now the boy's mother, Rebecca Collins of Chillicothe, has said she would seek justice for the Oct. 17 beating. The Ross County Sheriff's office said it is investigating the attack but so far has not made any arrests. James Osborne, principal at Union-Scioto High School, located about 50 miles south of Columbus, confirmed the "unfortunate" attack, and said "charges have been filed."
"It turns my stomach," Collins told ABC's affiliate station. "It's my son. I don't care, and they did it just because he's a homosexual." Other students watched as the attacker waited for his victim to arrive in the classroom. He then shoved his prey to the ground, and repeatedly punched him in the face.
Osborne, the principal at the 550-student high school, said, "We have never had an incident of this nature. "I am not saying we have never had any reports of bullying -- we have just as much as any school. But we've never had anything of this magnitude." He would not release the name of either the attacker or the victim.
He said the school did not have a gay-straight alliance but had an anti-bullying policy in force. The student who initiated the attack was suspended for three days.
Collins' son said that he had been regularly bullied, including a recent comment that appeared on a posting of his picture on Facebook: "Check out the definition of a faggot."
Currently, an anti-bullying law is pending in Ohio's state legislature, proposing the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity among other enumerated protections to the state's existing anti-bullying law.
I truly hope that the Ohio legislature will close its ears to the hate and lies of the "godly Christian" set and enact the amendments to the state's anti-bullying laws. The blood on the hands of conservative Christians seems to grow by the day. When will the larger public open their eyes to the fact that the far right form of Christianity is toxic and a threat to society?