Even in the midst of our joy on this historic day, we cannot forget how far we have to go...
The Defense Lawyer for Brandon McInerney, the 14 year old shooter of Lawrence King, has promised to be "sensitive" in the upcoming trial. According to the Advocate, attorney William Quest says:
I can tell The Advocate I've got a young brother who's gay. I saw how difficult it was for him to come out. Now, he came out when he was in college at Berkeley, [so it was] easier than in junior high. But I saw the struggle he went through...and I hope [this is] not perceived as gay bashing because it's not. That's not who I am.
That's nice- if it was true. Quest's previous statements already seem to go against this so-called promise.
As our own Sara Whitman pointed out in her post, "Lawrence King Deserved to Die," Quest has already laid the blame at King's feet:
The defense attorney, William Quest, said, 'administrators were so intent on nurturing King as he explored his sexuality, allowing him to come to school wearing feminine makeup and accessories, that they downplayed the turmoil that his behavior was causing on campus.'
So Quest thinks that King's "behavior" and "sexuality" created such turmoil that McInerney was somehow justified in shooting him in cold blood? It seems that he has already begun spinning a gay panic defense for McInerney, insinuating that King was somehow "asking for it" by simply being who he was.
If that's not gay bashing, I don't know what is.
So stop making empty promises to gay press, Mr. Quest, and make your actions reflect your words. Blaming the victim of a horrendous crime, and basing that blame on the fact that he was "different," may help your client but hurts many more LGBT young people for years to come.