murderer says God made me kill

This post comes from Michael Crawford, an African-American
activist and
based in Washington, D.C. He has more than fifteen
years of experience working on HIV/AIDS, choice and LGBT civil
rights issues. He is a former Associate Field Director for the
Human Rights Campaign and was an organizer for the Millennium March
on Washington.

Terry Magnum, a 26 year old from Houston, said in a jail
house confession
that he was called by God to carry retribution
against a gay man because sexual perversion is the “worst sin”.
Magnum stabbed 46 year old Kenneth Cummings Jr to die last month
after luring him from a gay bar. Magnum then buried Cummings’
body on a farm owned by Magnum’s grandfather.

Here is another attack against a gay person while the religious
right continues to spew viciously anti-gay rhetoric, the Republican
Party uses homophobia to win elections and Congress is still
unwilling to pass a federal hate crimes bill.

Its not shocking or surprising that evangelical so-called
Christians like James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps use the
bible to dehumanize LGBT people and our families in much the same
ways that their right-wing religious forefathers used the bible to
justify slavery and the subjectgation of women. They have
repeatedly claimed that we are destroying Western civilization and
defiling the “sanctity of marriage” with our demands to be able
to marry. They have said that our very existence so angers God that
he will continue to rain down fire and brimestone and Hurricane
Katrina like natural disasters in outrage at our supposedly wicked
ways. And, they have claimed that we are a serious threat to the
well being of children even as studies show that the vast majority
of child molesters are white, heterosexual men.

The murder of Kenneth Cummings Jr is another
of the religious right’s hate speech made flesh. They
have created an environment in which LGBT people are seen as
sub-human, an affront to God and a virus that needs to be

This is the kind of opponent that we are facing in our fight for
dignity, equality and the right to be who we are without shame and
without fear. This means that not one of us can continue to sit on
the sidelines while a small number fight to create social space in
which we are treated equally under the law, in which LGBT youth no
longer see their sexual orientation or gender identity as something
to be hidden or ashamed of and in which we are not simply
tolerated, but accepted and affirmed for who we are and what we
contribute to society.

There is no easy answer or silver bullet that will unroot the
heterosexist beliefs that are so deeply engrained in our culture.
But, the first step must be that each and every one of us has to
come out, be visible and stand our ground.

No more hiding.

No more excuses about homosexuality only being a part of who you

No more claims of not being political.

And, most importantly, no more making excuses for those who deny us
our humanity and civil rights.