|From left: Chase Morrison, Roy Wilson and David Spencer|
Up in New York state, four teenagers have been accused beating a 14-year-old boy on a school bus because they believed he was gay.
One of the suspects is an unnamed 14-year-old, who has been charged with assault, a hate crime and aggravated harassment, along with 18-year-old David Spencer 16-year-old Chase Morrison. These three bullies, along with another 16-year-old, Roy Wilson–who was the only one not additionally charged with aggravated harassment–were arraigned last Thursday at First District Court in Hempstead.
Police allege that the foursome attacked the other young man on a school, and “stomped and kicked on his arms, legs, stomach and thigh.” Then, the following morning, again on the bus, Spencer, Morrison and the unnamed attacker again “made disparaging remarks to the victim regarding his sexual orientation and assaulted the victim by slapping him in the head and face.”
The victim, who has not been identified, suffered visible bruises on his forearm and substantial pain.
Police say it is unclear whether the bus driver witnessed the suspects harassing the victim, but do believe that the abuse had been going on “for some time” though this was the first time the victim had been physically assaulted.
Once again, here we are, watching and hearing, about gay people being bullied and beaten for being gay, or seeming gay. And all of this violence, which seems to be on the rise, can be laid at the feet of politicians and members of the clergy who demonize gay people, who call us less than, who say we are undeserving of equality.
And while these boys, and any other person who verbally or physically harms an LGBTQ, or LGBTQ-perceived youth, need to be punished, we also need to hold those who speak intolerance responsible for their actions, their words, as well.