(New Brunswick, New Jersey) In New Jersey, Dharun Ravi was found guilty of 13 of the 15 charges against him in a New Brunswick, New Jersey court. Ravi has been found guilty of guilty of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, tampering with evidence, and several other crimes. The only crimes that Ravi was not found guilty of were those relating to the intimidation of his former roommate Tyler Clementi’s sexual partner at the time of Ravi’s webcam spying.
Ravi was charged after Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in 2010. which many suspect was the direct result of Ravi’s spying on and exposure of Clementi’s gay sexual encounter at Rutgers University.
Because Ravi’s acts are being treated as a hate crime he could face as much as a ten year longer sentence, and he could even face deportation since Ravi is not a citizen of the United States.
Although I think hate crime legislation has come along with good intentions, it seems difficult to apply and I don’t trust courts to get it right every time. How well can a court ascertain exactly why an individual attacks another, or whether the use of racial or other slurs were specifically used in a biased manner or as generic derogatory? Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning bias motivated crimes, but criminal law focuses on intent and how many people will suffer longer sentences when their intent is incorrectly assessed? Whether their crime is distasteful to us or not, criminals still have rights.
To read the whole Clementi/Ravi story visit the New Yorker here: The Story of a Suicide
(New York City) The Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish-American Roman Catholic fraternal organization sponsors the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and is refusing to allow the “Irish Queers” to participate in the parade procession.
The Irish Queers claim that the parade has become a religious procession under the Catholic church, and that the New York Police Department, a participant in the parade, is also advocating the church’s bigoted views.
LGBT organizers have also been banned from the annual Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. You can lead an Irishman to green beer, but you can’t make him think 🙂
(The United Kingdom)An organization that is supporting sexual minorities, is Ben and Jerry’s. The corporation has released a new ice cream flavor, “Apple-y Ever After” formerly “Apple Pie”, to support equal marriage rights in the United Kingdom.
The Group has also released a Facebook application to show support for same-sex marriage rights in the U.K. as the British parliament debates same-sex marriage.
Enjoy your St. Patty’s Day!