Saturday, February 24, 2007

Andrew Anthos of Detroit: killed in a hate crime attack

From the Detroit News:
"Andrew Anthos was on a city bus on his way home to the Windsor Tower apartments on Antietam in Detroit around 7 p.m. Feb. 13 when a man approached him and asked him if he was gay, Anthos’ family said he told police before he slipped into a coma. The man, who continued to harass Anthos and called him derogatory names, followed Anthos off the bus at the stop in front of his building and attacked him with a metal pipe, striking him from behind, police said. The attacker left him on the snowy sidewalk.

Anthos was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where doctors performed emergency spinal surgery but were unable to reverse the paralysis. He is now in a coma and not expected to live past the weekend, his family said."

Indeed, Anthos passed away on Feb 23, at about 7:30pm.

"Detroit Police Sgt. Ryan Lovier said police are investigating whether the attack was a hate crime. His family said Anthos, who turned 72 on Monday, is gay.
So far no witnesses have come forward, and police have only a vague description of the attacker Anthos was able to give before falling into the coma. Lovier said he hopes someone from the bus saw something and will notify police."

Not sure how many of my readers are from the Southeast Michigan area, but there will be a memorial service, and I will post that info for those who are moved to attend.

Meanwhile, I invite your prayers. Christians hold differing views on homosexuality, but all major denominations oppose violence against the LGBT community. The problem is that it still occurs. Additionally, Michigan's hate crime laws do not explicitly address violence based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Even if they did, there will be those who commit hate crimes and escape justice. So, I ask your prayers for the safety of our LGBT brothers and sisters.

It does not help that Michigan's Republican-dominated legislature has stalled on adding hate crimes protections. From the "Log Cabin Republicans of MI website (LCR is a Republican gay group):
The current law provides for up to two years in prison for harassing someone because of their race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. Members of the LGBT community are among the most targeted groups for hate crimes. Adding these few words to the law would help protect the safety of Michigan's LGBT community.

Michigan's Ethnic Intimidation Act, on the other hand, was seriously flawed from the day it was signed into law. Any attempt to add either sexual orientation or gender identity protections was mercilessly crushed by the Republican Party’s right wing (including a sympathetic Governor). And this was after testimony from many experts (including Triangle, the ACLU, and others) mandated the need for these protections, the Legislature refused to add them to the law because then-Gov. Engler indicated he would have vetoed the law. Today, we have a chance to address that situation and right that wrong."

Additionally, I ask your prayers that Andrew's murdered will face justice.

LCR's petition to representatives in Feb 05 to clarify hate crime and ethnic intimidation laws:

A blog post about Andrew Anthos:

An article about Andrew in happier times: he tried to get the Legislature to illuminate the Capitol in the national colors.

No comments: