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Graeme

Priest fights for end to 'gay panic' defence

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Let's see, someone thinks another person made a sexual advance toward him, so he was so shocked, insulted, outraged, that he proceeded to beat the living daylights out of the other person...and literally beat all the living out of him, sooner or later. (No, I'm not trying to be flippant, I'm emphasizing it.)

You know, he could've just said no and moved on. Most people would. Claiming to kill because someone suggested sex, offered it or asked for it, or said they thought you're good looking, hot, or that they love you? The response does not match the stimulus. Killing might only make sense as a defense on account of rape or attempted rape. It does not fit for most allegedly homosexual advances. Neither does bashing.

Comparison: If a woman asks a man, is he allowed to say he panicked and attacked her for it? He shouldn't be. If a man asks a woman, should she be allowed to say she panicked and attacked him? No, again. -- Not unless the person asking assaulted them, tried to force them against their will. Then, there's some justification for saying someone panicked and attacked the person who made the advance. But such an advance is assault or rape, not merely an advance.

It just doesn't go from cause to effect that way. Or rather, it shouldn't. -- Just say no thanks and walk away, if you don't like someone, don't want their attentions. Don't bash them for it. -- But most people would know better than that anyway. Or they ought to.

I would hope that loophole gets declared illegal, both there and here. The point of law is to be fair and civilized. Bad laws ought to be replaced with better ones or repealed altogether, to fit the situation. After all, part of being civilized and having laws should be that we change and improve, to solve problems in our civilization.

It is an underlying problem, when it is perfectly acceptable for a male to ask a female, or a female to ask a male, but when society in general says it is not equally perfectly acceptable for a male to ask a male or a female to ask a female. That's what causes a lot of the trouble for gay and bi folks across the board. In a better world, I'd want it to be equally fine to ask someone of the same sex, and equally fine to accept or decline.

But not to bash. Not acceptable.

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Let's see, someone thinks another person made a sexual advance toward him, so he was so shocked, insulted, outraged, that he proceeded to beat the living daylights out of the other person...and literally beat all the living out of him, sooner or later. (No, I'm not trying to be flippant, I'm emphasizing it.) You know, he could've just said no and moved on. Most people would.

The guys who are 100% comfortable with their sexuality generally will politely say, "hey, I take that as a real compliment, but I'm not interested." Only the wackos and closet cases go nuts. I'm convinced that many people involved in hate crimes have many issues they don't want to address, either being latent homosexuals, or in a "shades of gray" area.

At the same time, I think it's important for gay people to take a "no" as a "no." Otherwise, you verge on the edge of sexual harassment, and there's a point where it's not only not funny, it's also dangerous.

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Hm. The article starts with "He made an unwanted sexual advance," which to me implies talking. It later states "He grabbed the other man's crotch." TALKING is completely different from TOUCHING.

Now, murder is out of the question, of course, but whether you're gay, straight, bi, asexual, or anything in between...if you put your hand on my balls without permission, you are foritting your right to keep that hand in working condition. I'm not going to play around with "Hey, I appreciate the attention, but..." Granted, I'll give you a good, clear warning along the lines of "Keep your hands to yourself or I'm going to leave you crying in a pool of blood"...the first time. Dislocating their shoulder or snapping their wrist is a legitimate response if they continue. No one has the right to touch you, and you do not have to react politely to sexual assault.

I've heard arguments along the lines of "Hey man, you should be flattered! What's wrong, are you closeted or something?" Switch up the genders, and see if that still applies. Picture a sleezy straight dude in a bar grabbing at a woman's chest. She pulls out a can of mace and lets him have it. Nobody sees a situation like that and says "Man, what's her problem? She should be FLATTERED that the dude wanted to drunkenly paw at her. What is she, a lesbian?" That kind of blame-the-victim bull doesn't fly in heterosexual situations - why should we tolerate it within the GLBT community?

(Don't get the wrong idea - I'm not making any claims about THIS case in particular. I don't know the details about what really happened - the crotch-grabbing may well have been a lie to gain jury sympathy, and even if it wasn't, you can't round up a crew to go hunt down and murder people for molesting you after the fact.)

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Er, yes. More than a few times. I'd say I've seen it a "handful" of times, but the pun alarm would go off.

...and then I'd be taken to the Punitentiary .

You must frequent different establishments than I do. Of course, you're years younger. I should have said, people my age don't do that.

Any others want to contribute to this? Maybe I'm just out of touch.

OK, that was a bad pun. I'll have to join E/C in the joint.

C

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There's video footage of the killing itself, so I would say that any sexual contact occurred before that, and therefore outside the range of the video camera, or the article would have stated that the sexual contact was confirmed in the video footage. Since we only have the word of the killers for what happened, there has to be some doubt as to whether they are telling the truth. What would settle it for me was whether the video footage showed the victim being chased by his killers first. If it doesn't, then I doubt there was sexual contact by the victim. If it does, then it's possible.

As for how often that would occur, I would say it would happen in gay pickup areas. That could be a bar (unlikely in this case) or an anonymous sex pickup area (such as a gay beat in a park). The latter is a possibility, but I would think it's unlikely because there were TWO men - someone trying to pick up for anonymous sex is probably not going to approach two guys unless he has reason to believe they're there for gay sex, too.

On sexual contact generally, I've only had one such encounter myself. I was 16, and just leaving a country disco when some older guy pinched my bum. I was shocked at the time, but as the people who were giving me a lift to where we were staying were going, I just gave the guy a surprised look and kept going. Outside of that, as someone who doesn't go to gay bars, I've never seen that sort of contact being made between people who were not clearly friends.

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I'm really appreciating the other comments.

Right, not cool to hassle someone who has said no. Don't take it further or tease. It isn't going to make an intolerant person more friendly, and is far more likely to make them openly hostile. It won't help if that person is gay, but not attracted to the particular person. Hey, it happens. It's not different than the woman telling the guy no and then spraying him.

Right, if someone grabs your privates without asking (really nicely) then he or she is likely to regret it. I'm sure I'd be shocked for a second and then say no or yell, before turning it physical, because that's never happened before, to me. But hey, if you want to touch what I've got, you'd better be someone I know and like, and you should ask nicely first. I'd likely be surprised and have to think a little about it. But don't just grab. Not classy.

Points go to EleCivil and Cole for brevity:

"Talking is not the same as touching."

"Pinching a butt is miles away from groping a crotch."

Uh, but Cole, *miles*? ...Even so, both true and slightly humorous, though it wasn't intended to be humorous.

It sounds like the two guys are making up things to justify what they did. I can understand saying no. I can understand getting physical if saying no is ignored. I can understand both at the same time, if someone grabs privates. But those guys don't get to beat the snot out of a guy or kill him. Persuade someone not to pursue things, sure. Bash or kill? Nope, unacceptable.

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I've been in establishments where older, drunk patrons took liberties with younger guys in the crowd. I've even been on the recieving end of it.

Usually the bouncers toss them so fast it makes their head spin. The place I used to frequent would ban people for several offenses and this was number 1 on their list.

Such behavior tends to add distance in the age divide in the gay community. It angers me whenever I see it and I've called people out for doing it.

Getting groped by a stranger isn't a compliment. It's an invitation to get punched in the mouth.

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I've heard arguments along the lines of "Hey man, you should be flattered! What's wrong, are you closeted or something?" Switch up the genders, and see if that still applies.

The moment it crosses the line to physical contact, all bets are off. I'm only talking about a "hey, you're hot! Wanna come back to my place" kind of conversation. Drunken grabs aren't part of my argument.

This kind of gets back to the murder case with the gay teenager in Riverside. But in that case, both kids had a lot of issues, and it went on and on over a long period of time. The second time the straight kid said "no," that should've been the end of it. The school, the gay kid, and the straight kid all acted badly; the first kid is now dead, and the second kid is in prison for two decades. Nobody wins. People have got to be more sensitive to this stuff.

Even if there was a crotch-grab (which is possible), that's not an excuse for murder. A punch or Mace, that I can understand.

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My creed on the subject: no-one should make an advance that's likely to be unwelcome, and if he makes one that turns out to be so he should immediately apologise and withdraw. Physical contact is never acceptable as an inital advance. (There are probably exceptional circumstances, such as the dark room of a sauna, but I wouldn't know about that).

Until recently I would have said that a crotch grab would be so rare as to be almost unheard of as an advance, but I had a surreal experience only six weeks ago which has changed my view. I was at a party at a central London pub and was approached by a guy who suggested we go home together. I turned him down, politely I think, and left inconspicuously. On the railway platform waiting for my train, this man appeared by my side - he'd followed me. When the train arrived he sat next to me and immediately, in full view of other passengers, put his hand in my crotch. I immediately and firmly put it back in his own lap and ignored him until eventually he gave up his attempts to make conversation, thankfully before I got off at my stop and he didn't follow me. I don't know what I'd have done if he had tailed me all the way back to my hotel. I'm grey, balding and definitely running to seed in the looks department, and would have thought I was well past the age at which I'd be at risk from such people.

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I contend pinching a butt is miles different from groping a crotch.

Eh...not really. Well, not to me. I see no practical difference between my shoulder, my butt, and my crotch - it's all anatomically pretty similar. Skin, nerves, bones, etc. Your right to place your palms ends where my flesh begins.

Getting groped by a stranger isn't a compliment. It's an invitation to get punched in the mouth.

Quoted for truth.

The moment it crosses the line to physical contact, all bets are off. I'm only talking about a "hey, you're hot! Wanna come back to my place" kind of conversation. Drunken grabs aren't part of my argument.

[...]

Even if there was a crotch-grab (which is possible), that's not an excuse for murder. A punch or Mace, that I can understand.

Agreed. Words are words and touching is touching.

I only bring this up because I don't like to be touched even on the best of days. Handshakes make me nervous, and putting your hand on my shoulder without warning can lead to me swinging and busting you in the jaw purely on instinct. I don't even let close friends or family hug me except on special occasions, when I'll grin and bear it for their sakes.

Point being, if you don't know who you're dealing with, keep your hands away from them. Physical contact is aggression, and it can trigger a fear response that you might not like.

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Yeah, it's different for everyone. If I know someone, if I get a good feeling about them, and particularly if they're a friend, I'm likely to be OK with a hug, pat on the shoulder, etc. But if you think about it, there's usually body language before that, unless you're very comfortable with each other, already know each other well, so that you know the other person's boundaries. Such as, someone opens their arms to invite hugging each other.

The best I've felt recently was when someone I'd just met that morning gave me a great hug. I really, really needed that hug. It felt fantastic.

Understand, though, that except for family, very close friends, and at church (when I go) I am otherwise very unused to hugs or other close contact. -- The hug I got was unexpected, but exactly what I needed. But it was also very uncharacteristic. I grew up that it was fine to hug close friends, family, church family/friends, but I got the message early on that, for example, other kids (esp. boys) at school or not so close friends might balk or outright not welcome contact. So I grew up very reticent about it. Also, because of other teasing growing up, I put up shields, so to speak, unless I've grown to feel comfortable with a friend. Dropping those shields is...well, I don't want to sound too stoic or closed off, because I'm not, but I'm cautious by long experience. I don't think I'm outside of the norm on that. For a guy, I might be more open than I think. And yes, trying to qualify it shows just how, well, isolated or distanced (alien) I sometimes feel from most people -- despite *wanting* closeness, friendship.

But each person is different. I get what EleCivil is saying about how he feels. Didn't know he was quite that wary or uncomfortable about it. But yes, I've known friends who were like that. Thing is, I *like* EleCivil a lot. :) Free hug, dude.

And yeah, a hug is a different thing than other touch. But like EC and James and Pecman have said, unwelcome touch or touch in certain ways or regions of the body? Nope, not classy and a good way to make a bad impression or get hit. -- I'm pretty easygoing. Not usually super aggressive. But yeah, if you surprised me, or really freaked me out, did something out of line, then yes, I might react on instinct to defend myself, to be aggressive. (Whether I'd freeze a second or have thought enough to warn someone might depend on just how startled I was.) In other words, piss off or startle or insult even a usually not so aggressive guy, and you'll find he's just as human and aggressive as anyone else.

So, be open but careful. Don't just haul off and get touchy-feely. Show a little class, don't just grope. If someone says no, they mean no. If they're interested, they'll give you other signals instead of a no. But no is no.

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