Huckleberries Online

Hate Crimes? Or Something Else?

Gay men in Spokane are either being targeted for beatings due to their sexual orientation, or they’re getting into trouble just like anyone else. Representatives from the gay community and four recent assault victims say it’s the former. Police says it’s the latter. “They’re saying that there’s these four vicious assaults on members of their community. And now I can say that four members of the community have been involved in incidences,” says Jennifer DeRuwe, a spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. “I cannot say that there is a campaign of violence against gays.” Matthew Cannon, a director of the Inland Northwest LGBT Center, a Spokane-based gay advocacy group, says the assaults represent a trend/Chris Stein, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here. (Young Kwak's Inlander photo shows victim Danny Hawkins, who sez he was assaulted because he's gay.)

Question: We've been discussing this one for awhile, w/our own GWM Digger commenting that he opposes hate-crime designation because assault should simply be considered assault regardless of motivation. Do you have any further thoughts?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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