Anti-Gay Hate Crime In Santa Cruz?

Sometimes we wonder if we live in a gay-hate groundhog day, or something. Seriously, every morning there seems to be some new violent attack allegedly involving anti-gay epithets. It’s pretty distressing.

Anyway, today’s pummeling comes to us from Santa Cruz, California, where a 20-year old man claims three men beat him because he’s gay. Well, that’s the secondary reason, at least. The man, whose name has not been released, told police that his attackers were originally upset because he passed too close to their car.

Incensed, they followed in at a restaurant. The man apologized but as he left the establishment a little later, the men jumped him. Both the victim and witnesses say the brutes employed homophobic language.

Police are unsure of how to pursue the matter. And, quite frankly, so are we – it sounds as if the anti-gay speech may have nothing to do with the victim’s sexuality. It’s certainly possible that the men were just using readily insulting language – words that are the tip of the national tongue. This, of course, raises some interesting questions: does language alone make a hate crime? From what we understand, no – you have to attack someone specifically because they’re gay, black, white, whatever…not just call them names.

Of course, the law’s not always right. Do you kids, our faithful readers, think that language should make the crime or intent?