Fourth Suspect Charged In El Paso’s Six Man Gay-Bashing

El Paso authorities have charged 19-year-old Manny Portillo with aggravated assault in the brutal beating of 22-year-old heterosexual Lionel Martinez. He joins 17-year-old Ivan Gallardo, 19-year-old Roman Olvera, and a unnamed 16-year-old boy as suspects in the the six-man beatdown that left Martinez in a coma. Authorities believe that the gang members mistook Martinez as gay while for his sister outside of the Old Plantation gay bar.

Although El Paso residents have criticized police for failing to address anti-LGBT crimes, there hasn’t been much discussion about whether past gang initiations have targeted gay people or what role the city’s anti-LGBT politics have played in perpetuating an anti-gay environment.

When El Paso voted to repeal domestic partner benefits for LGBT couples, in doing so the badly-worded bill also repealed DP benefits for elected officials, retirees, affiliated service contractors, domestic partners of employees and certain dependent children. “Direct democracy can have unexpected consequences,” said the federal judge upholding the ballot measure. Indeed, indeed.