Coast-to-coast vigils are being held this week for Mollie Olgin and Mary Kristene Chapa, the young lesbian couple found shot on Saturday in a park in Portland, Texas. According to police, “there’s no evidence to suggest that this crime was committed as a bias against the girls or their lifestyle,” Portland Police Chief Randy Wright said Tuesday. It was the first homicide of the year for Portland, unsettling the Texan community.
Even though authorities aren’t yet classifying the tragedy as a hate crime, and a local news article oddly skirts around the terms “gay,” “lesbian” or “homosexual,” our community is showing its solidarity with vigils around the nation this week: Residents in Portland are holding a vigil and candlelight walk on Friday at 6pm. Washington D.C.‘s vigil will be at Dupont Circle also on Friday at 6pm. Activists in San Francisco have planned a vigil for tonight at 7pm at the Harvey Milk Plaza.
🙁 every hour in the USA someone is killed or badly injured for being lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender. Calling it a hate crime or not doesn’t change the impact on their friends and families. Tragic, horrific, hateful. Ignorance breeds hate.
The USA managed to move on from lynching black men to electing one as President. How long until people can move on from hating someone for their sexual oriantation or gender identity to accepting them as human beings?
Shouldn’t they wait until facts are known before holding vigils?
@w.e.: I agree, are the vigils being held “because they were shot” or “because they were gay”. Vigils sound great, and I would be happy to attend one if I knew what I was attending for.
@w.e.: Even if it was not a hate crime, it is still the senseless murder of a young woman and brutal injury to another. It does not have to be a hate crime to be worthy of a vigil.
@Daez: Well, if that’s the case you’d be holding vigils all the time because countless young people die every day. What about them?
@w.e.: While I totally agree with you, this case gets special attention because these were young white females. I would gladly hold a vigil for any slain teenager, but that is just never going to happen.
@Daez: Oh, and I’m NOT saying that it is right that this case gets special attention, I’m just saying that is the real reason. If these were two young males (unless the murder was brutal like with Mathew Shepard) it would be ignored. If these were two young minorities it would be ignored no matter how brutal.
Unfortunately, racism and sexism is still alive and well.
Boston will be holding a vigil this friday at 7pm on the steps of the State House.
Lesbian couple shot…in Texas. Hate crime is a forgone conclusion.
one of the two(not sure which) is in stable condition. the other passed away at the scene
SFO their sexuality may happen to be lesbian but it doesn’t necessarily make it a hate crime. What if they were buying drugs, which is what this whole thing sounds like?
Either way the fact these two women were shot is a horrible thing and their sexuality does not matter at all.
Jay, are you SERIOUS? Two girls in a park, they get shot, therefore they’re buying drugs?
I must have bought drugs dozens of times when I was in college, then, because the local park was a favourite hangout spot for my friends and I. Doing your animation homework and rehearsing for a show counts as “buying drugs,” right?
To me it sounds like they were on a date, which makes this all the more horrific. Parks are a great option when you have no money, as many teens don’t, because you can take a small packed meal and spend some time together. I would tend to agree–Texas, lesbians, in public? Can we get that hate crimes law passed NOW, please?
Sometimes the things we deny the most are the most true. It was probably a bias crime.
They were in the park late at night at 12AM I doubt they were doing homework, they weren’t there cruising for sex like gay and bisexual men do, and yeah it does sound like they were trying to buy drugs.
a drug deal gone wrong
The reason for the murder and assault hasn’t been established; we don’t know who did it or why. The fact that most of the community is mourning the girls shows that their “orientation” wasn’t an important matter.
They might not be martyrs to anything more than accidentally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe a jealous female did it…
This is such a horrific tragedy. It really don’t matter why these girls were in the park. The only thing that is significant is that they lost their lives based on someone’s ignorance.
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