After the tragic shooting of Lawrence ‘Larry’ King, the openly gay California student who was shot dead by a classmate in school three years ago, Religious Right activists pounced to defame King and gay rights advocates. Randy Thomasson of Save California blamed “social engineering” and said that King’s sexual orientation and gender expression and the shooting represented the “two wrongs” in the case. Anti-gay author Michael Brown said “gay activism” was responsible for the murder. The trial of King’s shooter ended in a hung jury and will be retried.
Now, in a recently-posted interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Karen Gushta of Truth in Action Ministries argues that King’s murder demonstrates that “affirming students” is “not a healthy trend.” OneNewsNow writes that attempts to “encourage children to ‘come out’ and experiment with alternate lifestyles causes physical and mental health risks,” and claims that Brandon McInerney, the defendant, “allegedly shot King,” even though neither party is contesting the facts of the murder.
Gushta told the conservative news site that hate crimes laws and education policy were to blame for King’s brutal death:
A research coordinator says the murder of a “gay” teenage student should serve as an example for why hate crime laws “do nothing to aid in administering justice.”
Dr. Karen Gushta, research coordinator for Truth in Action Ministries, points out that hate crime laws did not protect King in this case.
“Hate crime laws do nothing to aid in administering justice,” she explains. “They are a solution in the search for problems because what they in actuality do is criminalize thought.”
Prosecutors dropped the hate crimes count, stating that they want to “slim the case down” and “narrow the focus.” If convicted under the new charges, McInerney could face 50 years to life in prison. Had he been convicted in the first trial, he would have faced 53 years to life.
Gushta warns that policies that encourage children to “come out” and experiment with alternate lifestyles causes physical and mental health risks.
“The trend toward teaching gender identity and affirming students at a young age in transgender identity that’s taking place in education, and specifically in California schools, that is not a healthy trend,” she contends.
McInerney allegedly shot King once, and shot him again after he fell to the floor. A pretrial hearing is set for November 21.