Last year, a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific Corp. freight train in Los Angeles, causing several fatalities.
Over the weekend, William J. Murray, chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, had a column in WorldNetDaily complaining that there has been no coverage of the fact that the crash was due to the fact, literally, that the engineer gay:
The engineer, Robert M. Sanchez, 46, was a homosexual, and he was sending a text message to a teenage boy when he blew through a red light, crashing head-on into an oncoming freight train. Because being “gay” is a media cause in America, and particularly in California, virtually no gay crime is reported. Domestic violence involving gays is rarely if ever reported in California newspapers despite the fact that it represents a disproportionate number of police calls. Simply put, the minute the individual who caused the train crash was identified as being homosexual, reporting on the disaster came to a virtual stop.
On Sept. 21, 2008, the New York Times did publish a 40-paragraph, sympathetic story about the killer engineer, Robert Sanchez, which centered on his diabetes and the suicide of his “partner” in 2003. The dead and injured passengers were not mentioned. In paragraph one of the story, titled “Several Portraits Emerge of Engineer in Crash,” it is mentioned that he was sending a text message to a teenage boy at the time of the accident, saying, “He encouraged teenagers who showed their own enthusiasm for the rails. …” Later, in paragraph five, the Times article mentions that he suffered “grief” over the death of his partner in 2003, the first indication that he was gay. Near the end of the article, in paragraph 39, an individual is quoted as saying, “If he was texting those teenagers, he’d have to have loved his job and wanted to share it with people.”
There are lots of older men and women who are “rail” enthusiasts. In fact, there are numerous magazines published for railroad and model railroad buffs. At age 63, I continue to build a model train layout that is slowly taking over the basement of my home. The average subscriber to Model Railroader magazine is by no means a teenager.
Yet in none of the articles is it mentioned that Sanchez sent text messages to mature rail enthusiasts, or that he belonged to any model rail clubs. It seems his only interest was in “sharing the rails” with teenage boys. Let’s get real: Bob Sanchez was using his position as a railroad engineer to pick up teenage boys who had an interest in railroads. In his excitement in communicating with a teenage boy by text message he took his eyes off the rails in front of him and killed himself and 24 others while leaving dozens with permanent injuries, some crippled for life.
Murray seemingly has absolutely nothing on which to base his allegation that “Sanchez was using his position as a railroad engineer to pick up teenage boys” … other than the “known fact” among Religuious Right groups that all gays are pedophiles.
And that was apparently good enough for WND.