Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Perp Is the One Wearing the Rosary

     A few days ago, Christopher Pagan reported on CNN iReport about the horrendous murder of a gay man and activist in Puerto Rico, Jorge Steven López Mercado:

     I am writing to you about a tragic murder that has happened here in Puerto Rico.  It has really only made local news simply because we are on this island, but you are the voice of those that are unheard throughout the world.  On November 14 the body of a gay 19 year old was found a few miles away from the town in which he was residing in called Caguas.  He was a very well known person in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and very loved.  He was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey, he was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso.

     The killer, Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, is claiming "gay panic" and self defense.  He is the man wearing the Catholic rosary and the cross of Jesus Christ (his savior) in the photo to the right.

     Rev. David O'Connel, President of Catholic University, Washington, D.C. told CNN that Catholics are worried that same sex couples having marriage equality in Washington will put Catholics "at risk."  O'Connel urged the D.C. government to "think of the consequences" of their action and to "think of the real life people that may be hurt" if same sex couples have marriage equality and the Catholic church is forced to stop providing services to the poor in D.C. because their "core beliefs" are being violated.

     What about the human dignity of boys like Jorge Steven López Mercado?  Is he not "a real life person" that was murdered?  Was he not a human person "at risk"?  Was he not violated by a rosary toting disciple of Jesus Christ?  What about gay couples who are "at risk," unable to be with their dying spouses or even to bury their dead?  Why should the Catholic church be except of civil rights laws and allowed to practice discrimination and seed hatred?

     Concerning López Mercado's murder, America Blog reports:

    The local police investigator went on the Spanish-language channel Univisión and said about Steven:

    "Este tipo de personas cuando se meten a esto y salen a la calle saben que esto les puede pasar."
     "Someone like that, who does those kind of things, and goes out in public, knows full well that this might happen to him."

     Once again, the word of the people in power: if you are gay, if you are honest about it, it's YOUR fault if you lose your job, your faith community, your family, your home, your health, or your life!

     The religious leaders of institutions that claim love, non-discrimination, etc. but continue to fight against the civil rights of LGTB persons don't get it.  They don't see the connection between the rosary and cross around Martínez Matos' neck and the decapitated, dismembered body of a gay teenage boy.  But I do.

     Theological violence begets psychological and physical violence.

     Please click here to take action and encourage Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate whether a hate crime was committed against Jorge Steven López Mercado.  

     Thank you.


Gazelle said...

It's hard to have faith when we read about hate crimes. And I'm talking about faith in humanity.