At one point the 'homosexual panic' defense was widely accepted in the U.S., and well beyond, as an mitigating factor in the charge and the sentence for violent crimes. But the homosexual lobby and the entire culture of 'tolerance' has turned that upside down. It's now held as an aggravating factor, a 'hate' crime.
In this case, it is not in the behavioural repertoire of a 14 year old boy, to objectively distance himself from something that was taken as a profound insult to the core of his identity.. his manhood.. at a time when every instinct and impulse of his being was desperately attempting to establish it.. all intensified by a turbulent home life.
Larry seemed to be a very foolish, confused and provocative young man, even for a 15 year old. Why didn't his teachers or parents tell him that going to a school full of pubescent boys.. wearing lipstick and making sexual advances to his classmates was like striking a match in powder keg.
I'm not vindicating Brandon. He committed a homicide, and should be charged as such. But saying this involved no distilled rage, well beyond the ability of a troubled 14 year old to vent harmlessly, ignores the facts. Brandon was suspended in a state of apoplexy by the concerted efforts of Larry to seduce him.
He was outraged, justifiably, and it was rankling him for days.. since he got that Valentine's card from Larry. He had no one to turn to. His home life was in turmoil. The teachers at this school would have shunned him as a 'homophobe' if he asked for intervention. They were far too interested in helping Larry 'explore and celebrate' his sexuality... and expected all his classmates to do the same.
Most young men have been there at some stage of their lives, it's something parents and teachers should prepare them to manage, the humiliation and anger that unwanted homosexual overtures can foment. But that didn't happen, either. There was a widespread failure of supervision by adults in this situation from the start. A denial of its gravity and potential consequences.
That's why we have different criterion of penalty for youth crimes. It realizes that much of the judgement and moderating aspects of personality are not fully developed at that age and that a lesser definition of criminality, standard for punishment and a higher prospect for correctional treatment applies.
Unfortunately, our modern paradigm has failed to accept another sad fact.. that homosexuality is a deep seated psychological and spiritual pathology.. that incites morbid dislocation from reality. It is a misery inducing, fantasy ridden and life long affliction. Symptomatic to the condition is a lack of recognition of personal borders, and respect for those of others.
Nothing we do as a society... no affirmations we proclaim, educational programs we institute, hate laws we pass, media conventions we apply will change that. Our basis of 'tolerance' is ill founded, and this fundamental misapprehension of the true character of homosexuality, explodes to the surface on occasion, in tragic, shocking events like this.
Brandon should be charged as a youth, with some form of aggravated manslaughter. A fair sentence would see him released, hopefully rehabilitated and as a contributing, law abiding member of society.. as young man in his early 20's.
Last edited by coldstream; Aug 11th, 2008 at 08:23 AM..