Press

Task Force decries anti-gay bigotry involving teen shot in hate-laced attack

Date: 
February 14, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358
rsklar@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 — Lawrence King, a 15-year-old student in Oxnard, Calif., was shot in the head yesterday by a classmate. King was declared brain dead, but his body remains on a ventilator for possible organ donation. According to the Associated Press, the Ventura County prosecutor has filed charges of attempted murder with a hate-crime enhancement, but can't discuss the facts behind the case.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“Right now we don’t know exactly how anti-gay hate expressed itself in the murder of Lawrence King. What we do know is that he was harassed on a daily basis because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. We do know that adults at his junior high school did not stop it and that kind of tolerance of anti-gay bigotry is pervasive in our nation’s schools. Our hearts go out to Lawrence’s family — and to all young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids who are — right now, right this minute — being bullied and beaten in school while adults look the other way.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.