Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Times: Respect their dignity (2)

Sunday, January 22, 2012, 16:15, by Fr Joe Borg

The Sunday Times today published a story that should disturb all readers. The heading “Thugs attack lesbian, 16, on a bench” says it all.

The “crime” of the girls seems to have been that they are lesbians. According to the story “Amy” and her girl friend were sitting on a bench in Hamrun when they were attacked by two brothers one 17 and the other 19. According to the report in The Sunday Times the attack happened only because of the girls’ sexual orientation.

According to the report in The Sunday Times, the girl was grabbed by her breasts, head-butted, thrown on the ground, grabbed by her hair and pulled across the ground. She ended up at a health centre with a fractured nose, the right side of her face was grazed and she had fingerprint-sized bruises on her breasts. Her girlfriend, who was also attacked, was also hurt, though not as much as “Amy.”

The paper informed us that the police were sent questions on Thursday. This gave them ample time to answer by Saturday. It is a pity that they did not answer and consequently we have a one source story. I think it would have been wiser for the paper to try to contact the boys or their family for their side of the story as it is always better to give all those involved in a story the chance to put their point across.

Whatever the reason for the attack on the girls such an attack is too be condemned. We have too many bullies roaming our streets. They believe that this is the Wild West where muscle counts more than brains. If, as the story says, the attack was motivated by the sexual orientation of the girls, then the attack asks for a sterner condemnation.

It is absolutely unacceptable that people suffer such aggression because of their sexual orientation. Gays have been the victims of many an injustice and atrocity throughout history. Even today there are countries where a person can be condemned to death for his or her sexual orientation. Although our country is not one of these barbaric states which treat gays in such a manner, it seems that there are bullies around that have the same mentality. They vent their hate of gays in such violent acts.

All of society should adopt zero tolerance against all acts of violence particularly those stemming from hate of others because of their sexual orientation.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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