Hate Crimes against Gay Men and Lesbians
- CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE
The material included here is about male violence against gay men and
lesbian women. The focus today is on male violence against lesbians,
including a remembering of two active United Methodist women Michelle Abdill
and Roxanne Ellis, who were murdered in Oregon on December 4, 1995.
Convicted murderer Robert Acremant confessed that he targeted the women
because they were lesbians and he figured they wouldn't have families that
would miss them. (http://www.pleiades-net.com/voices/controversy5/12_1.html)
British sailor left for dead in gay bashing
Wednesday, September 6, 2000
The first openly gay sailor to be reinstated in the British navy was beaten
and left for dead in an attack in Plymouth, England .... Richard Young, 26,
suffered a fractured skull, broken jaw, and two broken eye sockets after
being attacked by two men....
Another gay man... Denny Ryder, who appears on the show Paddington Green,
was punched in the face by someone who used an antigay slur against him.
Ryder, who is legally blind, lost three teeth in the attack.
When lesbians are targets
Attacks against women are often triggered by rejection
By Lisa Neff
From The Advocate, September 12, 2000
A feature story with several links at the end that explore male violence
against LGBT people and seek to discover the roots of male violence.
Murders of several lesbian women are mentioned, including Michelle Abdill
and Roxanne Ellis. Jeffrey Montgomery, executive director of Michigan�s
Triangle Foundation and a founding member of the National Coalition of
Anti-Violence Projects Shirley Lesser of Virginians for Justice are quoted:
�I suspect there have been many other antilesbian murders in the past
decade,� Lesser says. �I suspect these were murders by associates, not
strangers. A husband or boyfriend kills an ex-girlfriend, and the woman�s
lesbianism did not come out. This would mirror our findings that most of the
more physical violence against lesbians is caused by associates and family,
Lesser and Montgomery agree that the assailants in these crimes are almost
exclusively males. ... The motive, Montgomery says, is the flip side of �gay
panic.� Instead of becoming enraged by an alleged come-on, the assailants
are enraged by an apparent rejection. �That�s the reason behind killing
them,� he says. �The killer sees that not only is the woman not attracted to
him, she�s attracted to another woman.�
Lesbians Murdered in Medford, Oregon
Last update: Jan 2, 1996
More on the murder Michelle Abdill and Roxanne Ellis
Murdered December 4, 1995, Shown with their daughter Lorri and granddaughter
Lots of news articles and memorials, including:
Memorial Tribute by Rev. Michael Powell
Copy of Rev. Michael Powell's memorial tribute delivered at the service for
Roxanne and Michelle on Dec. 13, 1995.
Rev. Michael D. Powell Ashland (Oregon) United Methodist Church
Michelle and Roxanne have participated fully in every aspect of our church
life. The warmth and the genuineness of their personalities as well as the
obvious courage and integrity of their spiritual lives have both challenged
and enabled us to become a more open and loving people.
Each of us here today has our personal memories, our favorite stories about
Roxanne and Michelle. I love to remember the Sunday Michelle and I served
the sacrament of Holy Communion together. I love to remember the time Roxy
and I were paired off as partners in a time of sharing and sat knew to knee
telling each other the personal stories of our lives. Just one week ago in
church they were sitting in their customary place with their granddaughter,
Hannah, on their laps. I told the story about how I'd arrived late at the
World AIDS Day observance, and how when I walked in Michelle was the first
one I saw, standing in the back with Hannah on her hip. She greeted me with
a warm hug, and it felt so good.
This web site has 19 news articles about the murder of Michelle Abdill and
Following is a UMNS news article written before the murderer's statements
that he targeted Michelle and Roxanne because he knew they were lesbian.
RPD 922 Thu Dec 14, 1995 at 07:51 EST
Oregon United Methodists remember two murdered women
by United Methodist News Service
United Methodists in Oregon have conducted memorial services around the
state for two church members found murdered Dec. 7.
The bodies of Roxanne Ellis, 53, and Michelle Abdill, 42 -- both members of
First United Methodist Church in Ashland -- were found in their pickup
truck. The women had not been seen since Dec. 4.
The Ashland church's memorial service was set for Dec. 13. A candlelight
vigil there Dec. 6 for the two women drew 325 people.
Ellis and Abdill had been domestic partners for 12 years and owned a
property management service together. They were active in fighting anti-gay
rights legislation and belonged to gay and AIDS support groups.
"You couldn't find sweeter people," said the Rev. Jeanne Knepper, a United
Methodist pastor and co-director of Shalom Ministries in Portland. "They
didn't fight with anyone. They were very open and outgoing and well-loved."
According to the Rev. Michael Powell, pastor of First Church, Ashland, the
pair were simply "great women" who took on a variety of tasks at the church.
Ellis was a member of the board of trustees and Abdill had been a lay
delegate to the 1995 Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. "They were here every
Sunday they could be," he said, adding that they often brought their
granddaughter with them.
Knepper said the two women were abducted and then killed in the bed of the
pickup truck, which was left parked in Medford, with trash covering the
bodies. According to the medical examiner, both women were shot twice in the
head, execution-style. There were no signs of torture or sexual assault.
She added that many of their friends and those in the gay and lesbian
community think Ellis and Abdill were targeted because they were a lesbian
couple. There were no bad business deals or personal problems, she
explained, and "their family and friends know of no one who would have a
grudge against them."
Because no note claiming responsibility was left at the scene, police are
not yet calling the murders a hate crime, but that possibility has not been
ruled out, according to Knepper. Police have a drawing of a suspect and
recovered evidence from the truck.
United Methodists have held services in memory of Ellis and Abdill in
Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, Roseburg, Bedford and Ashland.
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