Police Investigate Possible Hate Crime in PEI - Gay Couple targetted in arsons

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    Oct 23, 2010 3:10 PM GMT
    Minister calls Little Pond fire 'hate crime'Published on October 22nd, 2010

    Jim Day

    Topics : United Church , RCMP

    A woman says her neighbours — a same-sex married couple — were terrified when suspected arson forced them to flee their home early Monday morning in Little Pond, a town on the northeast of Charlottetown, on the eastern tip of end of Prince Edward Island).

    “They were super-afraid because they didn’t know if somebody was waiting for them outside the building,’’ said Maureen Campbell.

    She says the two men were sleeping when the fire started. One man had to drag his partner out of the bungalow.

    “It was a narrow escape and they were extremely frightened,’’ she said.

    A minister is condemning the incident as a “hate crime’’.

    “I was shocked and saddened to hear that the fire early on Monday morning in Little Pond was most likely deliberately set by an incendiary device tossed through a window,’’ Rev. Beth Johnston stated in an email to The Guardian.

    “As the minister of the United Church community in the area I wish to go on record as deploring such hate crimes. The perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime need to be apprehended and brought to justice.’’

    Police would not say if they are investigating the fire as a possible hate crime or as an attempted double murder.

    RCMP Sgt. Bob Fogarty would only reiterate that the police consider the fire to be a criminal matter and that arson is suspected in the blaze that razed the couple’s home.

    Members of the Souris RCMP and local fire departments responded to the bungalow fire at 4 a.m. Monday. Souris RCMP was also called to the same address after the mailbox was burned on Oct. 12.

    “My thoughts on the gentlemen, they are good neighbours, they are nice guys,’’ she said. “I’ve never known them to be disreputable.’’

    Campbell says the couple certainly has not been courting trouble, but it found them just the same. She says the pair has endured unsettling harassment from an anonymous person or persons before the fire. She declined to detail the threatening actions.
    “They are a very quiet couple and they are not an in-your-face gay type,’’ she said.



    http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2010-10-23/article-1873942/Minister-calls-Little-Pond-fire-hate-crime/1
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    Oct 23, 2010 3:15 PM GMT



    ...ugh, this hits rather close to home.

    There was another incident like this up here on the coast this year. The couple's house was set on fire last year before they were to be married in (like us) their back yard.

    Well, after the fire (which was successfully put out before too much damage occurred), and before they were married, one of them collapsed suddenly and died. Then, a few months ago the arsonist struck again and the house burned to the ground.

    -Doug
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    Oct 24, 2010 3:15 AM GMT
    READER COMMENTS FROM THE GUARDIAN:

    bill webber - October 23rd, 2010 at 19:44:49

    People, People you must understand not one thing will REALLY be done about this .So except it,forget your self richeous indignation

    in your face hetero - October 23rd, 2010 at 16:28:05

    "They are a very quiet couple and they are not an in-your-face gay type,’’ she said.

    Can't imagine anyone ever saying that about straight people. "in-your-face straight type". What a thing to say. As if being in your face should matter. I think any homophobe thinks gay people are in their faces because they worry too much about people who are not the same as they are. And just on the heels of "Spirit Day", a day to support the GLBT community in response to young people and suicides. I hope I live to see the day when people finally see that we are all the same.

    Concerned - October 23rd, 2010 at 19:45:34

    Hope the cops get the people that did this and punish them to the full extent of the law. It's scary to think that there are still people out there who would target someone based on their sexual orientation but unfortunatly a sad reality. We are equal folks and all Islanders should stand up for each other regardless of who we are.

    Matt - October 23rd, 2010 at 15:03:32

    Hopefully that find who did this and the person(s) are charged with attempted murder. This crime is disgusting.

    Bill Bradley - October 23rd, 2010 at 15:01:57

    This extremely embarrassing that this type of behavior could happen in our little province. This is something that you would expect from the early 1900's, are we not getting the message out loud and clear enough that we are ALL equal in the eyes of God, and therefore should be ALL considered equal in our rights to live a free and peaceful life. These people are not hurting anybody by being gay, so why terrorize them? I hope these cowards that did this action get caught and sent to a prison for two attempted murders along with their list of crimes. They should be put in the same cell as some huge gay guys that are against straight people. Then maybe we can see how much tough guys they are. I can't believe there aren't any more comments on here, when a fox got targeted, the comments went crazy.


    Reece K - October 23rd, 2010 at 15:00:33

    That last line is real classy, Guardian. This story makes me feel ill. It further shows the culture of homophobia that is so prevalent on our island. I cannot imagine having so much hatred in my heart that I have to burn down a house and potentially kill two people who have done nothing but love eachother.

    ConcernedIslander - October 23rd, 2010 at 14:58:35

    This is absolutely terrible. The criminal(s) need to be caught and thrown in jail. Without a doubt, charge them for two attempted murders. Cowards and true scum of the earth.

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    Oct 24, 2010 3:26 AM GMT
    I have been importuned to comment on this event. (Again, the word of Caslon is so revered! ... icon_rolleyes.gif )

    My thought when I read this was ... so the Canadians arent such pristine, goody two-shoes, love everybody, always polite, tolerant people that they try to make Americans think they are.

    But I didnt think that was really necessary to say and really wouldnt add much to the discussion to say it, but my public insisted I comment. Such is the heavy burden of being Caslon.

  • Mepark

    Posts: 806

    Oct 24, 2010 3:35 AM GMT
    ^^ The reason some people might criticize your comments is because you didn't need to tell us that. We already know. When people say Canadians (or anyone else) is more tolerant and accepting than us.... They don't literally mean EVERYONE is. No such place exists.
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    Oct 24, 2010 3:40 AM GMT
    Mepark said^^ The reason some people might criticize your comments is because you didn't need to tell us that. We already know. When people say Canadians (or anyone else) is more tolerant and accepting than us.... They don't literally mean EVERYONE is.

    It was a Canadian who had his knickers in a twist that I hadnt commented. Sometimes ya just cant win.
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    Oct 24, 2010 3:41 AM GMT
    Caslon said,
    "...so the Canadians arent such pristine, goody two-shoes, love everybody, always polite, tolerant people that they try to make Americans think they are."


    Trying how? By simply respecting our freedom of speech and choosing when and where to use it, looking at where it could be hurtful and where it isn't? And how Canadians choose is simply an indicator of each person's (Canadian's) traits. You'll find we have our share of bigots. No society, I think, is immune to them.

    -Doug
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    Oct 24, 2010 3:46 AM GMT
    meninlove said Caslon said,
    "...so the Canadians arent such pristine, goody two-shoes, love everybody, always polite, tolerant people that they try to make Americans think they are."


    Trying how? By simply respecting our freedom of speech and choosing when and where to use it, looking at where it could be hurtful and where it isn't? And how Canadians choose is simply an indicator of each person's (Canadian's) traits. You'll find we have our share of bigots. No society, I think, is immune to them.

    -Doug

    There is no making you happy. I dont know why I try! ....icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 24, 2010 3:55 AM GMT

    "There is no making you happy. I dont know why I try! .."

    If that's effort, I'd be curious to see lassitude. icon_wink.gif


    -Doug
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    Oct 24, 2010 4:07 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    "There is no making you happy. I dont know why I try! .."

    If that's effort, I'd be curious to see lassitude. icon_wink.gif


    -Doug

    Which brings us right back to: Canadians arent such pristine, goody two-shoes, love everybody, always polite, tolerant people that they try to make Americans think they are
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    Oct 24, 2010 4:33 AM GMT

    icon_rolleyes.gif

    icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 24, 2010 6:07 AM GMT
    “They are a very quiet couple and they are not an in-your-face gay type,’’ she said.

    Why did she have to say that? The suggestion that somehow they were less deserving of getting their house set on fire because they are not an in-your-face gay type is bizarre, like when your mum says she'll meet your boyfriend and then says "so who is the girl in the relationship, then?"

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    Oct 24, 2010 12:40 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidWhat you guys need is something like the "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act" which Obama signed into law down here.

    It's done so well, it has "prevented or stopped" 3 million cases of bullying of gays here in the USA.

    Of course, it can't stop all of them, as witnessed by the rash of bullying over the past few weeks... icon_rolleyes.gif


    The article makes it pretty clear we DO have hate crime legislation here.

    Hate Crimes legislation up here is about determining the length of sentencing not about prevention at all.

    Just like the difference between manslaughter and murder is intent.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 24, 2010 3:56 PM GMT
    Very sad events, whether arson or not.

    If arson, prosecution certainly is in order. Love PEI, very sad to hear of this
    happening there.

    icon_mad.gif