When I was home from college for my 21st birthday, I was eating breakfast with my dad when he read a blurb to me that ran on the AP wire and was reprinted in the Charleston paper. It was about 2 women who were shot while hiking on the Appalachian Trail in a neighboring state. One of the women died. He said to me, "I bet those two are fairies."
Indeed, they were lesbians. And I was acquainted with one of them. She was also a graduate student at Virginia Tech and was heavily involved in the Women's Studies program. I never actually met her, although I had partied with her sister, and knew her when I saw her.
The man who shot her and her partner said that the women having sex in front of him, while he spied on them from behind a tree, provoked him into shooting them. This ridiculous defense didn't work and he was convicted. I can't remember the sentence. The survivor of the shooting, Claudia Brenner, wrote a book about her experiences: Eight Bullets: One Woman's Story of Surviving Anti-Gay Violence.
I live not far from where Rebecca Wight was killed but didn't realize this until a few years after I moved here. I've hiked in that area many times. I was thinking about her when Mrs. Fruit and I went hiking several weeks ago. And again this morning, when I was reading about the revised Hate Crimes Bill that will be taken up by the Senate soon. I heard some guy on Pastor Nicholl's radio show say that the bill will make it a hate crime for Bible-believing Christians to preach against homosexuality, or some such nonsense. But the bill punishes violent actions, not violent thought or speech.