Under fire around the world

By ZACK COLMAN, ABI GOODMAN
August 3, 2009 00:46
1 minute read.

 
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The global gay community has often been the target of hate crimes, from South Africa to America. Still, Saturday's shooting at Tel Aviv's Gay and Lesbian Center during a weekly open night for teens rocked Israel. There has been little violence against the community in Israel, despite much controversy over gay pride marches. Before Saturday, the most recent example of such an attack against the Israeli gay community was when Yishai Schlissel, a 30-year-old haredi from Kiryar Sefer, stabbed three participants in the 2005 Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Here are some of the worst attacks on homosexuals in Western countries. • Bombs rattled the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, but that was not the only time far-right radical Eric Robert Rudolph struck the city. In 1997, Rudolph wounded five people when he bombed the Otherside Lounge, a gay nightclub. He accepted a plea bargain in 2005, escaping the electric chair in exchange for five consecutive life sentences. • In 1999, a bomb was set off in South Africa at Cape Town's Blah Bar, a hangout in the city's gay-friendly district. Two people were wounded and the attack brought back memories of a 1998 bombing of Planet Hollywood near Blah Bar that killed two people and injured 26. • During that same year, former British National Party member David Copeland bombed Soho's Admiral Duncan bar, a watering hole for the gay community. Although he was targeting homosexuals, the three people who died and the 80 who were wounded were heterosexual. • In 2000, a then 55-year-old Ronald E. Gay was tired of people poking fun at his last name. He took out his growing anger by shooting seven people at the Backstreet Café in Roanoke, Virginia, killing one person. One of Gay's "four missions" in life was to force an exodus of the homosexual community to San Francisco, which he believed would prevent the spread of AIDS. Instead, the only person who moved was Gay, who set up shop in prison for four life terms. • In April 2006, two gay men, actor Brett Goldin and fashion designer Richard Bloom, were shot in the head and left naked in execution style murders, near Mowbray, South Africa. Eleven members of a gang were accused of the crime, but four were later released.

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