November 5, 1999
Aaron McKinney was convicted Wednesday of felony murder and kidnapping in the beating of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student whose death renewed a national debate about hate crimes and homophobia. The conviction came two days after Judge Barton Voigt barred the defense from using the controversial “gay panic” strategy.
The “gay panic” defense, in a nutshell, argues that ostensibly straight people with latent homosexual tendencies will have uncontrollable, violent reactions “homosexual rage” when propositioned by homosexuals. McKinney’s lawyers argued that the defendant had been forced to perform oral sex at age 7, and had had consensual gay sex at 15. Plus, they said, he’s a methamphetamine addict. All of which added up to an uncontrollable reaction when the 21-year-old Shepard allegedly made a pass at McKinney. As lead defense attorney Dion Custis put it, “It started because Matthew Shepard grabbed his balls. It continued because Aaron McKinney was a chronic meth user.”
Voigt didn’t buy it, ruling that the strategy was, in effect, a temporary insanity or diminished capacity defense, neither of which are allowed under Wyoming law. He didn’t, however, rule out the strategy for the sentencing hearing, which was scheduled to begin at week’s end. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty.
Take That, Brandy Chastain
Anyone who still says that female athletes can’t be feminine should have been at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. last week, where a dozen or so members of the Ohio State women’s rugby team proved their feminity. Explicitly.
The women, looking for “something crazy” to bring the team together, posed topless for a team photo taken in front of the Great Emancipator himself. Unfortunately, just as the photo was being taken, a Washington Post photographer happened by and snapped some discreet shots of his own, one of which was published in last Sunday’s edition. As a result, the entire team was suspended from games and practices pending an official ruling from university officials.
Sarah Miltenberger is hoppin’ mad at the NYPD and not because they arrested her for indecent exposure during last week’s parade to honor the World Series champion Yankees. She did, after all, dance naked on a third-floor terrace as the team rode past her friend’s Broadway apartment. No, the arrest isn’t what bugs the college student, it’s the lies, the damn lies. Seems one of the arresting officers told reporters that she pulled the stunt for her pop back in Indiana, because “he hates the Yankees.” Baloney, said the Yankee Stripper. “We’re all really big Yankee fans, my dad and me. That’s why I did what I did. I love the Yankees, and I wanted everyone to have a good time.” She was particularly pleased to have caught the eye of Derek Jeter, the famously single shortstop and her favorite player as he rolled through the Canyon of Heroes.
Brad Brough, producer of the Canadian television show “Sextv,” on why top porn stars (such as Jameson) get recognized but not frequently approached on the streets of L.A.
“The only people who think it’s wrong to be naked in your own home are the police and my wife.”