Andrew Anthos, 72, the gay senior citizen who waged a nearly-two-decade campaign to have the Michigan capitol dome lit in red, white, and blue, died yesterday from injuries sustained in a brutal hate attack.It's now more important than ever that Massachusetts legislators stand up and do the right thing next Constitutional Convention. If they go and vote to put civil rights on the ballot, they're sending the message that gay people really are second class citizens. They're sending the message that gay people have no rights. People viewed as being less than human are much more likely to be savagely murdered or victimized, be it in the form of a lynching or tied to a fence to be brutally beaten before eventually dying, all alone in Laromie, WY.
Anthos, whom his niece says had a lifelong disability, was riding a bus home and a stranger, apparently offended that Anthos was singing, asked Anthos if he was gay, followed him off a bus, and beat him with a pipe. Anthos spent the last few days in a coma, paralyzed from the neck down, before dying yesterday.
So, what will our state leg do? I can't fathom the hate that will come from a campaign to ban marriage equality on the airwaves. I can't fathom the violence it could spark (we've already seen a small glimpse). I don't want to think about the tears, grief and sweat - all because a small minority in this country seeks equal rights. If just a dozen more state legislators come to that same realization, all of it could be avoided. Andrew Anthos should be a stark reminder to everyone about the very real dangers that exist when some people are viewed as less than others simply for their own feelings.