Amanda Scott, Founder of Mobile Equality, wrote an opinion editorial in the Mobile Press-Register / Alabama Media Group urging the Alabama legislature to amend Alabama’s hate crime law to protect LGBT Alabamaians.
Last month a missing Alabama teen was found dead in an illegal dump site in Walker County. 19-year-old Nick Hawkins of Dora was on his way home from a beauty pageant on the night of February 13 when he called his mother and told her, “Someone is trying to kill me.” The Dora Police Department has arrested several persons of interest in connection to his death.
Hawkins identified as bisexual, meaning he was attracted to both the same and opposite sex. Hawkins’s friends told Buzzfeed News that he came out as bisexual in high school. “He didn’t care who knew,” Sydney Rhodes, 18, said. While the motive at this time of the investigation remains unclear, it is possible it was motivated by his bisexual identity.
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community are among the most targeted groups for hate crimes. In a 2015 report by the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), 18.6% of reported hate crimes in the prior year were motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, making it the second largest category after race.