Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado was the spearhead group who used their influence to push Amendment two (which took away any rights of GLBT people to not be fired from their jobs or denied housing) through the state elections during the 1992 Colorado elections. I was on the Board of Directors of EPOC, later Equality Colorado, who fought that campaign. The amendment was later overturned by the Supreme Court.
Not only was there a marked increase in hate crimes during and after that campaign and election, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community Center began a Hate Crimes Phone line and crisis center which was staffed 24/7. As an active victim advocate, I trained many of the people who worked on that phone crisis line.
My partner and I were victims of hate crime violence during this time. Matthew Shepard was living in Denver at the time of this election. He frequented the GLBT Community Center during this time. Later he returned to his hometown of Laramie Wyoming.
He was beaten mercilessly and later died of his injuries and it was proven in a court of law that the murder was a result of his sexual orientation. If you have any question about that, the entire court transcript and information about the case is available online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wi
The press release is available here http://preview.tinyurl.com
If you would like to read a statement of true Christian values and compassion, please read the letter that his father, Dennis Shepard, read to the court when asked to provide a witness statement. He asked that the court spare the lives of the men who killed his son. The court had the option to sentence the perpetrators to life or the death penalty for the two men convicted of the crime. http://www.nytimes.com/199
Do not tell me that Matthew's sexual orientation was a lifestyle choice. I am a bisexual woman who knows very well that we cannot pick and choose who we fall in love with or what gender we are attracted to sexually -- my partner and I remain dear friends and I love her no less than I love my husband.
If you would like to revisit the case, please go to the website. if you would like revisionist history, by all means listen to the people who were responsible for the legislation and spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to screen propoganda films in the churches and youth groups around the state of Colorado in 1991-1992. I don't know where you were at the time. But I do know where I was.
In the thick of it.