WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 5, 2013 – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is urging the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS) and Civil Rights Division to launch an investigation into the murder of Marco McMillian, an openly gay Black mayoral candidate in Mississippi, as a potential racially-motivated and/or anti-gay hate crime.
In a letter to the U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., NBJC Executive Director and CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks writes
After speaking extensively with the family, community and anti-violence coalition members like the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), NBJC feels the perpetuation and validation of the “gay panic” defense is irresponsible. The conflicting reports as well as the current racial and anti-LGBT climate in Mississippi is justification enough for a federal investigation.
NBJC is standing firmly with Marco McMillian’s family so that their concerns do not fall on deaf ears. The details of this case just aren’t adding up. Whether on the basis of race or sexual orientation, hate is hate. If there is the possibility that McMillian was murdered because of who he is, that warrants the Department of Justice’s involvement.”
To learn more details about the case, call to action and astounding Mississippi hate crimes statistics, read the attached letter submitted to the Department of Justice.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to end racism and homophobia.