"Under New Jersey’s invasion-of-privacy laws, it is a fourth degree crime to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person’s consent, the prosecutor said. It is a third degree crime to transmit or distribute the images.
If the students are convicted on a third degree offense they could face up to five years in prison each under state law. Conviction on a fourth-degree crime could lead to probation or up to 18 months in prison."
"A lawyer for Clementi's family confirmed Wednesday that he had jumped off the George Washington Bridge last week. Police recovered a man's body Wednesday afternoon in the Hudson River just north of the bridge, and authorities were trying to determine if it was Clementi's." *
Third degree criminal offenses:
If found guilty of possession of cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin, possession of a handgun, certain thefts, aggravated assault, or another third-degree crime you may be sentenced to serve up to 5 years in prison.
Fourth degree criminal offenses:
Unauthorized use of a vehicle, some charges involving assault and threat crimes or possession of marijuana, criminal sexual contact, or another 4th-degree crime you may be sentenced to serve up to 18 months in prison.
Michael Zhuang, a friend of Ravi's for six years, describes the suspect as someone into computer programming and video games.
Zhuang told ABC News he believes Ravi was excited to go to Rutgers and believes the media portrayals of Ravi as possibly homophobic or a serious prankster are not true. "I'm in shock, I didn't expect this to happen and I am just speechless. He's normally very nice and I don't think that this is a representation of him," said Zhuang. "He's very very open minded and he, like if it had been a girl in the room it wouldn't have been any different," he said.
“Although Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory S. Blimling refused to confirm or deny reports about the case or the students involved, he said there are consequences for such behavior at the University.
‘The [University] Code of Student Conduct has an element that says that students may not do unauthorized videotaping or recording of other students,’ he said. ‘So that would violate the Code of Student Conduct.’
The University's Code of Student Conduct outlines penalties ranging from reprimanding students to permanent expulsion, Blimling said.
Depending on the circumstances, the administrative hearing officer and Office of Student Conduct may determine the punishment, or a student can opt to have a hearing before a committee that will make a recommendation as to how the University should respond, he said.
‘Our goal in dealing with any student who is involved in dealing with any kind of issue of student conduct is an educational goal, is to help them understand how their behavior would have affected other people and get them to change that behavior and learn from other people,’ Blimling said.
But Blimling said no one should draw conclusions from hearsay.
‘So often when reports of any kind surface, that information that comes out initially is misconstrued by the media,’ he said. ‘So I would not believe everything that the media has currently published.’
Some residents of Davidson Hall, who wished to remain anonymous but are close to Ravi, agree with Blimling's idea. They say the media has distorted the story.
‘No one knows [what really happened,]’ one student said.
Neighbors in Davidson Hall said Ravi is a friendly, funny young man with a good heart, who would not purposefully hurt anyone.”
"I think there is a lot of specualtion and blame going around without the facts. I do not think Clementi jumped because of the video episode. I suspect he was already having a difficult time accepting his sexuality. Perhaps the older guest he had in his room should be questioned. Who was this person? Maybe he was someone who had molested this boy and was trying to pressure him to continue the relationship. Perhaps Clementi was already embarrassed and distressed because of this relationship. He didn't seem to care if his fellow students knew, otherwise he would not have had this guest come to his dorm. What the students did was wrong, but I think the older guest should definitley be questioned. Clementi was a minor not too long ago, so if this relationship had been going on before, then there are some serious questions to be answered. As for the other two students, I believe they have probably learned their lesson, but they should still be expelled."
"A month-old tweet from Ravi indicates he discovered his roommate’s sexuality based on comments Clementi made on a gay message forum. Ravi tweeted on August 22, 'Found out my roommate is gay,' and linked to a post he said was Clementi’s on JustUsBoys."*
Her teen committed suicide over ‘sexting’ -- "Cynthia Logan’s daughter was taunted about photo she sent to boyfriend." (July 2008).
‘Sexting’ bullying cited in teen’s suicide -- "13-year-old Hope Witsell hanged herself after topless photos circulated." (September 2009).
"Every act of violence is tragic and harmful in its consequences, but not all crime is based on hate. A hate crime or bias motivated crime occurs when the perpetrator of the crime intentionally selects the victim because of who the victim is. A bias motivated crime affects not only the victim and their family but an entire community or category of people and their families. A study funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics released September 2000, shows that 85 percent of law enforcement officials surveyed recognize bias motivated violence to be more serious than similar crimes not motivated by bias.
Hate crimes are destructive and divisive. A random act of violence resulting in injury or even death is a tragic event that devastates the lives of the victim and their family, but the intentional selection and beating or murder of an individual because of who they are terrorizes an entire community and sometimes the nation. For example, it is easy to recognize the difference between check-kiting and a cross burning; or the arson of an office building versus the intentional torching of a church or synagogue. The church or synagogue burning has a profound impact on the congregation, the faith community, the greater community, and the nation."*
"According to FBI statistics, of the over 113,000 hate crimes since 1991, 55% were motivated by racial bias, 17% by religious bias, 14% sexual orientation bias, 14% ethnicity bias, and 1% disability bias.
The [Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention -- aka Matthew Shepard] Act is supported by thirty-one state Attorneys General and over 210 national law enforcement, professional, education, civil rights, religious, and civic organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the NAACP. A November 2001 poll indicated that 73% of Americans favor hate-crime legislation covering sexual orientation." *
"Social and religious conservatives generally oppose the bill. Many ignore the protections that the bill would give to women, men, the disabled, and heterosexuals. They appear to be concerned almost exclusively with protections given to persons of one sexual orientation: homosexuals. They are concerned that a person who verbally attacks gays or lesbians could be charged under the act if any violent or criminal act resulted from the speech. This appears to be a misinterpretation of the bill, because it could only be applied to a person who has actually committed a crime. Speeches attacking gays and lesbians are not a criminal behavior; they are protected speech under the First Amendment."
More than 20 people lay down outside of the Rutgers Student Center in New Brunswick Wednesday night with signs proclaiming, "Civility without safety, over our queer bodies"—a protest prompted by the death of Rutgers University freshman and Ridgewood High School graduate Tyler Clementi.
"A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a 'criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties."
"Investigating hate crime is the number one priority of our Civil Rights Program. Why? Not only because hate crime has a devastating impact on families and communities, but also because groups that preach hatred and intolerance plant the seeds of terrorism here in our country."
[New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie grew emotional when discussing Clementi's death.
"As the father of a 17-year-old…I can't imagine what those parents are feeling today, I can't. You send your son to school to get an education with great hopes and aspirations, and I can't imagine what those parents are feeling today," he said.
The governor also wondered about the two students accused of taping Clementi, bragging about it online and then trying to catch him on video a second time.
"There might be some people who can take that type of treatment and deal with it, and there might be others, as this young man obviously was, who was much more greatly affected by it," Christie said. "I have to tell you, I don't know how those two folks are going to sleep at night, knowing that they contributed to driving that young man to that alternative."
The governor said he would not push to have the case prosecuted as a hate crime and would leave that up to the prosecutor, and Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan today indicated he would consider bias as an aggravating factor in bringing charges against the two students.
"Now that two individuals have been charged with invasion of privacy, we will be making every effort to assess whether bias played a role in the incident, and, if so, we will bring appropriate charges,'' Kaplan said.
"JustUsBoys.com does not collect much information when someone creates an account and begins to post, so we cannot confirm cit2mo was Tyler Clementi. However, the IP address for cit2mo does appear to resolve back to Rutgers which reinforces the other evidence that cit2mo and Tyler are the same person."*
"An anti-gay threat written on a dry-erase board on the door of a University of Rhode Island dorm room has resulted in the arrest of a freshman from Massachusetts, URI officials said Thursday.
Christopher Hagen, 19, of Scotland Road in Reading, Mass., was charged with misdemeanor vandalism and disorderly conduct after university police were called to Barlow Hall at 1:44 a.m. Sept. 24 on a report that someone had tagged several doors with offensive remarks, URI spokesman Dave Lavallee said.
One student reported feeling threatened, Lavallee said.
The message, Lavallee said, was accompanied by a drawing of a male anatomical part and said: 'You are gay, get out of Barlow before you regret it.'
The investigation led to a resident who admitted to writing on the door, Lavallee said. Hagen was held overnight by university police and released on his own recognizance, promising to pay $1,000 if he doesn’t appear in District Court, South Kingstown, to answer the charges. He is scheduled to appear Oct. 6, Lavallee said."
Where larger context is being discussed, the scenario is frequently being misrepresented as "cyberbullying," but this case does not appear to be about two people who set out to hurt another person with malicious intent; it appears to be about internalized biases making them regard evidence of homosexuality as "funny" and socialized indifference to consent making them regard broadcasting that evidence as acceptable...
Good kids can do terrible things.
Frankly, given how comprehensively our culture is steeped in virulent homophobia (and other biases) and antipathy to consent, it's shameful that we act surprised when they do.
"If you a man and your over 25 and you don't eat pu**y kill your damn self. The world will be a better place. Lol"
"Not the first time 50 cent has been an asshole. He also used Twitter earlier this month to announce that he conspired in the commission of a felony - having one of his 'homies" open fire on a gay wedding.'
"Rapper 50 Cent caused a stir yesterday, when he sent out a questionable tweet about oral sex.
Many, including this editor, read the missive as homophobic, and the LGBT group Truth Wins Out demanded 50 Cent explain himself. Well, now he has. Here's the musician's response, condensed, yet unedited, from three tweets:'The other night I made a joke about a blow job. My male followers enjoyed it. So I then went on to joke about women receiving the same….Some how they turned a simple joke about oral sex into a anti gay statement. I have nothing against people who choose and alternative life...Style in fact iv publicly stated my mom loved women.'Glad it was all a misunderstanding, Mr. Cent, although, just a note, LGBT people don't 'choose' a 'lifestyle.'"
'The other night I made a joke about a blow job. My male followers enjoyed it. So I then went on to joke about women receiving the same….Some how they turned a simple joke about oral sex into a anti gay statement. I have nothing against people who choose and alternative life...Style in fact iv publicly stated my mom loved women.'
"Rapper 50 Cent attempted to clear up confusion over his ambiguously anti-gay tweet earlier today. His efforts may not have been successful, for actor and gay activist Zachary Quinto just sent out a message taking on the musician's 'hate.'"
"Project 1138 is designed to increase public awareness of the 1,138 federal marital benefits and protections denied to same-sex couples as the result of marriage inequality."
"Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
Creating a 'family partnership' under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.
Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
Receiving public assistance benefits.
Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.
Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
Making burial or other final arrangements.
Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
Applying for joint foster care rights.
Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
Living in neighborhoods zoned for 'families only.'
Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family."*
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a 32-page lawsuit Wednesday [July 8. 2009] against the U.S. government, seeking federal marriage benefits for 16,000 legally-wed gay and lesbian couples. At issue is the constitutionality of Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act, recently notoriously defended by the Department of Justice.
The suit states that DOMA, termed "overreaching and discriminatory," interferes with the state's "sovereign authority to define and regulate marriage."
"We view all married persons equally," Coakley said at a press conference today.
The basis for the suit is the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Section 8 of the Constitution. Along with the United States itself, defendants include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Another suit by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) targeting DOMA is also in the works. GLAD's Janson Wu says, "We applaud the Commonwealth's decision to seek to protect its married citizens from the harms caused by federal discrimination."
"It should have been the night that Jane and Joe Clementi proudly watched their teenage son Tyler take his place for the first time with his prestigious college orchestra.
Instead, his seat will be left empty for the Saturday evening performance of Beethoven and Berlioz as the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra dedicates its performance to the talented violinist."
But behind the salacious background to Tyler’s suicide... is a more banal and deadly crime. It’s not technology’s grip on youth. Or even the inhumanity of two insipid 18-year-olds playing a savage 'prank.' The crime is that LGBT people continue to be held in an official state of civil inequality that foments a soulless social pathology toward sexual minorities in this country.... The two who sought to publicly humiliate Tyler will be human pariahs for some time, as they should be. But they’re young and maybe can reclaim some portion of their humanity. What about those who control our institutions of power? What will they do? How will they reclaim their humanity?
One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking oppressions. They take both active forms, which we can see, and embedded forms, which as a member of the dominant groups one is taught not to see. In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.
Disapproving of the system won't be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitude. But a "white" skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate but cannot end, these problems.
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these subject taboo. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist. [emphasis mine]
"Have the media and activist groups been exploiting Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi's suicide? According to the University's paper, The Daily Targum, 'yes.'
The editors published a letter yesterday claiming 'massive rallies and aggressive news coverage' turned Clementi's death into something it wasn't*:'The death of University student Tyler Clementi might have been properly mourned if it were not for the massive rallies and aggressive news coverage that altered the nature of the situation. The truth is that an 18-year-old boy killed himself - he was a student just like the rest of us, someone just trying to receive an education. Yet people's relentless agendas took his death and turned it into a cause based on false pretenses.'The paper goes on to chide 'an angry mob fending for their rights turned the death of a young boy into a cause for "safe spaces" for gays across the University,' and explains that these spaces already exist on the campus. They continue:'The focal point of Clementi's tragic death should have been a boy's inability to deal with the hardships of life. And yet the news and certain organizations picked this up and carried it into the ranks of general causes for major social groups - for their profit. Did Tyler really feel unsafe after all? Do we know the reason behind his suicide? Do we know if he, himself, would take part in the movement behind his death - the push for safe spaces?'"
'The death of University student Tyler Clementi might have been properly mourned if it were not for the massive rallies and aggressive news coverage that altered the nature of the situation. The truth is that an 18-year-old boy killed himself - he was a student just like the rest of us, someone just trying to receive an education. Yet people's relentless agendas took his death and turned it into a cause based on false pretenses.'
'The focal point of Clementi's tragic death should have been a boy's inability to deal with the hardships of life. And yet the news and certain organizations picked this up and carried it into the ranks of general causes for major social groups - for their profit. Did Tyler really feel unsafe after all? Do we know the reason behind his suicide? Do we know if he, himself, would take part in the movement behind his death - the push for safe spaces?'"
"The suicide of college freshman Tyler Clementi painfully spotlights the dire consequences of homophobic bullying on gay men. But a homophobic culture that condemns male affection and emotion as 'gay' hurts all men – and our culture at large.
"Not long ago, a foreign visitor to our shores asked me whether there was anything anyone could do on an American college campus that assured automatic expulsion. I thought for a minute. 'Plagiarism,' I said. 'And falsified transcripts and other application records. And possibly "sexual harassment."' I wanted to add the proverbial 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' but knew of cases where students were re-admitted after having completed prison sentences.
... Rutgers University is in a position to exert extraordinary leadership by adding to the list one infraction that assures perpetrators a one-way and permanent ticket out: bullying."
"Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History chronicles the powerful story of a student who stood up to his anti-gay tormentors and filed a federal lawsuit against his school district. The suit led to a landmark federal court decision holding that school officials could be held accountable for not stopping the harassment and abuse of gay students.
Despite that ruling, anti-gay bullying continues to be a severe, nationwide problem. In Massachusetts, for example, 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hanged himself with an extension cord in 2009 after being bullied by classmates who perceived him as gay. In Indiana, another student hanged himself earlier this month after being subjected to anti-gay bullying. In the Anoka-Hennepin school district in Minnesota at least four gay students [as of Monday, it's now up to a count of six] have committed suicide in the past year alone."
For four years Jamie Nabozny was subjected to relentless antigay verbal and physical abuse by fellow students at his public high school in Ashland, Wisconsin. Students urinated on him, pretended to rape him during class and when they found him alone kicked him so many times in the stomach that he required surgery. Although they knew of the abuse, school officials said at one point that Nabozny should expect it if he’s gay. Nabozny attempted suicide several times, dropped out of school and ultimately ran away. But he wanted to make sure that other students didn’t go through the same kind of nightmare. He sued his former school, but a trial court dismissed his lawsuit. Lambda Legal took over his case before a federal appeals court, which issued the first judicial opinion in the nation’s history finding that a public school could be held accountable for not stopping antigay abuse. The case went back to trial and a jury found the school officials liable for the harm they caused to Nabozny. The case then settled for close to $1 million.
"Neil Kypers is the editor and Aleksi Tzatzev is the opinion editor. Neil just told me on the phone that there is no evidence that the video was even illegally obtained. He doesn't even acknowledge violence against gay people at Rutgers or anywhere. Again, he blamed the victim in our conversation. This is way beyond the pale.
Targum 732.932.2012 x 110 Kypers, x 107 Tzatev."
"The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has subpoenaed Rutgers University to obtain copies of e-mails detailing how the school handled freshman Tyler Clementi’s complaint that his roommate used a webcam to spy on him, officials who have been briefed on the case said today.
Prosecutors asked for the subpoenas after investigators felt some at the state university were not fully cooperating with the investigation into the high-profile suicide, said two officials who were briefed on the probe. The officials asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak about the ongoing inquiry.
Campus officials denied they are obstructing the Clementi investigation. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act — a federal law that protects the privacy of student records — requires the university protect certain student documents, said E.J. Miranda, a Rutgers spokesman.
'The university is cooperating with the investigation. In some instances, a subpoena is required before the university can release information protected by federal law,' Miranda said."
Engage in Intelligent Debate
"Earlier this week, The Daily Targum published an editorial, 'Media exploits University tragedy,' concerning the suicide of University first-year student Tyler Clementi and the media outbreak surrounding it. While I do not entirely agree with the content of the editorial, I still feel the need to defend the paper's right to print the stories they choose and the writers' liberties to express them.
The backlash from the editorial has been incredible, and I speak specifically of the slew of online comments posted at dailytargum.com. In no uncertain terms I will stand by my view that the backlash against the article was more disgusting than the crime it discussed."
"In the past month, a 13-year-old Minnesota boy named Seth Walsh, who had been taunted for being gay, died in the hospital days after hanging himself from a tree; a 13-year-old Houston boy named Asher Brown shot himself after repeated homophobic bullying; 18-year-old Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly filmed him having sex with another man (though it is not clear that the roommate was specifically homophobic or would have done the same if Clementi were with a woman); and a 15-year-old Indiana boy named Billy Lucas hanged himself in his barn after being tormented by classmates.
After Lucas' death, advice columnist Dan Savage launched an online campaign entitled 'It gets better.' Countless gay men and women have now posted videos on YouTube, telling — and demonstrating — that life does get better for gay teens.
More than a decade has passed since my brother used that notorious homophobic slur [faggot]. I am now 22, and, as it happens, I am gay. Further, I, personally, was depressed throughout much of my adolescence. Although anti-gay bullying was never a problem for me as a student at Clayton High School, being in the closet hardly helped my mental well-being. I was hospitalized for depression the summer after my sophomore year in college and tried to overdose on pills later that fall.
My father is a physics professor at Washington University. Years ago, he wrote an article on his personal website in which he justified homophobia as a 'moral judgment' about a person's actions. Even if one does not accept Judeo-Christian morality, he wrote, gays should be shunned because they are physically and morally responsible for the AIDS epidemic. Any person 'cursed with unnatural sexual desires' should suppress those desires. Further, even if gays are thoroughly safe and monogamous, they are still morally culpable for the promiscuity that spread AIDS in the past, just as people who join the Ku Klux Klan without physically engaging in violence still share the responsibility for past Klan actions. Though one should 'not engage in violence against homosexuals,' my father argued, one should 'stay away from them.' The last line of the essay is as follows: 'I am a homophobe, and proud.'
It is harder to stay away from homosexuals, I would imagine, when your son is one. When I told my dad I was gay, his immediate response was, 'No, you're not.' (My mom, by the way, was and is more supportive.) When my insistence finally overrode his denials, he echoed his online essay that I should deny who I am rather than to engage in an act so abhorrent as to love another man."
"A host of young Broadway stars came together to record a song in the hopes of calling further attention to the problem of suicide among LGBT youth. The song, written by composer and lyricists Jay Kuo and Blair Shepard, embraces the theme of 'It Gets Better' and will be available for download via iTunes on October 19th. Proceeds will benefit a terrific cause - The Trevor Project. What's just as good is that is the fact that the song is actually catchy"*
"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."
"No because being a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it."
"I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone."
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