In an era where the fight for equality continues, it hurts to read that a father in Los Angeles murdered his own son for the mere fact that he was gay.
The shooting took place on Tuesday in the family’s North Hills home when the victim’s father, Shehada Khalil Issa, allegedly opened fire on his son, Amir, using a shotgun.
It is rumoured that Issa had threatened to murder his 29-year-old son numerous times in the past for being gay, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A statement released by the prosecutors states:
The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant’s perception of that status and the victims’ association with a person and a group of that status.
The victim’s mother was also found dead in the house, however prosecutors did not reveal details about the murder.
Jim Key, a spokesman for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, spoke to the Los Angeles Times of his upset following the killing:
Despite all the civil rights victories we’ve had in the last few years, we still live in a society where people face violence or even murder by their parents, simply by being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Issa is currently being held without bail at Men’s Central Jail.
In an article published by The Independent late last year, they revealed figures which demonstrated a shocking rise in homophobic hate crimes.
A 22 per cent increase from 2014-15 saw the hate crimes spiral to 5,597 – meaning that they had leapt up by almost a quarter from the year before.
The eccentric homosexual writer, Quentin Crisp, wrote in his autobiography of how back in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s he was kicked, spat at and beaten up on a daily basis simply for being gay.
The murder of Amir Issa marks a sad reminder for humanity that homophobic prejudices remain a vile and prevalent reality.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.