Jesse Dirkhising still has not outlived his usefulness to anti-gay activists.
Dirkhising was a 13-year-old Arkansas boy who died in 1999 while abused during kinky sex. Because the two men currently serving prison sentences in Dirkhising's death are homosexual, right-wingers have long sought to portray him as the anti-Matthew Sheppard, a gay man murdered in 1998.
WorldNetDaily marks the 10th anniversary of Dirkhising's death with a Sept. 25 article by Chelsea Schilling, who complains that unlike Shepard, Dirkhising's "horrific murder continues to be largely ignored – with no plays, books or TV dramas to honor his memory." Schilling went on to note that "the case received a flurry of publicity after first being brought to the attention of the nation in WorldNetDaily."
The reality is a little more complicated -- as we detailed at the time, WND couldn't be bothered to provide original coverage of the trial of one of the alleged killers. Further, the two cases are not equivalent -- Shepard's death was very much a hate crime, WND's attempts at revisionism to the contrary, while Dirkhising's death was a sex crime.
Joseph Farah similarly uses his Sept. 25 column to honor Dirkhising as a useful tool for his anti-gay activism by proudly recounting the gory details of Dirkhising's death. Farah then launches into a predictable anti-gay rant, suggesting that Dirkhising died because homosexuals are allowed to exists -- or, as he put it, "maybe even because a certain politically protected lifestyle has been elevated to virtual sainthood" and because his killers belonged to "a politically protected class of Americans."
Farah then writes: "I don't know how many more Jesse Dirkhisings there have been since 1999, but I do know a day doesn't go by any longer that there isn't news of adults having sex with children." Is Farah really saying that Dirkhising's death made adult-child sex acceptable to society? How ludicrous. Farah can't prove that it's more accepted now than it was then, let alone that a new case of adult-child sex has surfaced every single day for the past 10 years.
Such obviously false hyperbole, it seems, is OK with Farah as long as it advances his anti-gay cause -- which is what resurrecting the Dirkhising case is all about.