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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 16 / 161

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In 1999, Barry Winchell, a 21-year old Army Private First Class was beaten to death while asleep in his barracks by another member of his unit who perceived him as being homosexual. And Allan Schindler, a gay seamen fell to a similar fate when in 1992, he was beaten to death while stationed in Japan by fellow sailor Airmen after he came-out to his commanding officer (Service Members Legal Defense Network, 2002). Some gay rights organizations and those advocating for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” claim that if these soldiers had been able to openly discuss concerns related to harassment based on sexual orientation, their murders may have been prevented (Service Members Legal Defense Network, 2002).

Spiritual violence, the validation of hatred and discriminatory practices against homosexuals secondary to a religious-associated belief of homosexuality as immoral, is also a prevalent issue in America today (Swigonski, 2001). Scriptures from the Hebrew and Christian faiths have been used to distinguish GLBT people as moral transgressors and have been used to justify violence and discrimination against them. In addition, the denial of protection of human rights for homosexuals is often associated with religious notions regarding homosexuality (Swigonski, 2001). Regardless of religious influences, historical psychological contributions, or other variables that have attributed to the evolution of discrimination against homosexuals, the existence of

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