Man Charged With Killing His Son For Being Gay

Photo: Mark Boster/Getty Images.
A Los Angeles man has been charged with murdering his son for being gay, according to the Associated Press.

Shehada Issa, 69, was charged with one count of premeditated murder as a hate crime after he allegedly shot his 29-year-old son outside of the family’s home on March 29. Issa told police that he had fatally shot his son, Amir, in self defense after finding his wife dead inside the house. There is an ongoing investigation into the death of Mrs. Issa.

Issa had previously threatened his son over his sexual orientation. Neighbors told The Daily News that father and son could frequently be heard yelling at each other. In addition, Homicide Detective John Doerbecker told the publication that after his arrest, Issa had made “incriminating statements implicating himself” in Amir's death.

LGBTQ individuals are at high risk of hate crimes. The FBI’s annual Hate Crimes Statistics report found that in 2014, 20.4% — or just over 1,100 — hate crimes were based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Since 2009, sexual orientation and gender identity have been a protected class under federal hate crime legislation, when President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. However, according to Human Rights Campaign, 15 states still do not recognize sexual orientation or gender identity as a protected group under state legislation. California’s legislation does recognize LGBTQ individuals as a protected group.

Issa is being held without bail until his arraignment on April 11. He faces life in prison if convicted.

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