A state senator this week revealed one of his relatives was involved in a decades-old, high-profile “hate crime.” Senator Dennis Black discussed the case during senate debate over a gay man the governor wanted to serve on the State Board of Education. Black grew up in Utah and he says it was “a very homophobic society.” According to Black, his Mormon religion is not very tolerant when it comes to “sexual orientation.” Black says his wife’s brother was gay, and in 1982, he was murdered in Ogden, Utah. Black says it was a “heinous” hate crime. Black says his brother-in-law was attacked in his home by two men who tied him to a chair, poured gasoline over him and burned him alive. Black says his brother-in-law was “one of the finest gentlemen and men (he’d) ever known.” Black says his friendship with his brother-in-law led him to have “a new view as to what a homosexual was.” Black says gays are not, as he’d been taught, pedofiles or “out to seduce every person of their own sex that they came across.” Black says gays are all around and “nobody’s trying to seduce me.” Black voted to allow Jonathan Wilson, a gay man, to serve on the State Board of Education, but Wilson did not receive enough votes to get the job.
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