she reminded him of his mother

A gay man in the Chicago area, Nicholas Gutierrez, killed a religious woman he worked with, Mary Stachowicz, when he became enraged as she tried to talk him out of his homosexuality. Her harangues had reportedly evoked the painful memory of similar debates he had with his mother.

Friends and family said that it would have been in character for Stachowicz, who has a lengthy list of volunteer work to reach out to someone she thought needed help.

"Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, `God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life,"' said Mary Coleman, a friend and neighbor. "That's how Mary did things."

It wouldn't have been out of character for Stachowicz to see homosexuality as a lifestyle problem, said Alice Kosinski, 43, Stachowicz's younger sister.

"Because she's so Catholic, there's no room for being gay in the Catholic church," Kosinski said.

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Nancy Galassini told the judge at Gutierrez' hearing on sunday, "This would most likely be a capital case."

The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother.

For another take on the tragedy, one which has my own sympathies, see Barry.


Someone is murdered and our sympathies lie with the murderer. Are you for real or is this a sick joke?

My sympathies are with all of the victims of homophobia. One of the two discussed here is dead and beyond our ministrations. The second is suffering still, as have, do and will so many others.

For more on the subject see Barry's reply to Mr. Fife at

How clever,

The murdered woman is the victim of homophobia. Don't ever say anything to a gay person that might offend them or traumatize their delicate psyches, because they might murder your, and it would be your own damn fault. Too, the victim is no longer suffering, because she is too dead to suffer. Can't one disagree with you and be simply wrong rather than evil.

Wow. One hears about these attitutes, but never really belives them until they see them.

Do the parallels between this case and that of poor Matthew Shepard occur to you, even a little bit? Someone is challenged in their sexuality, and they resort to murder? Repulsive. If Gutierrez is guilty, I hope he is convicted and executed.

Mr. Wagner, you seem to nice of a man to really mean what you've said here, or to endorse the garbage coming from barry's mouth. If a young woman were living with her boyfriend, and her mother told her that God would not approve of her living with her boyfriend, would you feel the same way if the woman killed her mom? I doubt it. I can understand the difficulty in trying to maintain some level of objectivity here, but I'd ask you to attempt to do so nonetheless.

I knew someone would come out on the side of the killer. After all, it's not as though he killed another gay man or a minority. The victim was just a straight, religious, and I presume, white woman.

I don't know about "nice," and the analogy of the young woman sleeping with her boyfriend is just fake, but I can address, and will repeat my endorsement of, Barry's remarks.

Having loved, lived and slept with Barry for over ten years, I can say I would sign on to anything he said or

wrote. The word, "garbage," just does not relate either to his great mind or his ethics.

Finally, even as a former Catholic, I confess I am continually amazed at the amount and degree of hatred and narrow-mindedness cloaked in religious mantles, as witnessed by the comments on this post and the websites the writers keep.

Please, I can't believe that you are calling anyone who disagrees with you as evil. I guess you are the ultimate authority for all. Now go and learn the mean of tolerance: Allowing people the freedom to have their own beliefs and related actions, without necessarily validating those beliefs.

Let me see if I get this:

Woman: [with great insensitivity] Stop being gay.

Killer: [kicks her, punches her, stabs her, suffocates her]

Blogger: "The woman who did such great evil is dead"

The Judgement:

Woman: too nosey; could have left well enough alone.

Killer: sick fuck for being a sadistic torturer and murderer ; should fry.

Blogger: sick fuck for defending Killer and blaming the nosey, insensitive woman.

I saw a quotation from your remarks on Mary Stachowicz's murder, and I had to access your site to confirm you'd actually said these things. Breathtaking! Ms. Stachowicz expressed an opinion (something she had every right to do; something the Constitution says she can do; something she could reasonably have expected to do without fear of physical injury (we're not in Saudi Arabia after all)). And for doing so, she's murdered. Not yelled at, not told to leave, not presented with an articulate counter-argument, but murdered. And you, sir, treat her statements to her murderer as somehow mitigating, if not excusing, what he did. Gays, I am to infer, are so damaged, so fragile after all the anti-gay affronts they've suffered, that they get an automatic insanity defense whenever they hear an expression of disapproval. Well, sir, here's an opinion that may just send you over the edge. I don't like men who engage in promiscuous anal sex. It's obviously unhygienic, and it shows little concern for their own health or that of others. But I nonetheless defend their right to have such sex, with consenting partners, even though it is by no means harmless. For me, the state tramping into people's bedrooms is the greater evil. An even greater evil, an inexcusable evil, would be killing someone for what he chooses to do in his bedroom, no matter how much it offends others. Mary Stachowicz offended Gutierrez's--and your--amour propre by expressing an opinion. Your response shows that you, sir, are a pervert--and I'm not talking about your sexual orientation.

Mr. Wagner,

Please don't misunderstand: I didn't say barry was garbage, or that his mind is garbage. I was referring to the specific explanation he gave for this situation.

As far as hatred and narrow-mindedness... yes, religious people can exhibit both; but so can secularists. Why judge a belief system by its bad eggs instead of the good examples?

Of course, I can't vouch for the other commentors, but speaking for myself, I don't hate homosexuals, nor fear them. Please don't conflate a viewpoint on sexual ethics with a judgment of a person, let alone hatred or fear.

Mr. Wagner, I want to reiterate and expound on what I said about barry's language being garbage.

When someone says they hope that someone's murder will put fear in others' hearts; when they refer to people as homophobes when they have no idea if the term applies (again, disagreeing with homosexuality is not a phobia); when they say that the President, his party, and a number of the other party's members want to send homosexuals to jail; and when they *loath* those who have a different view then they do, what do you call it?

Perhaps it can be chalked up to the heat of the moment, but it's still wrong. If someone I loved said that, I'd say the same thing, no matter how much I loved them.

All I ask is for the recognition that my perspective (and that of many others) on sexual ethics is not a phobia, nor hate-filled. That's all.


You are amazed at the narrow-mindedness of the commentors on this page. Yet you came down on the side of a murderer, for crying out loud. You actually believe the penalty for expressing certain view should be death, or so we are lead to believe by what you have written. This strikes me as the very definition of narrow-minded.

Good bleeping grief.

This guy punched, stabbed, and strangled a woman to death for expressing her beliefs. And you're DEFENDING him? Chucky, I don't care *how* insensitive her comments may have been. Murder is *never* justified by annoyance. It is not even justified by extremely hurt feelings.

Try to understand this: Christians are people too. We may not share your beliefs, but that does not mean we don't have a right to live. If you think we should die for politely expressing what we believe-- well then, step right up and take your place beside Torquemada, the Taliban, and the murderers of Matthew Shepard. Because from where I'm standing, there ain't any difference.

If you seriously believe that gay people, as a class, can be defended from murder charges based on their mere hearing of an anti-gay comment, then you are vicously dehumanizing gay people, taking away their moral agency, and expressing a level of self- and gay-contempt previously unheard of in this country outside of the confines of fundamentalist churches and mosques. Shame on you.

Gosh, I'm a gay man...and my own sainted Catholic mother is convinced that my soul is in jeopardy. And she occasionally tells me of her concerns...because she is concerned about me.

But I have yet to kill her.

I am amazed that killing her is understandable to you.

Oh, well, it takes all kinds, I suppose. THIS kind would not kill you if you offended me.

Hate crimes are criminal actions intended to harm or intimidate people because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other minority group status. The key word here is minority. Matthew Shepard may have received more press than perhaps necessary, yet the amount tied to the incident doesn't begin to account for all the other Matthew Shepards before him that received no media coverage or perhaps a small blurb in the back of some newspaper. Christian conservatives protesting his right to a funeral and condemning him to burn in hell probably helped fan the media too, not to mention the really nice touch of love it brought to a grieving family and community at large. Nobody invited them, they just knew what was the right thing to do apparently.

It's difficult to live in a society where the atrocities that occur to those who are like you are not somehow deemed as headline news by society at large. Perhaps those who feel this story should have garnered more attention are getting a sliver taste of what this is like. It doesn't feel good. I know.

I can't speak for Nicholas Gutierrez, I don't know him. I don't know how tormented he was or was not by his mother. I could guess it was rather severe, but how would I know? Did he suffer from other issues such as mental illness? My guess would be probably judging by the written accounts of the murder itself.

Mary Stachowicz sounds like she was a sweet woman. It's sad that she was killed and that 19 year old Gutierrez has put himself in this situation. If only people who think they know what's best for others, particularly when it's based in conflicting belief systems and wasn't asked for, would mind their own business, then probably none of this would have happened.

I want to respond to wanted to Aaron Baker's comment above. Aaron, I pretty much agree with what you said. I'm pretty amazed that anyone could support what that guy in Chicago did to that woman. It's a no-brainer that murder is wrong. I hope and assume that you don't ascribe James's and Barry's views to all gay people, because I'm pretty sure most of us (like most other human beings) would disagree strongly with him.

I do want to comment on one thing you wrote:

"I don't like men who engage in promiscuous anal sex. It's obviously unhygienic, and it shows little concern for their own health or that of others."

My response:

First, "promiscuous": It seems like you're assuming that all gay men are promiscuous. Perhaps you're not making that assumption, but from the context, that's what it seems like. You seem like an intelligent guy, though, so I hope you realize that not all gay men are promiscuous. Sure, there are promiscuous gay men out there, just like there are promiscuous straight men and promiscuous women. But not everyone is like that.

Second, "unhygienic": It also seems like you're assuming that people who engage in anal sex don't use condoms. Condoms are at least, if not more than, 99 percent safe, which, granted, is not the same as 100 percent safe, but it's pretty darn close enough for most people, gay or straight.

Third, "anal": I'm not sure why you'd think promiscuous anal sex with a condom is any less hygienic than promiscuous vaginal sex with a condom. Furthermore, gay men aren't the only people who have anal sex; some straight male-female couples have it too.

Other than that, though, right on.

Translation: "The bitch was asking for it."

If I hadn't read it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.

Goes to prove that faggots are child molesters and murderers. God states they should be put to death and now I see why.Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a

woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall

surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Goes to prove that faggots are child molesters and murderers. God states they should be put to death and now I see why.Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a

woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall

surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.