By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com July 16 2013 3:49 PM ET
The defense's star witness in the George Zimmerman trial said when she was on the phone with her friend Trayvon Martin moments before he was fatally shot, they both considered that Zimmerman was following Martin to possibly rape him.
Rachel Jeantel told CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday night that any parent who would advise their son or daughter to "stand there" while facing a threatening situation would see their child "in the news [as] a missing person."
"After I say, '[he] may be a rapist' — for every boy, for every man… who's not that kind of way, seeing a grown man following them, would they be creep[ed] out?" Jeantel said Monday. "And people need to understand, he didn't want that creepy ass cracker going to his father or girlfriend's house…" Jeantel had also mentioned this aspect as she took the witness stand earlier this summer.
Conservatives were highlighting the comment on Tuesday. "JEANTEL WARNED ZIMMERMAN COULD BE GAY RAPIST," screamed the headline on The Drudge Report. The Atlantic listed many others among social media talking about the idea.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said on his show Tuesday morning that he believes Martin was acting out of homophobia.
"…she did allude to the homosexual aspect of this [during the trial]; but you know, if I really wanted to stir it up, I would make the case that it was Zimmerman’s civil rights that got violated," Limbaugh said Tuesday, according to the National Review, a conservative publication. "Here you’ve got Zimmerman, a properly accredited neighborhood-watch captain, or whatever his title was... and you’ve got this guy beating up on him because he thinks he’s gay. I mean that sounds like a civil rights violation to me!"
Monday evening, a coalition of LGBT organizations sent a joint letter demanding Martin's "justice and his civil rights."
"We support the organizations and community leaders who are urging the federal government to explore every option to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon and that his civil rights are honored and respected," the joint statement read. "But our work does not end there: we will honor Trayvon Martin by strengthening our commitment to end bias, hatred, profiling and violence across our communities. We represent organizations with diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituencies. Our community has been targets of bigotry, bias, profiling and violence. We have experienced the heart-breaking despair of young people targeted for who they are, who they are presumed to be, or who they love: Rashawn Brazell, Lawrence King, Ali Forney, Brandon Teena, Brandon White, Matthew Shepard, Marco McMillian, Angie Zapata, Sakia Gunn, Gwen Araujo and countless others. Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety."
Watch the video from CNN below.
And here's video from the trial when Jeantel was asked about the conversation: