Click Banner for Larger Image
PAUL BROUSSARD MURDER
Paul Broussard, a 27-year-old gay banker of Houston, was murdered on the night of July 4, 1991, in the city's Montrose neighborhood. A gang of youths from The Woodlands -- dubbed in the media "The Woodlands Ten" -- asked Broussard and his friends for directions to a popular gay club. They then chased the three on foot; Broussard was the only one not to escape. The youths beat him, inflicted multiple stab wounds, and left him for dead. Although he was transferred to a local hospital, he died shortly after the attack.
Because of the leadership
of Queer Nation and gay activists such as
Days after the murder, Houston's gay community organized a "Take Back the Streets" rally in Montrose to demand action be taken against The Woodlands Ten and against anti-gay hate crime in the city more generally. Although only 800 to 900 were expected to attend, the rally's numbers reached closer to 2,000. In addition, activists organized a silent march in The Woodlands, which drew 150 participants.
As a result of local gay activism, the Houston City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for a gay-inclusive state-level hate crimes bill. The Houston Police Department also added sexual orientation to the list of biases motivating a hate crime.
Broussard's murder continued to be invoked in the gay community's demands for an inclusive hate crimes bill, which was eventually passed in 2001 as the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. The Woodlands Ten were all indicted, tried, and convicted; today. Jon Buice, who confessed to inflicting the fatal stab wound, was paroled in 2016.