The victim, James Anderson, was also gay. Which does not appear to have played a part in this particular hate crime.
So why am I mentioning it? Mr Anderson's family has filed a wrongful death suit against the accused teenagers. But, as the NY Times tells us,
James Bradfield, Mr. Anderson’s partner of 17 years, is not a plaintiff. Under Mississippi law, same-sex partners have no claim in civil actions like this, Mr. Dees said.Got that? Together 17 years, and thanks to a Mississippi hate law, legally invisible.
That's why it matters.