In the wake of a judge's declaration of a mistrial in the case of Brandon McInerney accused of killing gay student Lawrence King, gay groups say one thing remains clear: Homophobia is to blame.

King is the 15-year-old E.O. Green Junior High School student who liked to say he was gay, wear makeup to school and taunt boys. McInerney, 17, is accused of murdering King.

During the 8-week trial, over 100 witnesses, including many students and teachers from King's school in Oxnard, California, testified.

Jurors deadlocked on whether McInerney, then 14, deserved to be convicted of voluntary manslaughter or first-degree murder.

Defense lawyers have not denied that McInerney killed King with two bullets to the back of the boy's head in a computer classroom on the morning of February 12, 2008, but they argued during the trial that McInerney suffered at the hands of his drug-abuser father and didn't deserve to be tried as an adult.

“This was always destined to be a case with little resolution and no winners, whatever the verdict,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard in a statement. “The central facts remain the same: homophobia killed Larry King and destroyed Brandon McInerney's life, and adults failed both young men because of their own inability to deal forthrightly and compassionately with the multiple challenges they each faced.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights group, expressed a similar sentiment.

“It's up to the adults around children to call out that early behavior and prejudice, and to explain that the differences among us are part of what makes us strong: that being different is not something to attack,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “If Lawrence or Brandon had lived in that world, their lives might not have collided in tragedy and death.”