WASHINGTON, D. C.: Gay Couple Bashed In Hate Crime
Washington DC police are investigating an attack on a local gay couple who was attacked by a mob as they walked home. Investigators say they suspect the assault was hate-motivated as the assailants “did not ask for anything and did not take anything.”Michael Joel Hall and his partner, Michael Roike, were jumped by a gang of men as they were walking home. The men had been dropped off near their home, when friends say they were ambushed. The group severely beat Hall. His cheek was broken and he suffered other facial injuries. Roike was also beaten, but his injuries were far less severe. Roike’s mother, Michelle, says she is convinced the men would have been killed had it not been for a woman and her boyfriend who intervened. The attackers ran away with tone of the victim’s cell phone. Hall was taken to Howard University Hospital where he underwent surgery on Monday afternoon.
MINNESOTA: Gay Man Beaten Up By Mob At High School Prom
Two men are under arrest after a Duluth, Minnesota gay man was attacked by as many as nine males at a high school graduation party.
- Max Pelofske, 21, of Duluth, said he came to a party at the pit to offer his congratulations to a friend’s sister, who will graduate from Proctor High School in several days. The friend, Kelly Johnson, also 21, said she and Pelofske had been at the unsanctioned gathering of about 50 people, mostly current and former Proctor students, for about five minutes when a boy approached her and Pelofske. “He told me to look him in the eyes, and I was really confused because I’d never seen the guy before,” Pelofske told the News Tribune.
“He asked me: ‘Are you gay?’ And I said, ‘Yes. Is that OK?’” After that, Pelofske said he was struck in the head by a flying beer can, and a crowd of boys surrounded him, threw him to the ground and began punching and kicking him. “I tried to get up, but I kept getting knocked back down,” said Pelofske, who described his alleged assailants as “all laughing and smiling.” “They were trying to throw me into the fire,” he said. Johnson said at least nine boys were involved in the attack.
The victim was treated at the hospital for head injuries and released.
Canada: Prominent Gay Activist Raymond Taavel Beaten To Death Outside Gay Bar In Halifax, NS
The National Post reports:
Police are investigating after a prominent gay rights activist was beaten to death outside a popular gay bar in Halifax early Tuesday morning.
Officers were called to the 2000-block of Gottingen Street at about 2:40 a.m. where they found a 49-year-old man bleeding. He later died in the street.
Police have made an arrest over the death, but Const. Brian Palmeter of the Halifax Regional Police said it was too early to speculate on whether the homicide was a hate crime.
“A witness … saw another man fleeing the area on foot,” Const. Palmeter told theNational Post.
Police dogs were able to track down the 32-year-old man, who was hiding in a nearby alley. Police expect to lay charges against him in the next 24 hours, Const. Palmeter said.
Police have not named the victim but friends and co-workers have identified him as Raymond Taavel, an activist and the former editor of Wayves, a gay and lesbian magazine.
The assault, according to the Chronicle-Herald newspaper, happened outside the Menz & Mollyz Bar, a gay bar.
News of Mr. Taavel’s death circulated quickly on Twitter, as many those who knew the man mourned the loss of an “inspiring” and “vibrant” person.
An autopsy on the victim was to be performed on Tuesday morning.
Investigators from the Halifax police and the RCMP are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 902-490-5016. Anonymous tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca.
A vigil for Mr. Taavel has been planned for Tuesday night at Menz Bar from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
RELATED: CBS News reports that it was indeed a gay-bashing:
Two witnesses have told police the attacker used homophobic slurs during the beating and one eyewitness told CBC News that he repeatedly slammed Taavel’s head into the street where the victim was found by police and later pronounced dead by paramedics. A witness, who only wants to be identified as James, told CBC News that he saw a large man attack two smaller men, who appeared to be friends. One victim fled and the attacker then slammed the other man’s head into the street.
Chile: Government Barely Passes Anti-Discrimination Law After Gay-Bashing Death Of Daniel Zamudio
After the brutal gay-bashing death of Daniel Zamudio (right), who had his ear cut off and was branded with swastikas via cigarette burns, many Chileans called for action to be taken.
Now, the federal government has acted on his behalf by passing an anti-discrimination law in a very tight 58-56 vote, reports the Washington Post.
Zamudio was viciously attacked and tortured for an hour by four anti-gay neo-Nazis in a park in Santiago, Chile, and died after over three weeks in a coma. Prosecutors want to charge the perpetrators with murder and torture.
The law refers to illegal discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction that lacks reasonable justification, committed by agents of the state or individuals, and that causes the deprivation, disturbance or threatens the legitimate exercise of fundamental rights.”
CALIFORNIA: Gay-Bashing In Hollywood
Los Angeles Times reports:
Los Angeles police are investigating a possible hate crime against a gay man, who reported he was attacked early Sunday morning in Hollywood. Around 1:30 a.m., the man was approached by three assailants near the intersection of Cahuenga Boulevard and Yucca Street, said Sgt. Sal Ogaz of the Los Angeles Police Dept.’s Hollywood Division. One of the suspects asked the man whether he was gay and, when he said he was, the three attacked him, Ogaz said.
Brazil: Is Gay Bashing Becoming Popular In Sao Paulo?
The Advocate reports:
Two more gay men were attacked in São Paulo, Brazil’s major tourist areas, Paulista Avenue Oct. 8. According to Edison Bernardo DeSouza of BrazzilMag, a gay couple was kicked and punched several times after a female friend of theirs rebuked the flirtations of the attackers. “They said we were crazy faggots and that we should die before spreading diseases around,” one of the victims, Marcos Paulo Villa, told Bandeirantes TV. One of the victims (pictured here) had bruises, cuts, and a broken foot.
DeSouza reports that this is not the first time that gay men have been attacked in this busy district of São Paulo. “Paulista Avenue has seen several attacks against blacks and gays in the past and very little has been done to prevent such violence,” DeSouza says. “Neo-Nazi groups usually are able to bully and attack minorities and walk around freely without police surveillance.” Bandeirantes reported that bullying gays is becoming an alarmingly frequent activity in the district.The recent victims, who have been together for four years, filed a report at the 78th police district, but they say police aren’t investigating the attack. “The police officers did not even care. According to them, this was probably a punk or skinhead related crime, and they just left it at that.”About 50% of the cases involving violence against LGBT folks in São Paulo occurred in the Paulista Avenue area. According to the Secretariat of Human Rights, which works in tandem with the Brazilian government, 83% of the victims were gay, 10% bisexual, and 4% heterosexual. In 22% of these cases the aggressors are never identified.
A particularly bad incident last year involved two gay men who were attacked by a group of six men who used stones and an iron lamp to assault the victims.
Trans Bashers Arrested in Pakistan
The Advocate reports:
Police in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday arrested seven men for assaulting, sexually harassing, and then shaving the heads of five transgender people. Local police representative Raz Mohammad KhantoldThe Express Tribunethat the accused were arrested after the victims “approached the police with a written complaint detailing their ordeal.”
Earlier in the day, trans folks from around Pakistan protested outside the Peshawar Press Club to calling for an end to harassment and gender violence and calling for the government to offer more protections for its marginalized citizens.
Peshawar is the capital and main cultural center of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and though the conservative city’s population is 99% Muslim, it’s been home to at least nine different ethnic groups (Pashtun, Hindkowa, Punjabi to name a few) as well as several other religious communities (including Bukharan Jews and those of the Bahai faith).
The city’s main transgender organization, the Shemale Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, gathered protesters who beat their heads and chests in a appeal to authorities to arrest men from the Bakhshi Pul village who allegedly held them at gunpoint and sexually abused them. It wasn’t the first such attack.
In Pakistan transgender people are often paid to celebrate the birth of a son or to dance at weddings, but today many end up homeless or working as prostitutes in a country where being gay or having sex outside marriage are very much taboo. Trans women are often the victims of rape or other assaults.
Farzana Riaz, president of the Shemale Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told Dawn.com reporters a group of people in Bakhshu Pul asked a dozen trans performers to appear at a dance party. “My colleagues performed on Sunday night, but on return another group of people took them to an unknown place at gunpoint,” Riaz said. Many of the victims were sexually abused, and those who resisted had their hair cut.
“This has become a routine,” Riaz said. “We are peaceful people. We provide entertainment to the people but these people insult and harass us. We cannot do other jobs. We earn our livelihood through dancing but these criminals snatched the amount from us and now they are demanding Rs50,000 from each and every eunuch that we cannot afford.” (The wordeunuch is sometimes used for transgender people.)
Riaz told reporters that at least 20 other trans people had been victimized in the same fashion, and many of them have since left the city in fear. The same perpetrators may have been responsible for a previous incident in which a group of trans performers was attacked by up to 20 men who filmed the attack and uploaded the video online.
Trans activists say they have asked the province’s chief minister, Ameer Haider Hoti, to arrest the culprits and protect Pakistan’s trans people. No word on how Hoti will respond, but police say getting the victims to come forward on record will be equally important to finding justice for people like Riaz.
OREGON: Two Gay Portland Men Beaten For Holding Hands
Portland, Oregon police are investigating a possible hate crime after two gay men were beaten after being seen walking hand-in-hand. One of the victims reports: “I left [the ER] with 9 stitches in my lips, two black eyes, a dislodged jaw, some loose teeth, severe swelling where they hit me on my cheek, and scrapes and bruises on my head.”
Detectives say Brad Forkner and Christopher Rosevear were walking hand-in-hand Sunday evening in Waterfront Park and then headed over the Hawthorne Bridge. As the pair walked, police say, they noticed several men behind them who were talking, laughing and pointing, but they weren’t sure if it was directed at them. Police say the attack happened as Forkner and Rosevear walked from the bridge to the trail toward the East Bank Esplanade. The pair told officers the men pushed and punched Forkner before he managed to break away and call 911. Police say the attackers hit Rosevear in the head, face, back and ribs before running off. ”It’s too bad that people are still walking around a city like Portland feeling, well, actually unsafe,” says Paul Fukui, the operations manager of the Q-Center, which advocates for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.According to the above-linked news story, several witnesses observed the attack but did nothing to help. The three assailants are described as white men in their 20s.
NEW YORK CITY: Gay Man Brutally Attacked On West Village Street
New York City’s month-long rash of gay bashings continued this weekend. JMG reader Warren directs us to this accounton the blog Watts Up With This.
26 year old Damian Furtch was on his way home from work at a restaurant late Sat night (Sunday morning), when he stopped off at a McDonalds in NYC’s West Village ( a predominantly gay area) to get some food. It was approx. 4:30 am. While inside the restaurant Damian noticed 2 men staring at him – giving him “looks” – we have all been there, we know what this feels like. It was late, Damian was tired, he felt uncomfortable and he didn’t want any trouble so he left. He was across the street, walking away while on the phone to a friend when the 2 men from McDonalds approached him and asked him “if he had a problem” before he knew it he was punched in the face by one man, then instantly felt another punch by the second perp, and then he heard it – “You Fucking Faggot” , the words as hurtful as the punches.According to the above-linked blog post, the NYPD is investigating the attack as a hate crime. Surveillance video provided by McDonald’s may help. Furtch was treated for his injuries and released after his face was stitched up. He has posted numerous photos of his injuries on his Facebook page.
Gay-Bashing In British Columbia, Canada
Canadian police are investigating the gay-bashing of a British Columbia man who was brutally beaten last month while he and a friend enjoyed a rural natural hot spring.
The victim was relaxing in the hot pool with his companion, both men from Burnaby, when they were joined by two other men and a woman. The man who identified himself as ‘Terry’ discovered the men were homosexual and allegedly told his friends he was going to kill them. As one man ran from the pool to hide, the other man was viciously beaten as he begged for mercy, suffering cuts and bruising to most of his body. He was left injured in the snow as the suspect and his two friends left on snow mobiles.
The suspect is believed to be from Calgary. According to the above-linked story, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police describe the attack as a “crime of ignorance.”
In Vancouver, even at the Gay Village we’ve been having hate-crimes going on, specially during last year. At least, here we have equal rights to do something about it.
Serbian riot battled hundreds of neo-Nazi anti-gay rioters at Belgrade Pride today, fighting back against hurled Molotov cocktails with stun grenades. Over 100 injuries were reported and almost 200 rioters were arrested.
The president of Serbia denounced the attacks, saying, “Serbia will guarantee human rights for all its citizens, regardless of the differences among them, and no attempts to revoke these freedoms with violence will be allowed.” Serbia’s Minister of Justice said that those arrested face up to eight years in prison. Early reports don’t indicate whether any of Belgrade Pride’s attendees were injured. Last year’s pride parade was canceled over the threat of violence.