Is it just me or has there been an uptick of attacks on LGBT people this year? It’s not me, right?
Regardless, we have news that on Sunday night a gay man was attacked by three people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. First we have a video from local ABC affiliate, KTUL Channel 8:
Then we have report from Tulsa World. (By the way, Tulsa World, you don’t have to use the word “said” in every stinking sentence):
What should have been a 10-minute walk to a friend’s house ended with a trip to the hospital for Brandon Patrick, a Tulsan who said he was severely beaten Sunday night because of his sexual orientation. Three people followed Patrick down the 1300 block of South Rockford Avenue about 11:45 p.m., yelling homophobic slurs and threats, he said.
Patrick, who is gay, said he ignored the group until they closed in and then asked why they were accosting him without provocation. The assailants then started beating, biting and slashing at Patrick with a blade, he said, leaving him with several cuts on his head and body.
The 23-year-old has been peppered with insults before, but he said he never thought they would escalate to violence. “I’ve never felt scared or feared for my safety before,” he said. “You brush it off and walk on. That’s what you’re taught to do. This time, it didn’t work.”
Jenkins noted that the state [hate crime] law excludes sexual orientation from the qualifiers for a hate crime. As a result, police are investigating the case only as an assault and battery. Designation as a hate crime would allow for punishment beyond what would be imposed for the assault.
Brandon Patrick’s attackers have not been caught.
Remember, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is still hung up in the Senate (again) where rumor has it that it’ll pass.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this month that would make assaulting someone because of his or her sexual orientation a federal crime. The Senate is expected to approve the measure, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law. Patrick said it’s frustrating that race and ethnicity are taken into account by state lawmakers but sexual orientation is not.
Let’s get this one done, senators. Today.