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Hate-Related Crimes

Tel Aviv gay park ‘becoming too dangerous’

12 December 2011, 10:08am — PinkNews

A Tel Aviv park popular with the gay community is becoming too dangerous after a series of attacks, campaigners say.

Gan Meir park, where the city’s gay community centre is based, has seen a number of anti-gay assaults in recent months.

Speaking to Haaretz, community centre director Yuval Egertt said he knew of at least four assaults, including an incident two weeks ago in which a young gay couple were attacked by a group of 12-14 year-olds.

One of the victims allegedly suffered a broken jaw. Although the police were called, the suspected attackers were not arrested because they were minors.

After the attack, Mr Egertt asked city officials for new measures to help prevent incidents and it has been announced that CCTV will be put in place early next year with improved police patrols.

Mr Egertt told the newspaper: “It’s just a matter of time. The next violent incident will be a lot worse than a broken jaw.” View Article

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Scottish Man Beaten, Burned Alive in Possible Gay Hate Crime

Published October 24, 2011 | FoxNews.com

CUMNOCK, Scotland –  Police in Scotland are investigating the death of a young man who was badly beaten and burned alive before being left tied to a lamppost in what may have been a homophobic attack.

The body of 28-year-old Stuart Walker was found by the side of the road in Cumnock, Ayrshire at 5:00am Saturday suffering from “horrible injuries,” The Scotsman reported.

The hotel worker had been out with friends earlier in the night and was last seen alive by a family friend at about 2:30am.

Strathclyde Police have launched a murder inquiry, with a spokesperson saying Walker had not “died from his burns” and had been subjected to “a horrific attack.”

Officers are not ruling out that Walker was murdered because of his sexuality.

“In terms of claims of his sexuality and lifestyle we are not ruling out any aspect of his life to try and identify why someone would want to kill him,” the spokesperson said.

Kazza Sutherland, who used to work with Walker, said, “Can’t believe this has happened to such a great guy. I hope they catch those who did this to him. Hopefully justice will be served and I hope those who did this go to hell.”

Police are looking closely into what Walker was doing in the hours before he was found.

“It is imperative we find out where he was between 2:30 a.m. and 4:50 a.m., who he was with and why this happened to him,” Detective Inspector John Hogg of Strathclyde Police said.

“Officers are checking CCTV and carrying out door to door in the area and we would encourage anyone with information to approach them or to call Ayr Police Office.”

Newscore contributed to this report.  View Article

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TAS gay bashing may lead to new hate-crime law

SX | 08 July 2011

Tasmania’s Attorney-General will seriously consider allowing judges to impose harsher sentences for crimes motivated by hate, following a recent vicious attack on a young gay man which drew widespread outrage from the state’s LGBTI community.

The news comes as Devenport police charged two 23-year-old Ulverstone residents in connection to the attack which took place in the early hours of Sunday, June 26 as the victim walked home from Turners Beach.

The commitment from Attorney-General Brian Wightman came in response to a question in Parliament on July 6 on the issue by Greens MP, Paul O’Halloran, who pointed out that the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute has recommended that judges have the power to consider racial hatred as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Wightman suggested that this may soon also extend to include hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Rodney Croome, from the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, welcomed Wightman’s comments, particularly as it comes a few days after a media release from Tasmania Police suggesting it would be “problematic to collate figures on prejudice-motivated crime as motive can be subjective”.

“Harsher penalties for hate crime will send out the message that such crimes are completely unacceptable and have no place in the Tasmanian community,” Croome said.

“Often gay bashers feel society tacitly supports what they do, but harsher penalties for hate crime will show them it doesn’t.”

The Tasmanian Government will also spend $150,000 over three years, with $50,000 already allocated to current projects, to provide for better education in the community to combat discrimination and violence experienced by LGBTI people. View Article

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The Met doesn’t have gay people’s trust

guardian.co.uk | 

Does a statistical rise in homophobic crime show gay Londoners feel able to talk to the police, or just that ‘queer-bashing’ is rife?

Last week I was threatened outside my local shop. Apparently, my insufficiently heterosexual gait was offensive to the group of loitering youths. “Fix your walk or you’re gonna get fucked,” one of them charmingly informed me. It was delivered in a manner that suggested that a) he was very close to causing me physical harm, and b) he didn’t mean this to sound like a sexual proposition.

I didn’t react – to them, at least. I went home and considered my options. Do I avoid inflaming the situation by doing nothing and thereby letting him get away with it? Or do I phone the police, sending him a message that such behaviour is unacceptable, but in the process risk further recriminations? It’s a stark choice – one that is faced by gay men and women every day in this country.

Last week it was revealed that reported homophobic crimes in London alone have risen by 18.3% in the last year. The Metropolitan police see this not as a sign that homophobic attacks are on the increase but as a compliment to their sterling work with sexual minorities.

I’m not convinced. Anecdotal evidence suggests that homophobic incidents – from minor verbal abuse to physical attacks – indeed are on the increase.

I’ve lived in the capital city for 11 years, and only this year have I encountered anti-gay hostility on the streets. Last year, an acquaintance was “queer-bashed” on Soho’s Old Compton Street – the one road in which gay people could traditionally feel safe. The abusers also seem to be getting younger. Two schoolgirls – probably no older than 14 – called my ex-boyfriend and me “batty boys” a few weeks ago. Most of my friends have had similarly galling experiences. And most of them don’t bother reporting them.

Some are embarrassed, others lack the self-esteem required to kick up a fuss, many don’t realise what constitutes a hate crime, most fear reprisals and nearly all expect the police not to take them seriously.

I ask my lodger, a 25-year-old graduate, what would he do if he were the victim of a homophobic crime. “If I was just beaten up I probably wouldn’t even go to the police,” he replies, “because they would most likely make me feel like I was wasting their time.” Just beaten up? Horribly, this sums up the beaten-down gay psyche perfectly.

And what did I do last week? I phoned 999. Half an hour later two police officers arrived. My assailants were long gone. I had to explain why being threatened over the way you walk constitutes homophobic abuse. The PC said: “Well, there are a lot of nutters around here, if it hadn’t been about the way you walk it would have been about anything.”

The next day, a detective phoned me to get a more detailed description of the events. He asked, “Well, do you walk in a particularly flamboyant way?” I won’t repeat my response. But despite the clumsy, offensive comments, the police have now taken the matter much more seriously than I expected. Which is more than can be said for the man who was attacked on Old Compton Street. “The police weren’t bothered,” he told me. His wrist had been broken in three places.

The police now have certain procedures in place but they’re a zillion diversity training courses away from being able to crow about gaining gay people’s trust. We may walk a certain walk, but they need to talk a whole new talk. View Article

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Couple bashed at hotel

SSO – December 22, 2009

A Glebe gay couple’s Saturday night at the Glasgow Arms pub in Ultimo turned into a nightmare after they were allegedly set upon by four patrons in the hotel’s restrooms.

Paul and Kevin arrived at the pub late Saturday afternoon for a quiet beer and a chat, but their peace was shattered when a man from a large group celebrating a birthday picked up a microphone and began yelling homophobic slurs, allegedly threatening them with violence.

When another patron intervened, the man left them alone. A couple of hours later Paul went to the bathroom where he was allegedly attacked from behind in a toilet cubicle.

Paul left the cubicle to try to stop the blood pouring from a head wound, when he said his alleged assailant was joined by another three men who allegedly continued to attack him, smashing a glass or a glass bottle on his head.

By this time his partner Kevin was getting worried. When he went to the bathroom to see what was happening, he too was allegedly set upon.

Kevin managed to get Paul into a toilet cubicle, which he locked to keep the men out, and then called for police and an ambulance.

Police and paramedics arrived about 15 minutes later and the couple unlocked the door.

The men had fled the scene but a number of women from their party remained in the pub.

Paul said none of these people apologised to them or offered them any help. Read more and comment

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Hate-Crime in Victoria – next step announced

Vic AVP News – December 9, 2009

The Anti Violence Project of Victoria (AVP) applauded today’s announcement by state Attorney General Hulls of the next step towards addressing hate-crimes including homophobic harassment and violence.

“We welcome the establishment of Justice Geoffrey Eames’ review of Victoria’s hate-crimes legislation,” said AVP head Greg Adkins, adding that the announcement was a key part of the Brumby government’s continued progressive reform agenda which reinforces recent changes in criminal sentencing.

“This review is a welcome next step, but it’s not the last step by any means.

“Currently all violence and hate-crime reporting services for the LGBT community, outside Victoria Police, are provided without funding by the AVP. Our work supports people experiencing hate and prejudice motivated crime but we are limited by the absence of government funding.

“Outcomes from this review of hate-crime laws must be matched with the provision of an ongoing funding model to sustain the work currently undertaken by AVP volunteers on behalf of the LGBT community.

Hate-crimes are criminal acts. They can cover a range of offences against the person and can often target an individual’s property. And if one gay man, one lesbian or one transgender individual is a victim of a hate-crime then the State has a responsibility to ensure that every crime is reported, that in each case the perpetrators are brought to justice and future hate-crime is prevented.

“Sadly, hate-crime against the LGBT community is vastly under-reported and research shows that lack of funds limits the way the AVP can engage our community to fully support the reporting of violence, leaving Victoria Police to allocate limited resources responding to a hidden pool of hate and prejudice motivated crime. Read more

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Mob kills elderly man for being ‘homosexual’

Daily Times. Pakistan – November 1, 2009

KARACHI: An elderly man was beaten to death by an angry mob for being involved in a homosexual act within the jurisdiction of Shah Latif police station on Saturday.

As per details, the incident took place at Pir Sarhandi Goth during the wee hours of Saturday. Police officials said that 60-year-old Mohammad Hashim Jhokio, son of Mehran, was a homosexual and added that unidentified people killed him at his residence.

The deceased was a watchman by profession and had been married for the last 25-30 years without any children.

Police officials further said that the deceased was living separately in the village and was abhorred by his fellow villagers for being a homosexual.

They said a group of angry people raided his house where he was indulged in an obscene activity with a man and killed him on the spot by hitting him with clubs and rods. Read more

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Thousands Rally Against Anti-Gay Hate Crimes in London

Towleroad.com – October 31, 2009

Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square in London last night for a vigil in response to a recent surge in anti-gay hate crimes, and more specifically, the recent homophobic murder of Ian Baynham, and the attack on James Parkes, a police trainee who was beaten in Liverpool last week.

http://towleroad.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c730253ef0120a699a0fb970c-piBaynham The BBC reports: “Family and friends and thousands of gay, lesbian and transgender people turned out to mourn Ian Baynham, 62. Tributes were also paid to trainee Pc James Parkes, who suffered skull fractures after an attack in Liverpool.

Rows of candles spelt out “No To Hate” and speeches took place before a two-minutes silence at 2100.

Speaker after speaker at the vigil urged people to contact the police if they were a victim of hate crime.There was the same refrain in messages of support from political leaders of all colours.

But the focus of the evening was the life and death of Mr Baynham. Speakers told of a man who grew up in a world where gay people kept their sexuality under wraps, about his wit and eloquence and his determination to always challenge homophobic abuse.

We learned he had a relationship that lasted two decades, that he was well-mannered and considerate by nature, but a terrible cook. A statement read on behalf of his sister Jenny spoke of a respectful man with a strong set of moral values. And she said it was ‘so tragic that his life ended on the streets of the city he loved so much.'”

Scenes and speakers from the vigil:

View Article

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Obama set to sign Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill tomorrow

Pink News • October 27, 2009

The bill is named after Matthew ShepardUS president Barack Obama will reportedly sign a bill giving gays new protections from hate crime.

The bill is nicknamed the Matthew Shepard Bill, after the gay Wyoming teenager who was murdered in 1998. It was passed by the Senate 68 votes to 29 last week.

It will expand federal hate crime laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability.

According to ABC News, Obama will sign the bill into law tomorrow.

It is thought that members of Shepard’s family will attend the signing at the White House and a reception with gay rights campaigners will follow. Read more

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Gay trainee policeman fighting for life after Liverpool homophobic attack

Pink News • October 26, 2009

Three  people have been arrested after a homophobic attack which left a young man in hospital with serious head injuries.

The 22-year-old man, named as James Parks, was out with friends in Stanley Street, in Liverpool’s gay area, when he was attacked by a group of around 13 youths.

He is a trainee officer with Merseyside police.

Police have arrested three boys, two aged 15 and one aged 14, from the Kirkdale area, on suspicion of assault.

The attack happened on Sunday evening at around 10pm.

The man is said to be in a life-threatening condition with multiple fractures to his skull.

A police spokeswoman told the Liverpool Echo: “We are treating the incident as a homophobic attack. Read more

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Christian woman may sue after police investigate ‘gay hate crime’ letter

Pink News • October 26, 2009

The letter called gays 'sodomites'A woman who complained about a gay Pride march in Norwich has said she may sue the police and local council after she was investigated for possible hate crime.

Pauline Howe, 67, wrote the letter to Norwich city council to complain about a Pride march she saw.

In the letter, she described gays as “sodomites”. She added that homosexuality had “contributed to the downfall of every empire” and was a major cause of sexually transmitted infections.

Howe added: “It is shameful that this small, but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by the minimal number of homosexuals.”

She was then warned in a letter from Bridget Buttinger, the council’s deputy chief executive, that she could face charges for hate crime. Read more

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Catholicism on trial: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry attack church’s record on gay rights

Pink News • October 21, 2009

Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens argued the Catholic Church was not a force for goodThe Catholic Church is not a force for good in the world: that was the overwhelming verdict after a heated debate this week. Stephen Fry and author/journalist Christopher Hitchens opposed the motion, while Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, supported it. Adrian Tippetts gives his view of the debate.

During the two-hour showdown, organised by Intelligence Squared at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Hitchens and Fry mercilessly and articulately lambasted the church for its record of homophobia, child abuse and anti-semitism, as well as its stance on contraception.

Christopher Hitchens wasted no time in living up to his reputation as a bulldog debater: “On the institutionalisation of rape and torture, the maltreatment of children in their care, [the current pope] Joseph Ratzinger said: ‘It is a very serious crisis which demands us in the need for applying to the victims, the most loving pastoral care.’ Well, I’m sorry, they have already had that.”

Hitchens tore into the Vatican for its refusal to hand over Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Archbishop of Boston, to Massachusetts police for questioning about his role in the child abuse scandals. “Here is a man wanted for the promotion, protection, covering up and defence of people whose crimes against children are too revolting to specify,” he fumed. “Yet he is acting as vicar of the American Catholic Church in Rome, personally appointed by the Pope and in 2005, even joining the Conclave, to decide who the next pope should be.” Read more

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Man dies after homophobic attack

BBC News – October 14, 2009

Ian Baynham

A man who was injured in a homophobic attack close to Trafalgar Square has died in hospital. Ian Baynham had travelled to London for a night out.

Ian Baynham, 62, was punched and kicked to the ground on 25 September.

He suffered head injuries and died in hospital on Tuesday. A 30-year-old man who was with him suffered minor injuries.

Police have started a murder inquiry and have appealed for information about CCTV images of two women who were in the area at the time.

Officers said Mr Bayman and his friend were initially verbally abused by a woman as they got off a bus near Duncannon Street. Read more

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Anti-harassment project launched

Melbourne Community Voice – October 6, 2009

A new project which aims to reduce the incidence of homophobic harassment in Victoria has been launched by an amalgamation of community groups.

The ALSO Foundation, with partners TransGender Victoria (TGV), Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) and Anti Violence Project (AVP), announced the commencement of the first stage of the initiative last week.

Funded by the Department of Justice, the initial stage of the project aims to develop a framework to reduce the incidence of homophobic harassment in Victoria by changing homophobic community attitudes and behaviours.

A further aim of the project is to increase the capacity of GLBTIQ people to respond to homophobic harassment and encourage reporting of homophobic incidence. Read more

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Victoria targets gay hate crimes

MCV – September 22, 2009

Gay community leaders have applauded the move by Victoria’s state government to amend the Sentencing Act to recognise the impact of hate crimes.

Last Tuesday, the Sentencing Amendment Bill 2009 was introduced to Parliament. The bill will implement recommendations made by the Sentencing Advisory Council.

In July the council included in their list of recommendations:

“Section 5(2) of the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) should be amended to provide that in sentencing an offender a court must have regard to whether the offence was motivated (wholly or partially) by hatred for or prejudice against a group of people with common characteristics with which the victim was associated or with which the offender believed the victim was associated.”

Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls (pictured) said Victoria’s sentencing laws will be amended to explicitly recognise the significant damage that crimes motivated by hate cause victims and the wider community.

“In June, I asked the Council for urgent advice on tackling crimes motivated by hatred or prejudice,” Hulls said.

“This means that where the motivation for a crime was hatred or prejudice, or victims are targeted by offenders because of the offender’s prejudice, or their conduct indicated that prejudice was the motivation, the courts will specifically take that into account when sentencing.”

The Attorney-General said that crimes motivated by a victim’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity or language were “especially abhorrent and damaging.”

“The trauma is far-reaching, affecting not only victims and their families, but all members of that group,” he said.

“In a multicultural society, which celebrates diversity and encourages all groups to live together in harmony and with equality, hate crime undermines the fundamental values of the community.

“Our courts must have regard to whether offences are motivated by hate for or prejudice against a particular group of people with common characteristics.

“This will send a clear message that attacks against any Victorian based on these factors cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Lyn Morgain, CEO of the ALSO Foundation, applauded the government for taking steps to tackle prejudice motivated crime.

“Leadership on this issue is vital to the continuing effort to reduce homophobic vilification, harassment and abuse,” Morgain said.

“There remains a long way to go and our community has been explicit in our expectation that further protection is required for affected groups; nonetheless, this demonstrates the government recognises there is a problem and is committed to helping to solve it.”

Greg Adkins from the Anti-Violence Project said the changes were “fantastic for the LGBT community”.

“We know that verbal attacks can escalate into physical violence very quickly.

“This is definitely about the degree of the crime. It moves premeditated hate crime up the scale and it positions the LGBT community to that of any other group where hatred forms a range of impacts that they experience in a derogatory way.”

Adkins said the amendment sends a clear message to those who harbour hatred towards minority groups.

“It says that people who aren’t able to get keep their ignorant views in their own homes, those that bring those views out onto the streets, that the government won’t tolerate it and that they are listening to community.”

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Gay community calls for justice over banjo killing

New Zealand Herald – July 10, 2009

Ferdinand Ambach was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder. Photo / Richard Robinson

Ferdinand Ambach was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder – Victim’s family condemn ‘archaic’ law

A just sentence rather than revenge is what the gay community would want handed down to a Hungarian tourist who bashed a man to death, a gay rights advocate said today.

Ferdinand Ambach, 32, a dive master, was last night found not guilty of murdering Ronald Brown, 69, but guilty of manslaughter.

He faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment when he is sentenced next month. Read Article

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Catholic aide claims gay men are to blame for paedophilia

Pink News • May 26, 2009

Father John Owen claimed gay men were to blame for paedophilia in the Catholic church

An aide of the Archbishop of Cardiff has claimed that gay men are the main perpetrators of paedophilia in the Catholic Church.

In the wake of recent exposures of widespread cases of paedophilia within the Catholic church, controversy has been renewed by Father John Owen.

Speaking on BBC1’s Big Questions programme on Sunday, the communications officer for the archdiocese of Cardiff stated that “most of the offences are being committed by homosexuals”. Read more

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100 arrested in hate crime raids across London

Pink News • May 20, 2009

One hundred people were arrested today as part of a police swoop on hate crimes in London.

The Metropolitan Police Service began a series of raids on addresses across the capital this morning to crack down on domestic, homophobic, transphobic, race and other forms of hate crime.

A police spokesman confirmed that as of 1.30pm, 100 arrests had been made relating to domestic violence and hate crimes such as homophobia and transphobia.

He added that police had focused on offenders who were known to them or who had evaded arrest. Read more

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Vigilantes ‘patrolling woods with chainsaws’ to discourage cottaging

Pink News • May 20, 2009

A group of vigilantes apparently armed with chainsaws and shotguns have been patrolling a Derbyshire wood to discourage gay men meeting for sex.

The report comes in the same week that Colin Haw, a self-styled ‘protector of morals’, was prosecuted for posting footage of men meeting for sex on a Lincolnshire website. Read more

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Vigilante who filmed men cottaging is spared jail

Pink News • May 19, 2009

A self-styled ‘protector of morals’ who filmed gay men having sex in a woodland was spared jail yesterday.

Colin Haw, 47, led a group of men who dressed in balaclavas and combat kit to patrol a wood near Sleaford in Lincolnshire.

They would film men meeting and post the footage on a local website, often accompanied with music such as YMCA by the Village People and the nursery rhyme Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Read more

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Backflip: curry company apologises

SX • May 6, 2009

Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends, the company at the centre of allegations regarding an attack on a gay couple at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, has issued a “heartfelt apology” over the incident.

On April 12, the pair was verbally abused and had a pot of curry thrown at them by a Mudgeeraba Spices employee who deduced that they were a couple.

Last week, Marissa Moore, Managing Director of the company, denied that the incident took place when speaking to SX. In a separate interview with ninemsn, she acknowledged that an incident had occurred, but said the couple were the aggressors, who became abusive when they weren’t served promptly.

This week, Moore said she had spoken to one half of the couple, Richard, and was sorry for what had happened.

“Whilst I am unable to qualify any actions which might be considered discriminatory, I am quite aware that the customer feels he was treated badly,” she said in a statement to SX. “I therefore offer my heartfelt apology to the customer and offer every assurance that all actions have been taken to avoid any similar incidence in the future. Read more

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Iraqi gay torture claim

 

SSO • May 1, 2009

Police are torturing gay Iraqis to death by gluing their anuses shut and inducing diarrhea, according to reports emerging from Iraq.

The reports, which originate from the Emirates-based media network Al-Arabiya, indicate that some captured gay men are having a type of super-glue squirted into their anuses. The glue bonds skin instantly and requires surgery to remove. The gay man is then allegedly forced to drink a liquid that induces diarrhea, causing a slow and agonising death. Read more

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Curry company denies homophobic attack

 

SX • April 29, 2009

A curry vendor has refuted claims that one of its employees attacked a gay couple at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Marissa Moore, Managing Director of Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends, denied that an employee at the company’s stand told the couple to “get lost” and threw a pot of curry at them on April 12, in a homophobic attack.

“I have investigated the complaint and refute the allegations made concerning this incident,” Moore told SX. “In particular, the descriptions as to the facts are untrue, and the issue has been blown out of all proportion. The staff in attendance … acted politely and responsibly.

“We have no issue with dealing with adult customers of all persuasions,” she said. Read more

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Gay couple attacked at Royal Easter Show

 

SX • April 22, 2009

A gay couple has been attacked by a stallholder in the Woolworths Food Dome while visiting the Sydney Royal Easter Show at Homebush Bay on Sunday, April 12.

A male complainant, who wished to be identified in this report only by his first name, Richard, told SX that he and his partner were verbally abused and had a pot of curry thrown at them while visiting a stall run by Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends.

Richard said that when the couple went to try one of the sauces offered for public taste testing, they were told by a female worker at the stall: “No, it’s only for mums and dads. It’s only for people who have families.”

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Northern NSW Bashing

Queensland Pride • April 22, 2009

A twenty-year-old man from the Northern NSW township of Wollongbar is recovering in Lismore Base Hospital after being bashed because of his sexuality.

Sean Rich, who works in Brisbane as a social worker, was attacked and thrown through a glass plate window River Street, Ballina on Tuesday, April 7 according to The Northern Star.

“It was a straight out hate crime,” Rich said. “They were calling me a faggot.”

A nurse caring for Rich at Lismore Base Hospital said he was lucky to be alive – a major cut on Rich’s thigh was five centimetres from a major artery. Read more and comment

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Australia raises Iraq’s gay killings

 

SSO • April 21, 2009

The Rudd Government has sought answers to claims that 25 men and boys were killed in anti-gay attacks in Baghdad in the last month.

“Concerned by media reports that homosexual men have been the target of violence and extra-judicial killings in Iraq, officials in Canberra have raised these concerns with the Iraqi Ambassador to Australia [Ghanim Al Shibli],” a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

“Australia is a principled advocate of human rights for all and supported the statement on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at the 63rd United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2008.” Read more

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Should we stay or should we go

SSO Soap Box • April 21, 2009

Earlier this month came more shocking news from Iraq with the discovery of the bodies of 25 gay men and teens, killed by Islamic death squads — many with pieces of paper with the Arabic word for pervert pinned to their chests.

Under the secular Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, gays were largely left alone by authorities despite facing widespread discrimination, and there were parks where they knew they could find each other.

The killings began quickly in the lawless years following Saddam’s removal, with victims often tried in absentia by local religious tribunals without any legal authority.

Yet as order returns to the country, the sexual cleansing of Iraq has only accelerated. Read more

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Hate Bashing In Ballina

SameSame • April 14, 2009

Last Tuesday a 20 year old gay man from Wollongbar was attacked and thrown through a glass shop front in River Street, Ballina.

“It was a straight out hate crime,” said Sean Rich, the victim of the attack. “They were calling me a faggot.”

Ballina police have charged a 17 year old local male, and investigations into the involvement of others are ongoing.

Rich was still in hospital on Thursday, recovering from a 12 cm gash to his upper thigh, a 15 cm wound across his upper arm, a deep gash to his left hand and various cuts and bruises.Read more and comment

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Wollongbar man bashed because he is gay

Northern Star • April 11, 2009

BASHING victim Sean Rich is no stranger to violence.

At the age of just 13 he was bashed by a gang in Brisbane, and two years ago he and his sister were with their father when he was bashed and stabbed in Brisbane.

On Tuesday night the violence became a recurring nightmare when the 20-year-old gay man, from Wollongbar, was attacked and thrown through a glass shop front in River Street, Ballina.

“It was a straight out hate crime,” Mr Rich said. “They were calling me a faggot.”

Mr Rich suffered a 12cm gash to his upper thigh, a 15cm wound across his upper arm, another deep gash to his left hand, a bruise in the shape of a thumb print on his neck, plus other cuts and abrasions. Read more