Crime | News | Oklahoma | Vandalism

Gay Tulsa Couple Targeted by Hate Vandals

Tulsa

A gay couple in Tulsa, Oklahoma have been targeted by vandals twice in the last week who slashed tires, set a truck on fire, and tagged their property:

Stotler"About seven days ago, the message "Gays Must Go" was spray-painted on their garage door, and a symbol resembling a swastika, which is used by some white supremacist groups, was spray-painted on the side of their home. Holes were punched in a friend's pickup's tires and the truck was set on fire while parked in Stotler's driveway. The message 'I'll be back' was spray-painted on both sides of the vehicle. And back the person came. A few days later, holes were punched in the front door of their home in the 11800 block of East 25th Street, and the message 'Gay Go Away' was painted on it."

Because Oklahoma's hate crime laws do not cover sexual orientation, the incidents have been labeled by police as "acts of vandalism or malicious mischief." Anyone looking at the photos can see the threats involved.

Said Freddy Owens, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality, which condemned the attacks: "Oklahomans for Equality deplores the vandalism directed at Robert Stotler, an openly gay resident of east Tulsa. Such intimidation highlights the urgent need for federal and state hate crimes legislation protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Without such legislation, attacks on Robert and other LGBT people will continue to be classified as mere vandalism and will not be prosecuted properly."

The owners of the home have not spent a night recently in their home for fear of their lives but say they are not planning on moving.

Recent Oklahoma news...
OK County Commissioner Brent Rinehart's Homophobic Comic Book [tr]
Oklahoma Politico Preparing Anti-Gay Comic Book for Voters [tr]
PFLAG's Meeting with Sally Kern: The Full 40-Minute Recording [tr]

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Comments

  1. I'd stay in my home with a shotgun and punch a hole in their ass if they ever came back. Why run away and allow these people to continue to target the property. We need to start defending ourselves by any means necessary. These people wouldn't think twice about taking a gay life, why should we about taking theirs if they perpetuate violence against us?

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jul 18, 2008 12:40:12 PM


  2. You know, there's been so many fake "vandalism attacks" that I actually see each of these stories with a mix of sympathy and skepticism. I'm not sure which explanation to hope for - 'real homophobe' or 'faux victims.' They're both odious and dishonorable.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 18, 2008 12:52:02 PM


  3. Well JerzeeMike... an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

    Posted by: Taylor | Jul 18, 2008 12:52:43 PM


  4. Punch a hole in their ass? I'd blow a hole in their head.

    Posted by: nobama | Jul 18, 2008 12:53:15 PM


  5. How terrifying!

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 18, 2008 12:55:20 PM


  6. Sheesh, Oklahoma is batting 1,000 these days. Is Brent Rinheart behind this? Sally Kern? How about my favorite ex-gay, Stephen Black? http://stephenblack.org/

    It's always darkest before the dawn; and, now it's time to show some money love to OklahomansForEquality: http://www.okeq.org/contribute.cfm

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jul 18, 2008 12:57:14 PM


  7. I'd bust a cap in anyones skull that physically threatened us.

    Posted by: Zo | Jul 18, 2008 1:02:36 PM


  8. These are death threats. They need to get a gun. And they need to use it. Period.

    Posted by: paulie | Jul 18, 2008 1:04:18 PM


  9. I'd rather have the whole world blind than just be blinded myself.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 18, 2008 1:04:44 PM


  10. well, my heart goes to them...I live in CA so we have it much better...sending good vibes to all my brothers and sisters facing tough times...stand up for yourselves and fight back.

    Posted by: Bosie | Jul 18, 2008 1:05:12 PM


  11. jerzeemike, i'm with you. vandalizing my property would be tha last thing they ever did.

    Posted by: David T | Jul 18, 2008 1:07:33 PM


  12. I wonder what the 2nd Amendment nuts would have to say if these guys put a hole in the vandals. Probably come up with some hypocritical bull shit.

    Posted by: Jason | Jul 18, 2008 1:09:03 PM


  13. Man there are a lot of depressing stories on Towleroad today.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 18, 2008 1:10:23 PM


  14. don't be too smug bosie we have plenty of homophobia in ca, too...

    Posted by: the queen | Jul 18, 2008 1:23:44 PM


  15. Man, this is the kind of shit that made me leave my home state of Oklahoma. Scary. I agree they need to gather a bunch of their gay friends and hide and wait for these vandals to come back. Militant Fags Unite.

    Posted by: JohnnyP | Jul 18, 2008 1:28:20 PM


  16. they'll probably find the "smoking paintbrush" in brent reinharts garage.

    Posted by: alguien | Jul 18, 2008 1:48:31 PM


  17. they'll probably find the "smoking paintbrush" in brent reinharts garage.

    Posted by: alguien | Jul 18, 2008 1:48:58 PM


  18. If criminals were doing this to a straight family's household, there'd be a full-fledged investigation and the adults of the family would be within all legal rights to shoot any intruders seen/caught committing said criminal acts on their property.

    These men should act accordingly. Sitting up all night with your shotgun might sound crazy extreme...but this is your health and safety we're talking about. These hoodlums are cowards using fear and intimidation...in reaction to their own irrational fear and feelings of intimidation. I say give them something to really be afraid of.

    Posted by: Ben | Jul 18, 2008 1:51:11 PM


  19. It's probably the son of a cop or a preacher doing this. Fits all the profiles. These guys need to talk to a lawyer about self-defense laws in OK along with other ways they can protect themselves. Security lighting would be a start. A dog works wonders too.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 18, 2008 2:02:39 PM


  20. As a former Tulsan, I would hazard a guess that it's probably neighborhood teens/young men. They don't exactly live in the nicest neighborhood and that part of town can be ROUGH. You've never experienced white trash until you've experienced it there...yet another reason I'm ever so happy to be in CA.

    Posted by: ZnSD | Jul 18, 2008 2:30:43 PM


  21. Taylor, please don't give me that eye for an eye shit. Would you rather we end up as chalk outlines with the police and religious nuts blaming us for the violence perpetrated on us. I'd rather be alive and have to defend my right to protect my property in court than dead! If you think I'm a reactionist nut all you have to do is look to killings of Matthew Sheppard and Larry King and many, many countless others.

    Fear and intimidation has been used as a tool in the past to try to keep a minority down and it's the same story here. We'll be seeing much more of this as we begin to win victories in areas such as marriage rights and overturning DADT. There are those in the straight community who fear us and will stop at nothing-even killing us-to keep the status quo.

    Don't get me wrong, folks, I don't like violence either but I don't find the killing of LGBT people acceptable. No one is going to protect us if we can't do it ourselves. Take precautions when you go out, learn self-defense, buy a gun and learn how to use it safely, and yes, Anon, get a dog if need be. LGBT blood is not cheap or expendable. I love being gay, I love my gay friends and family, and I love the gay community. I don't want to see any more of our blood shed by bigots. Maybe a bloody nose or two is what the homophobes need to realize that we are NOT the victims they'd like us to be.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jul 18, 2008 2:47:52 PM


  22. Sorry Taylor, but I for one don't feel like dealing with assholes like this by trying to understand their anger.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Jul 18, 2008 2:49:20 PM


  23. I'll probably catch hell for saying this, but incidents like this always remind me of Dan Savage's comment that, for the time being anyway, gays should just move to big cities. Who wants to live in fear?

    I realize that children, family obligations, dislike of urban areas, and financial concerns can't make this a universal reality. But I can't understand being willing to live anywhere I had to worry about people lighting my vehicle on fire because I'm gay. Not to mention, uniting in big cities might do more to advance gay rights, since people wouldn't have to worry about being out.

    And yes, I know there are pockets of tolerance in some small and medium-size areas. The suggestions that these guys just buy a gun and shoot whoever fucks with them are full of shit. If the police aren't responding to their concerns, do you think they'd honestly allow some fags to get away with shooting or killing straight (presumably) teens? No way---they'd be sent away for the rest of their lives. Face reality.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 18, 2008 3:09:37 PM


  24. I agree with Paul R re: blowing the heads off the bigoted delinquents, as some of you have suggested. So, then what? A few seconds of satisfaction that you're not the victim before you get arrested and possibly put in jail for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, that's how the real world works, particularly in places like OK. (The Queen is correct in noting, however, that none of us can be too smug--this can happen ANYWHERE.) Hate crimes legislation isn't a magic bullet, so to speak, but at least it helps to send a message.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 18, 2008 5:10:32 PM


  25. Ernie, here's how you do it without getting locked up:

    Pack up your car in plain view like you're leaving for the weekend. Drive off in the car, so everyone in the neighborhood will think you've left town (don't actually SAY you're leaving - just let people assume it). With luck, word will spread and the local homophobic vandals will decide it's a good night to trash your house.

    After parking your car somewhere else, discretely head back to your house, slip inside, get out your gun, and keep the lights off. As the night goes on, you may be lucky enough to have vandals approach your house. Once they start getting to work, sneak out the back door or window and walk up behind them. Then say "Hey you!" or something to get them to turn around so they are facing you. THEN shoot them! But whatever you do, don't shoot them in the back.

    Then, you simply call 911, and tell the cops you went out to confront them but they started walking towards you so you had to start shooting. Your story won't work if they have bullet holes in the back. Once you've got ballistics backing up your story, the chances of you being convicted plummet. And, when asked why you packed up your car as if you were leaving, make some tearful remark about how you were scared for your safety and decided to leave, but then changed your mind. Obviously you shouldn't tell the police you were hoping to kill someone.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 18, 2008 5:32:25 PM


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