Gay Tulsa Couple Targeted by Hate Vandals
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:
"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.
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