Crime | Gay Slurs | Nature | Ohio

Animal Rights Activist Nathan Runkle in Brutal Anti-Gay Assault

Nathan Runkle, the 24-year-old founder of Mercy for Animals, a nationally recognized activist group whose work helped pass Proposition 2 recently in California, was assaulted on December 27th outside a gay nightclub in Dayton, Ohio. Runkle's attacker fled the scene.

RunkleFrom Mercy for Animals' press release: "The attacker, believed to be a heterosexual white male with no previous relationship to the victim, has not yet been identified or apprehended. Runkle was briefly hospitalized after sustaining two facial fractures, a broken nose, deviated septum, and severe facial bruising. The incident has been labeled a felonious assault and is currently under investigation by the Dayton Police Department. Runkle believes the assault was motivated by hatred toward gays and was intended to send a fearful message to the local gay community."

Runkle started Mercy for Animals when he was 15. Today the group is a national organization with 25,000 members: "MFA has long worked to bridge the gap between the common prejudices which lead to oppression and abuses faced by both animals and minorities. In recent years MFA has joined gay advocates in gay pride marches by forming human rainbows preceded by banners declaring, 'No one is free when others are oppressed.'"

A Hate Crime You Won't See in Statistics [mikko alanne - huffington post]
Gay Animal Rights Activist Attacked [queering animal liberation]

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  1. Terrible terrible news that just seems to be happening more and more these days, We Wish Nathan Runkle a speedy recovery

    Posted by: Zo | Jan 6, 2009 6:42:22 PM

  2. Seems to me that local gay communities across the United States need to start sending fearful messages right back at these assholes!!!

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jan 6, 2009 6:47:37 PM

  3. Did this possibly happen outside the Masque club? I've been there several times

    Posted by: KFLO | Jan 6, 2009 7:37:37 PM

  4. Jerzeemike makes a point, and I'd further his point with the College Co-Ed advice given on campuses of walking in groups. Of course often we go to a Gay Club/Bar/Place alone and leave alone (dam you all dam you!) but even so it might be wise to try and walk with others as they walk out, even if they reject you for you bad hair... :-)

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 6, 2009 7:40:36 PM

  5. You would think in the 21st Century this would not be happening. It's sickening. Hope he has a speedy recovery.

    Posted by: Naked Boy | Jan 6, 2009 9:17:57 PM

  6. At the risk of sounding like an asshole: how do we know for certain that the male is heterosexual? To arrive at the conclusion the attacker was heterosexual, he would've had to shout out slurs aimed towards the victim, or the victim would've had to have known him prior to the altercation. The article doesn't mention either.

    Posted by: Brendan | Jan 6, 2009 10:25:06 PM

  7. I had the same thoughts as ZO, that this type of thing seems to be happening more and more. Do you think this is the case, or is it just reported more these days? If it's the latter, that is good news, people are paying attention. Thoughts?

    Posted by: MJO | Jan 6, 2009 11:09:23 PM

  8. Well, I find it interesting that no local media outlets are reporting on the story. Being from Dayton originally, I called some friends and they are completely p***** off that no one is paying attention.

    I can tell you from personal experience that if you are exiting a Masque in downtown Dayton, then you are gay. And if someone was targeting people leaving that club, then they had an agenda.

    Posted by: Dale | Jan 6, 2009 11:57:46 PM

  9. Too bad it wasn't California. They hate fags but they love chickens here in the Golden State.

    Posted by: Hamp | Jan 7, 2009 2:03:13 AM

  10. I live in Dayton, Ohio. I wasnt aware of this attack. No mention was made in newspaper or tv. I have tried locating it in archives in all local media but have found nothing.
    I am aware of the bar, Club Masque, and can tell you that even on Saturday nights the bar does attract a large straight crowd. I no longer like to go to this bar for that and other reasons. I have heard young men & women use anti-gay slurs while in the bar. I do not stand out as "gay", but I had one occasion of being pushed and called faggot right in front of security. Nothing was said or done to the guy. But I was the one asked if I wanted to leave. WTF? The bar, like all other dance clubs in Dayton, had started out as mostly-to-exclusively gay but slowly turned to a more straight (mostly gay-friendly) establishment. Unfortunately, this bar is co-owned by parties that also own a all nude female strip club and straight bar (close to strip club). So these patrons sometimes visit Club Masque as well.
    It bothers me that no mention of this appeared in local media. If it were say, "a shooting or assault at another type of club", the news would have been all over it. As previous news reports can be found. Now something that would normally make a news reporter slobber all over themselves, doesnt get the attention. Maybe it WASN'T a slow news day so they didnt feel it needed covering.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 7, 2009 11:51:13 AM

  11. I live near Dayton and this post is the first I've heard of this. I was out of town for a while over the holidays, so I thought maybe I'd just missed it. But I've scoured the local tv and print websites and can't find anything about it. Nothing.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 7, 2009 11:57:02 AM

  12. That's absolutely horrible. No one should have to go through what he did...

    but I'm still a bit leery about equating gay rights with chicken rights. So, I won't be free until the chickens are free? I don't think so.

    Posted by: mike | Jan 7, 2009 12:20:16 PM

  13. Mike: Take one step into a factory chicken farm, which is where most of the chicken people eat comes from, and you will understand why some of us feel the need to fight for the "mercy of animals" and fight against the inhumane treatment of animals.

    Posted by: GMT | Jan 7, 2009 12:45:09 PM

  14. We are so sorry to hear that Nathan was assaulted. He'll be doing an interview on my radio show in a few weeks, and I just hope the best for him!

    Posted by: becca | Mar 14, 2009 10:40:59 AM

  15. Runkle is a joke of an activist...just saw him on T.V. saying that all farmers and confinement centers beat and abuse does he know what animal abuse even is? He probably thinks calling an animal a bad name is abuse to animals. Yes there are sick and sadistic people in the world that have severe psychological problems that abuse animals, but do not sit there and say you can find that anywhere in America. What a absolute idiot.

    Posted by: bigshides | Jul 5, 2010 7:28:53 PM

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