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.
From 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.'”