1. Steven says

    This is horrible and it’s exactly why I am always reminding my friends to not get too comfortable. We’ve made progress but there’s still wackos to be found.

    *The after the jump link is broken.*

  2. EO says

    the media cannot let this story die until her side of the story is heard and law enforcement’s actions are fully investigated. why there is no outcry over this is a mystery to me. why aren’t her friends screaming about this too? absolutely disgraceful.

  3. Francis says

    The last three reported hate crimes in America I believe have been in Alabama. Talking to people from that state of a discussion about gay teens, I can tell you, that state is flat out homophobic. The police doing nothing is no surprise whatsoever, pack herd mentality. This is a tragedy, I’m so sorry for Ms. Gilbert. Hopefully she and her friends continue to make their story heard and make it as public as possible. Ask for video recordings the night of the fight, find witnesses. This cannot go down without fuss and fury.

  4. Ant says

    The good news is I’ve worked for the company that owns WRBL. They produce high quality newscasts and I’m sure they’ll follow this story until they get some answers.

  5. AndyWarholsWig says

    I disagree with Max on this. Yes, it is easy to leave a place that makes you hurt, but leaving is letting them win. Imagine the power hateful people would have if we all moved to a “gay safe” state. Their hate and ignorance would grow and grow with no one to temper it and we’d all be in one convenient place if they decided to drop a bomb.

    We should not run away. We should stay where we are and fight for equality.

    Thank you, Andy, for posting this.

  6. says

    Gee, Andy Warhol, I’m sure I could introduce you to some African American people who left that open air concentration camp for them better known as the South in the ’60’s and ’70’s. They didn’t give a damn if they were “letting them win” when they did the sensible thing and LEFT. They left because it was a matter of LIFE or DEATH. It’s the same way for the LGBT community today. It’s only a matter of time until we start hearing of lynchings-oh, in fact, that’s already happening there. IMO, best thing to do is leave the South to the bigots.

  7. ratbastard says

    Alabama has a HUGE African American population. MUCH higher than America as a whole. There are towns, cities, whole counties with majority black populations.

    And 99% of black folks I’ve ever known [I grew up and live in a VERY DIVERSE place] have a major hard-on for all things southern. Most black folks are obsessed with The South, like it’s a homeland or something. I was recently talking to a young black dude about moving to different parts of the country; he said he’d never go out west because he didn’t want to live that far from The South.

  8. AndyWarholsWig says

    Doc marten, I understand what you’re saying, but if all of those African Americans had left the South in the 60’s then we’d have no black senators, doctors, lawyers, or for that matter, any happy African American families in the South at all. Instead, we’d have 6 or 7 states full of white supremacists holding sway in Washington.
    No one should want to – or be expected to – leave their home because of another person’s hatred.

  9. clint says

    Thanks AndyWarholsWig.

    Opelika is full of nothing but rednecks and Turd (University of Alabama) fans.

    Help us Alabamians put pressure on Jay Jones to do the right thing.

  10. Lee says

    I’m from Opelika and am neither a redneck nor an Alabama fan. I AM an Auburn fan, as I was raised here my entire life.My sister is a lesbian and my cousin WAS a lesbian until her parents refused to have her in their lives until she “got fixed” and stopped being who she truly is. Laura and Sheila are friends of mine. I agree, we need to not only make the police responsible but also the State. We need the Hate Crimes law to include sexual orientation! I am fighting for their side of the story to come out and am doing all I can to find the people responsible, get their names, and turn them over to police. Oddly enough, the cops did perform a breatholizer on Sheila but DID NOT breatholize Laura yet, Laura was arrested for public intox? I’m ashamed of my city and state officials right now. I will do everything I can to find justice for my friends and all LGBT people who choose to live here. After all, that’s a choice they can control, unlike being LGBT!

  11. Karl says

    So, they went to a bar that they knew in advance would be hostile to gays, and decided to both drink AND sing karaoke?

    Because the possibility of getting beaten up and arrested is preferable over “ruining” a friend’s birthday by picking someplace friendlier?

    There’s some clue fuckery going on here, and painting this as a civil rights drama isn’t cutting it.

  12. mld says

    @karl: i agree, lets blame the so-called victim first. why would anyone go into a mixed bar? i mean if someone doesn’t like gays, that’s not their problem. forget birthday parties, the bigotry of the other patrons is more important to uphold than some silly tradition like celebrating friendship. we gays should know our place, and if there isnt a gay flag and a copy of advocate in the windowsill, steer clear! civil rights issue my arse! being beaten for your sexual orientation, real or otherwise, why thats not a civil rights problem, its just a good-ole-boy miscommunication between fists and faces. lets roll back the last 50 years, things were way better when everyone kept to them selves, and closests had no doors.

  13. johnny says

    When I get a gut feeling upon walking into an unfriendly-looking place, (especially at night, especially in a known homophobic area) I turn around and immediately leave. It’s not worth an evening of singing and fun to stay and get bashed.

    While I’m appalled this happened, the girl was obviously ignoring her instincts and sadly, paid the price.

  14. Bill Perdue says

    Those who blame Laura Gilbert for her beating are as wrong as it’s possible to be. They’re exonerating the bigots. That’s disgusting.

    Those who say we should run and hide are mistaken – we can’t run far enough and we can’t hide no matter where we go.

    Those who blame Laura Gilbert for her beating are as wrong as it’s possible to be. They’re exonerating the bigots.

    Those who say we should run an hide are mistaken – we can’t run far eonough and we can’t hide wherever we go.

    This kind of thing will not be ended by pathetically weak ‘hate crime” laws or by relying on cops, who are more often than not bigots themselves.

    It won’t be solved until we and our allies defeat the twin parties that pander to bigots, the Democrats and Republicans.

    Until that happens we have to learn to stand proud and “Walk Like an Egyptian”, adopting tactics like calling demonstrations whenever it happens and, where we can. engaging in organized self defense.

  15. Troy says

    Please. They had a karaoke machine in that bar. It was probably filled with a bunch of self-loathing backwards toilet bangers. And we all know what happens when an out gay shows up around those Wrangler wearing closet cases. They gotta hide their tracks with a punch to the back of the head.

  16. Lee says

    First of all, these are friends of mine you’re talking about – Laura and Sheila. They had never been to that bar and didn’t know beforehand that they would be entering a hostile environment. They just wanted to sing karaoke and that happened to be the only place to do that on a Sunday night. @Karl, how is this NOT a civil rights issue when our state doesn’t include sexual orientation in the criminal code that covers hate crimes? It’s got everything else,race, creed, religion,nationality, etc. Everything BUT sexual orientation.We are not all just a buch of backwoods rednecks and I, for one, won’t stop doing what I can to change the law in Alabama.

  17. Jeff says

    If you’re reading this, Laura, Sheila or her friends, contact the Alabama ACLU:

    If they won’t help, try the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    When in these situations, get the name of each officer and repeat it to them when you answer a question–subtly but clearly, make sure they know you’ll remember who they are.

    The only way this will stop is if all the victims in these situations start suing the bigots, and keep appealing until they reach higher courts with less prejudice. Bitching in blog comments alone won’t end it.

    The only thing most of these assholes respond to is fear, so let’s give them legitimate lawsuits to be afraid of.

  18. The Spirit of Harry Hay says

    Welcome to America, where it’s okay for a fag to kill a brown person in the Middle East for their oil, but a dozen people can beat down a dyke and the dyke gets arrested. Keep voting for Democrats and keep going to jail.

  19. Scott says

    It’s sad that for one, people just cant leave others alone. If she is a lesbian, thats her choice. Has no effect on others. As for the police, they are to do a fair un -bias on site investigation. From what is in this article, it doesnt sound as though they did their job? I wasnt there, I dont know the facts. But I do know this is America, Men, Women, Children, Black , white, Brown, yellow or what ever, and what ever your sexual( legal ) choice is, it is your business, and no one has the right to beat another person. As for the two men, they say got into the beating as well, nice job guys! Did it make you feel good to help ten women to beat up two ladies?

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