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Mississippi Gay Couple Fears for Their Lives After Vandalism Hate Crime Attacks: VIDEO

MscoupleMike Halterman, the editor of Out on the Town magazine, tips us off to this story about Dustin Tasso and Matt James, a Toomsuba, Mississippi couple who have been targeted in a series of attacks culminating in windows of their car being broken and the word "fags" being spray-painted on the street in front of their house.

WTOK reports:

Someone came to our home, busted our window out of the back of my car," says Tasso, "our home was broken into, profanity was spray painted on the front of our driveway, and you know it's just a scary feeling for us."

"We just felt like there needed to be something done," says James "because it's not just us this stuff happens everyday, and I mean it's not noticed or recognized and there's got to be some kind of justice."


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  1. That town looks depressingly hot, muggy, and boring.

    Posted by: TyN | Jul 18, 2012 3:26:58 PM

  2. ..and I bet the cops refuse to call it a hate crime like the do here in Texas because if they call it a hate crime the Feds automatically get involved to ensure the case is investigated properly. The cops don't let the Feds coming in on a case - especially a gay-related case that they usually just ignore.

    WE have Federal hate crime laws thanks to the Democrats but the way they are implemented is still not working. Unless the states say it's a hate crime then the Feds stay away. We NEED the Feds to step in to make sure we are treated as well as straight people. At the moment the states hardly ever call it a hate crime.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 18, 2012 3:29:07 PM

  3. I'm thinking if working with the police quietly off television with a repaired back car window and a security cam they'd have their culprit(s) within a week.

    Posted by: MarkUs | Jul 18, 2012 3:33:48 PM

  4. I, the real Rick, did not post the first comment in this thread. That was Little Kiwi, acting as an impostor.

    I don't know why the proprietor of this site allows him to continue doing that, but I guess he has his reasons. He knows perfectly well that it is not me making those comments because I always include my email address when I post comments.

    So you will just have to use some judgment unless and until he decides to put an end to it.

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 18, 2012 3:38:18 PM

  5. I LIVED in a town 20 miles east of there. It was absolute hell. My heart goes out to this couple. You people have no clue how horrible treatment for gays in that part of the country is. Our house was isolated from a few other houses, so once a week I'd be woken up by about 4 dirt bags screaming f*ggot outside my window. It escelated to them following me to work only to pick fights. Go ahead and call authorities- they couldn't care less. The worst was when day while walking my dog some huge truck driver guy at a nearby market literally walks up and steps on my dogs paws and after my poor dog screamed he says "take you f*ggy a$$ and your f*ggy dog out of this town f*ckin queer"
    Thats basically the daily treatment you can expect to endure, and I lived it and it was hell. With my families help, I moved in with relative in Portland Oregon where I live today. NOT EVERYONE has that luxury to just move

    Posted by: Carl | Jul 18, 2012 3:41:59 PM

  6. It's always fascinating to me that everytime we have horrific stories of anti gay bullying in parts of the country or world, people's resolution is "move!"
    Not, lets galvanize as a community to change the widespread homophobia
    Not making a powerful statement
    Not getting community leaders involved
    Just run away from homophobia
    And we wonder why there continues to be so much homophobia in society?
    Because some gays just accept it as is, shrug it off and sat "oh well, which town should we run away too now"

    Posted by: ThatDude | Jul 18, 2012 3:44:53 PM

  7. Having a little compassion goes a long way folks. One thing I notice about gay folks is they can and are willing to show compassion to any and all heterosexuals, but have a completely lack of empathy for fellow gays. Put aside your own issues and be a human being when reading stories about humanity like this

    Posted by: Jackson | Jul 18, 2012 3:46:51 PM

  8. Rick, wise up - it aint me. Mocking you has officially caught on.

    But nope, not me. Doing The Rick is apparently the new thing.

    It's easy. All one has to do is cut off their balls and act like they have a sixth grade education and a truck full of Waco pamphlets.*

    *bonus for those who get the gay reference

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 18, 2012 3:47:40 PM

  9. My heart truly goes out to them. My partner and I lived in a rural town in Texas after he got transfered for work a few years ago. It was the most miserable time of our lives. Homophobia is rampant, and the people who exercise it have no morals or soul. They will literally do anything to belittle you. My best advice is to actively fight back. Hire lawyers, document incidents even get the media involved (one good thing is, they really do love reporting on these stories) and don't just lay dead. There is no reason we should be shamed into being who we are

    Posted by: GlobalLook | Jul 18, 2012 3:50:30 PM

  10. @Carl I am kind of inclined to wonder how all these people knew you were gay in the first place. If you are going to live in a rural area, anywhere in the country, you should have enough sense to live discreetly. The two guys in this story obviously did not help themselves by placing a big rainbow flag on the side of their house. If you did something similar, then I am hardly surprised by the kind of reaction you got.

    It is one thing to be harrassed only because you are gay and not hiding it; it is another thing to be harrassed because you have deliberately tried to provoke people by flaunting your sexuality in their faces.

    Anyway, you think Oregon is different? Why don't you do a little experiment and leave Portland and set yourself down in a little mining town in eastern Oregon or a little logging town in southern Oregon and do whatever you did or did not do (or claimed to do or not do) in that little town in Mississippi.....and see if the result is any different. (Hint--it won't be.)

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 18, 2012 3:53:45 PM

  11. I don't consider it running. I consider it moving to a better life. Did you read Carl's post? Have you been in some of these tiny Southern (and other) towns? I've done two cross-country trips with straight male friends (just friends), and the reception we got at some restaurants was astounding. People stared. Some got angry. We heard comments. And I'm not effeminate.

    You can't galvanize a community that doesn't support you.
    Words aren't going to change the minds of idiots.
    It's not running away, it's wanting to live a peaceful life and not having to look over your shoulder all the time and wonder if someone is going to break into your house and/or kill you.

    If you live in a hostile environment, you're buying things from and paying taxes to people who mostly hate you and always will. The people defending these hick towns are likely defensive because they live in hateful places.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 18, 2012 3:56:37 PM

  12. there's nothing in the world that is less masculine than "living discreetly"

    right. because a rainbow flag in a window is "flaunting" and justifies hatred.

    rick, i do love you for coming in here every day to prove all of us right.

    mix yourself a nice cold martini, shaken with a few dashes of strychnine and bleach.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 18, 2012 3:56:39 PM

  13. I don't think anyone who hasn't lived in a very small town in the South has any clue what it's like to be gay, much less partnered. You can mind your own business, and not look at anyone, and not even acknowledge your partner as gay and in some places.... They just sniff it out and can tell, and angels protect you if they can tell you are.

    The answer is not just packing and moving. Some of us don't have enough money for gas to drive to the next town, much less move to another state or city. Wish we did. Believe me, everyone in those situations dreams of moving, but reality doesnt allow it. The solution is mandating people not harm other people who happen to be gay, minding their own business and living their lives. Homophobes can be a very talented, creative, sick breed.

    Posted by: Amber | Jul 18, 2012 3:57:48 PM

  14. "I've done two cross-country trips with straight male friends (just friends), and the reception we got at some restaurants was astounding. People stared. Some got angry. We heard comments. And I'm not effeminate."

    Then I will ask you as I asked Carl--if you were just three guys sitting down to a meal in a restaurant and none of you were effeminate, then why where people staring at you and why did they get angry? How would they even have known you were gay (if that is what you are claiming was the reason for their reaction to you)?

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 18, 2012 4:01:49 PM

  15. one can be visibly, obviously, identifiably GAY and not be "effeminate"

    this is a fact that every gay man who lives openly in the real world knows and understands.

    only online-closet dwellers think otherwise.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 18, 2012 4:11:14 PM

  16. Yes Paul R I did read Carl's post. Did you read his last sentence? Also, what happens should he run into a biggot in Portland? Should he move again? And again and again and again....should we all join the witness relocation program? Maybe we should all go live on an island (that's what the homophobes would LOVE). When is it enough?

    Rick: are you really blaming the victim? You are a foolish troll.

    Posted by: WHAT? | Jul 18, 2012 4:16:04 PM

  17. It is refreshing to read the replies here that don't ridicule this couple. They are dealing with Hate that is very much alive and well. But for those who think that there are support groups out there willing and able to come to their assistance, I have a story for you. I have posted here before about the struggles my partner and I have had and are still having in getting accountability. Trying to understand the indifference is a challenge as much as understanding what motives these creatures have. Our local police can't seem to process that we have expectations of an investigation and have made every attempt to make us look foolish. The cronyism in rural America is astounding. We haven't stopped writing and looking for support but living in harms way does take a toll. We are being watched constantly. Last evening as I exited our kitchen door to feed our pond fish( something I do daily about the same time), I heard male laughter and fake crying coming from near our property line out of my view. Meant to mock us in our failed attempt to get resolve.
    We compiled evidence of dozens of iphone recording of stalking gun fire meant to intimidate us . And yes for for those who remember, no one has been charged for putting the bullet hole in our security light shade. We believe the police are protecting those involved.
    I identify with these men because being in the cross hairs of hate does have a price. Why should we have to move? We are willing to stand but can't seem to get others to stand with us.

    Posted by: Jerry | Jul 18, 2012 4:16:53 PM

  18. Every time you hold your boyfiends hand you're in someone's face about it
    Every time you kiss your boyfriend you're in someone face about it.
    Every time you hug your boyfriend a little longer then you should you're in someones face about it.

    Str8 people kiss, hug and hold hands to. It should be no different for us. Some are scared to do these things, their loss in life.
    Fly what you want it's your yard. I have an HRC flag under my US flag. Eff anyone who says something, personally I'll shove my fist down their throat.

    If you want to fly a flag go for it, telling someone you're gay should never justify harrasment

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Jul 18, 2012 4:29:06 PM

  19. Rick do you show affection with your boyfriend in public? If no do you think it's wrong that some of us do?

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Jul 18, 2012 4:30:25 PM

  20. @George M What straight people don't do is put a big flag on the side of their house proclaiming their sexual orientation to everybody.

    And as for those who express their affection for each other in public, I agree, the standard should theoretically be the same, but most people, including me, do not care to witness such displays on the part of either opposite-sex couples or same-sex couples, so I am not particularly sympathetic towards anyone who gets harrassed for doing so....

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 18, 2012 4:41:09 PM

  21. Is Rick suggesting people should be murdered for the way they look? What a vile person.

    ps. The blond guy is cute

    Posted by: DanSwon | Jul 18, 2012 4:46:40 PM

  22. Rick has a problem with:

    Effeminate men
    Men who live together openly

    It must be pretty lonely in his world since he can't find anyone to date with such high standards. No wonder he has to come on here with his "grumpy old man" rants.

    Posted by: JOE | Jul 18, 2012 4:52:39 PM

  23. Those queers should just stay in the closet just like me! How dare they live their life openly! Those homos deserved it!

    Now excuse me...I have to pick the herpes sores off my mouth before I go out to my job at the glory hole.

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 18, 2012 4:52:45 PM

  24. WOW
    Personally I kiss my guy when I want regardless of the location. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the flag thing.

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Jul 18, 2012 4:54:03 PM

  25. To the first commentator:

    You're a mess. Who gives a crap what they look like? Heck, they look like a cute loving gay couple to me. The point is, no one deserves to be harassed for living their lives and minding their own business. Hope your karma gets you real good

    Posted by: Observer | Jul 18, 2012 4:59:57 PM

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