Gay Man Allegedly Beaten in Homophobic Attack in Missoula, Montana

Joseph

UPDATE: Law enforcement now says the incident was fabricated.

A man identified as "Joseph" was targeted in an anti-gay beating outside a bar in Missoula, Montana in the early hours of Sunday, according to the Wipeout Homophobia page on Facebook, which posted the above set of photos today.

The Missoulian confirms that the man had gone to the Missoula Club to celebrate his 22nd birthday, and it was outside of that establishment that the attack took place:

The man told police he’d asked people about the location of a gay bar, when someone asked him to step outside for a cigarette, Brodie said.

But the man said that when he left the bar, someone hit him, and then two more people joined in, Brodie said. The incident happened at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and the man reported it to police at 4:30 a.m., after he got home, Brodie said.

Missoula Police Lt. Scott Brodie told the paper that the man “indicated he was assaulted because of his sexual preference."

According to KPAX, "Police say they're considering the assault a misdemeanor."

Comments

  1. candidennc says

    If I am hit by someone for no reason, it isn’t a misdemeanor. Assault is criminal. They deserve appropriate punishment. We do not deserve to be second-class citizens…even in Missoula.

  2. galore says

    If I get roughed up like that and it’s considered a misdemeanor by the police and prosecution, I’d plot a very long, detailed revenge myself.

  3. Vint says

    @CANDIDENNC: A misdemeanor *is* criminal; in most states it’s a crime for which the punishment is less than a year in jail. The charge here is likely to be simple assault. In Montana, simple assault would be likely to result in a jail sentence of up to 6 months or a fine of up to $500.

    Had the injuries been more severe, the charge could have been aggravated assault, a felony, which would be punished by a jail sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $50,000.

    Montana apparently does not include sexual orientation in its hate crime penalty enhancement, which applies to “race, creed, religion, color, national origin, or involvement in civil rights or human rights activities”. And that’s the problem here, not the misdemeanor.

  4. Francis says

    First of all, the police lieutenant using the term “sexual preference” really rubs me the wrong way. Of course, that doesn’t begin to compare to the feeling I get about this hate crime being classified as a misdemeanor. That alone just gives the impression that there isn’t a lot of importance being placed on this incident.

    Such a shame. I’m not surprised anymore about these hate crimes, however. We’re seeing hate crime after hate crime, virtually all of them scattered throughout the South and Middle America. And the worst part is, the attackers are rarely caught and the attacks are inconsistently investigated as hate crimes. How can we expect this tide of crime against our community in these areas to stop when the police often don’t seem to care?

    We’ve made a lot of progress but as has been made clear the past few weeks, we have a very long way to go throughout much of America.

  5. Contrarian says

    Thank you “Vint” for doing what I was about to produce in this comment. A misdemeanor is indeed a crime and conviction of same gives one a criminal record. Now about the poorly written story in that paper: was the victim in a straight bar asking for the location of a gay bar? You can’t tell from the story although that seems to be the case from the assault. Who, in rural America goes to a straight drinking place alone (or even with friends) and announces they’re gay and where is the party in town for my kind? Sort of reckless if that is what happened, but the poor journalism makes it impossible to tell.

  6. Montana Pigs says

    This doesn’t surprise me a bit that it’s from sh1thole Montana. I’ve met azzholes from there who would go on and on about “queers”. I’ve never liked Montana ever since and this is just one more reminder how fvcked up they are there.

  7. THE QUEEN says

    I SUGGEST THAT ALL GAYS START WEARING CHICKEN SUITS FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY. THERE’S A LOT OF SYMPATHY FOR CHICKENS THESE DAYS ESPECIALLY AMONG FARMERS AND THE MIDWEST AND IF YOU ASSAULT A CHICKEN IT’S ATTEMPTED MURDER I BELIEVE. CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK.

  8. Red Dye 40 says

    I go to school in Missoula. While it is much more liberal than the rest of the state, I’m still cautious about going to certain bars and clubs. The Missoula Club is pretty trashy and was heavily featured in a story about the recent increase in rapes occurring in Missoula. I definitely don’t think he deserved to have this happen but I’m surprised by his naiveté in this particular situation.

  9. Mark Stout says

    A God-fearing person didn’t do this. God creates some people as gay, pure and simple.
    Christians have the command of Jesus, “Judge Not” to obey, and would not raise their hand to harm another human being. The person that did this holds God in contempt for His creation. LGBTQ people don’t need to wear “chicken suits” (where did that comment come from?); they don’t need to hide or try to live “in the closet”; they need to demand equality. Hiding your God-given sexuality is evil.

  10. ratbastard says

    Actually, a misdemeanor assault is about right here, considering the circumstances. If there’s no CCTV or other video footage and few if any independent witnesses to the assault, police normally pay little attention to such things, unless the assault resulted in severe injuries or death. Joseph doesn’t look that badly beaten up; I’ve been in a few fights and brawls in my life, and have suffered far worse injuries than those in the photo of Joseph.

    Plus, I’ll take posters who are familiar with the bar he went to at their word that it was an un-wise choice he made. Perhaps there were other reasons for going to that bar that Joseph isn’t talking about. Maybe not. Just saying. I hope he heals quickly.

  11. Hector says

    Yes, we must mark the boundary lines where gay kids are not allowed to cross. If they dare venture out of their boundaries, they deserve whatever they get. Thanks to the a-holes on here who once again blame the victim and even worse are supposedly of their own kind. But you are sure to tack on “oh but I hope he heals quickly” or some such garbage. Go jump in the proverbial lake, please.

  12. sissyspaceship says

    I’ve lived in Missoula for the last twenty years, and in Montana my whole life. We are not “montana pigs,” as a previous poster has claimed. In fact, I live openly, and proudly, and for the most part, my community has embraced me. I was hassled way more when I lived in NYC for two years. This is a tragic, but relatively uncommon thing to happen in Missoula. I feel terribly for the kid, and we are organizing at this very moment to take to the streets, and to let the bar (ironically called “The Mo Club”) know in no uncertain terms that we will be heard. There are homophobic assholes EVERYWHERE. This is a good town, and we adopted the only anti-discrimination ordinance in the state.

  13. says

    After the most successful Pride Celebration in Montana history, when more supporters than ever showed up for equality and to support their LGBTIQ brothers and sisters, it’s very hard to see the reality of hate and ignorance that we all have to face every day in the U.S. It’s not just Montana. It’s not “just” anywhere. It’s everywhere.
    And that’s why we can’t be silent.

  14. Paul R says

    Missoula is among the few places outside of SF and a very parts of VA (because of family) that I’d ever live in the US. He doesn’t even look like the same person across the two photos (check the nose shape, eyebrow shape, eye shape, and especially the skin color). This story is odd.

  15. KC says

    TERRY (and others) –

    I lived in Missoula for 8 years (through 1995) and am here to tell you it is a very progressive community, kind of an “island” within Montana. Others – please don’t be so quick to cast Missoula as a part of “Sh1thole Montana.” It isn’t. In fact, Missoula is not only very progressive, it is also widely despised throughout the rest of MT for its progressive leanings, yet holds its ground. I heard “Berkeley of the Rockies” quite a bit from other parts of Montana, and Missoula wears that proudly.

    As a gay person, I felt comfortable and accepted there. Had many a beer/burger at the “Mo Club” [Missoula Club) and it is a relaxed and welcoming place. Which is why this story is that much more disturbing to me. I would have expected the local authorities to take this crime much more seriously, and they apparently are not so inclined. Someone beats the crap out of someone else for no reason, and it’s “just a misdemeanor?” Add hate-fueled provocation, and… nothing? Really?

    This should have been a story of authorities in Missoula doing the right thing, and it isn’t. I don’t like the sound of this. But please address the weak actions of local authorities without bashing Missoula. The community there is wonderful. The local authorities – not so much.

  16. TruthSeeker_Too says

    This should be reported to the FBI. There is a FEDERAL hate crime statute that applies EVERYWHERE in this country if you are attacked because you’re gay.
    If the local police won’t prosecute, the U.S. Attorney can step in and place charges.
    Here is the address for the FBI office in Missoula. Tell them you want to report a federal hate crime.

    Missoula

    119 West Front Street, Room 305
    Missoula, MT 59802-4303
    Phone: (406) 549-7696
    Fax: (406) 721-8371
    E-mail: Missoula.SLC@ic.fbi.gov

  17. Francis says

    I’ve read Missoula is a pretty liberal place considering the state the city is located in, but with that being said, I always look to the response to hate crimes and incidents such as these as a test to what the culture is like in these cities. A city that truly values it’s gay community takes the extra step to get to the bottom of a hate crime like this, like NYC or Austin. Whenever there is a weak response from police and government officials, that a big sign that the city isn’t as progressive as it should be.

  18. says

    If Joseph can see my message – What happened to you is the most despicable and cowardly act! You are not the loser here, the coward who attacked you for being who you are is the real loser. They are jealous of who you are, how loved you are and that they possibly can never become what you can and it is that jealousy added with mental sickness they suffer from of which you became a victim. Remember not to give up or be afraid, while still act sensibly when in danger and raise alarm and do not take the law in your hand, remember you are not alone, and giving up is not the answer. Speak up, talk to people share your story and stand up stronger and wiser. And if you see this, please contact me so we can share your story with more people out there, in your words – showing your true strength!!

  19. vaughnr says

    paul r- I went to school with joeseph for 6 years and I can tell you right now that both of those photos are him. I can also tell you that though we are not close friends he is a very good person who dosen’t deserve to be beaten for any reason. I also live in missoula and can say that Montana is not a sh1thole. I know many people very accepting .of the LGBT community. And not as many people are as ” god earing” as you think. I hope that the cowards involved get any sort of punishment, it was a disgusting act of hate

  20. JD says

    This isn’t just a misdemeanor it’s a friggin’ HATE CRIME! The police in Missoula are about to get a lot of angry telephone calls – hate crimes against LGBT people have been skyrocketing in the northwest with crimes like this happening at least once per week in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington – this has got to stop, it’s time we make a stand against incompetent police and the attackers they protect!

  21. Aydin says

    I for one am sick and tired of having to being understanding and accepting of prejudice, hate, and violence towards us in the LBGT community. Try it with me or my friends, and I will beat your ass and then hand it to you! No more toleration from this one!

  22. Mark says

    Yep, it’s looking more and more likely that this was a false report — rather, it was some idiot trying to cover up his own stupidity with a lie about being bashed.

    I hope Towleroad will will devote as much space to retracting the story as it did to publicizing it. Montana doesn’t deserve to be falsely defamed in this way.

  23. ButteGirl says

    I am from Montana and just want to say that it is a misdemeanor because there was no weapon involved so it is a simple assault. I am living in Utah now and have found out that the crimes all have classes, such as A Misdemeanor, B Misdemeanor, C sand so on…each one carries a different fine and penalty, so it may be a misdemeanor but who is to say that it is not classified as the strongest one…we are not backwoods and all God fearing people and are actually pretty open minded and living there for years I can tell you that there are several hangouts which are for gays, straight, drunks, whatever and to bash Montana because of three ignorant people is wrong. On my wedding night after the recetion the first bar we stopped at was the Silver Dollar one of the more well known gay bars and let me tell you…we are not hicks with a chip!!

  24. Truth says

    Maybe if you guys have checked the news recently you would know that the kid faked it. He wasn’t beaten at all. There is even video evidence proving that he was hurt because he was trying to do a backflip off of a curb. He landed on his face then decided to claim it was a “hate crime”. The video is hilarious. I really hope he gets punished for filing a false report.

  25. andrew says

    There have been several cases recently of queers falsely claiming that they or their property have been the target of straight homophobia. Shame on them.

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