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December Court Date Set For Three Charged in Philly Gay Bashing: VIDEO

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The three suspects charged in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia will not face a preliminary hearing in court until December 16, according to NBC 10 News. 

The defendants, 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams, are accused of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy. The December court date was granted because attorneys for the accused “requested more time before [the] preliminary hearing”: 

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb078c5a13970d-300wiPolice accuse the two men and a suburban police chief's daughter with taking part in an assault that left one man with a wired jaw.

Despite the charges they face, the suspects -- through their attorneys -- insist the gay couple instigated the fight when one of them threw the first punch, and that gay bashing was not the motive

"With respect to my client, he was not the aggressor," said Fortunato Perri, an attorney for Williams. "[He] did not initiate anything and only became involved in the incident after one of the purported victims in the case punched one of the girls in the face."

Despite the defendants’ claim that they were not the instigators, reports have abounded that the fight was preceded by homophobic slurs hurled against the victims by the defendants. You’ll also recall the social media sleuthing done by activist Scott Wooledge who dug into accused attacker Kathryn Knott’s Twitter account and found a history of homophobic remarks. 

The accused attackers have all been released on bail. They will not face hate crimes charges as Pennsylvania law does not offer hate crime protections on the basis of sexual orientation. However, that may be about to change if State Rep. Brian Sims and State Sen. Jim Ferlo have their way.

Watch a news report on the latest update out of Philadelphia, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "December Court Date Set For Three Charged in Philly Gay Bashing: VIDEO" »


South Dakota Police Identify Two Wanted For Questioning In Assault Case Tied To Anti-Gay Slur

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Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have identified two people wanted for questioning in connection to the assault of local resident, 27-year-old Drew Bartscher, KELO reports.

Bartscher, who is straight, was brutally attacked after he told a woman who called him and his friends "faggots" that she should not use that word. "It's rude," he said. Bartscher was then attacked by the woman's boyfriend:

"Then I hear this guy yell at me, 'What the F did you say to my girlfriend?!?!'  I turned just a little bit and then the next thing I know, my friends are picking me up off the sidewalk, (because) I had gotten punched pretty good," Bartscher said.

Just hours after releasing photos to the media of two individuals wanted for questioning, police were able to identify both. However, it is not known "if the man or woman in the photos had anything to do with the assault or if they just saw what happened."

KELO also points out that the incident has not gone unnoticed by local elected officials: "Mayor Mike Huether mentioned the attack in a recent news conference calling on the city to do more to fight domestic violence, bullying and prejudice."


Christian Shoots Gay Couple With BB Gun In Minneapolis Bar: VIDEO

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A gay couple visiting Minneapolis from Brooklyn and Philadelphia were targeted and shot with a BB gun by a homophobic Christian man in a popular local gay, KMSP-TV reports. The man, 43-year-old Wayne Steven Odegard, harassed customers at the Saloon, hurling expletives and making disparaging remarks “towards a couple that was holding hands”, a public display of affection that Odegard “obviously didn't appreciate": 

EricksonShortly after his expletives, Odegard's sheer disregard for the establishment, or humanity, then escalated. After yelling gay slurs, he allegedly pulled out a CO2 powered BB gun.

“I ran after him and then it ended up he shot a different gay couple in the leg, with that gun and it went through his jeans and drew blood,” [said Tyler Erickson (pictured right), a security guard at the Saloon.]

Before Odegard could run even 30 feet, Erickson nabbed him, arrested him and called police.

“He told me multiple times that I'm going to go to hell and he's going to bring me with him,” Erickson said. “He recited a biblical passage -- I think it's a deuteronomy passage.”

Being that they were from out of town, the couple "joked that they came to progressive Minneapolis and got shot for being gay,” according to Erickson. Though neither was seriously injured, Erickson pointed out, “Even if the guy was shot with the same CO2 powered bb gun in the face it would've gone right through his cheek." Odegard now faces second-degree assault and gun possession charges.

Watch a news report on the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Three Arrested In Connection with Anti-Gay Attack, Shooting In Brooklyn: VIDEO

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Police in New York have arrested and charged two men and a teenage boy with menacing, third-degree hate crime and assault in the first degree after they chased and shot at a gay man in Brooklyn on Saturday night, reports NY Daily News.

The victim, who was dressed as a woman at the time of the attack, was walking with a friend near M.J. Beauty Salon on the corner of Putnam Ave. and Broadway in Bushwick at about 7 a.m. when he was attacked by Cody Sigue, 22, Matthew Smith, 21, and Tavon Johnson, 17.

According to police, the attackers screamed profanities and anti-gay slurs at the pair. The attackers then opened fire and shot the victim in the rear.

Johnson and Sigue were charged with menacing and third-degree hate crime, while Smith was charged with assault in the first degree. Johnson and Sigue each have one prior arrest while Smith has "an extensive arrest history," with 14 arrests including robbery.

Local resident Daquan Ruddock said:

“[It] shows how gay people can’t walk around in the street without someone saying something or doing something towards them. It’s sad.”

Watch an NBC New York report on the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this month, police investigating an anti-gay hate crime in Philadelphia were assisted by the public who used Twitter to track down the attackers.

Continue reading "Three Arrested In Connection with Anti-Gay Attack, Shooting In Brooklyn: VIDEO" »


Police Release Mugshots of Philadelphia Gay-Bashing Suspects: PHOTO

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After arrest warrants were issued yesterday, all 3 suspects in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia turned themselves in to police this morning. Police have now released the mugshots of the the 3 individuals, shown above. As Philadelphia Magazine reports, "From left, they are: 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan of Warrington; 24-year-old Kathryn Knott of Southampton; and 24-year-old Philip Williams of Warminster."

Earlier today, we shared with you LGBT activist Scott Wooledge's online investigation that exposed suspect Kathryn Knott's homophobic remarks on Twitter

The 3 individuals will not be charged with committing a hate crime as Pennsylvania's hate crimes laws do not cover sexual orientation. Yesterday, state lawmakers rallied to change that. State Senator Jim Ferlo, who authored the new hate crimes bill that would specifically protect LGBT Pennsylvanians, took the opportunity to publicly come out. Rep. Brian Sims meanwhile spoke passionately about the need to enact the new legislation.


Serbian Christian Orthodox Church Denounces Belgrade Pride - VIDEO

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Patriarch Irinej, the head of Serbia's Christian Orthodox church, yesterday denounced a Gay Pride march planned for this weekend, reports ABC News.

In a statement, Irinej said that the "shameless" event casts a moral shadow on Serbia.

OrthOfficials have suggested they could allow the event to go ahead despite fears of a repeat of the violence in 2010 when right-wing groups attacked a pride march, triggering clashes with police that left more than 100 people injured.

Following the attacks, authorities banned LGBT rights marches for the following three years, citing security reasons.

Holding the march is seen as a test of the country's pledge to respect human rights as it seeks membership in the European Union.

However, Irinej said that the pride organizers "and their mentors from Europe" haven't learned the lesson from the past marches.

Several far-right groups have announced anti-gay marches in Belgrade next Saturday.

On Tuesday, police announced they have filed charges against eight people who had made threats against LGBT people on social media.

Milorad Todorovic, the police officer in charge of cyber crime in Serbia, has vowed to “secure the safety of all citizens” and is hopeful that the Pride event will go ahead. "I hope the pride event will be held on Sunday."

Watch police combating extremist protesters at Serbia's 2010 Gay Pride, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Serbian Christian Orthodox Church Denounces Belgrade Pride - VIDEO" »


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