Rather than intellectual debate, anonymous homophobes in Seattle and Dayton, Ohio, are simply attacking gay establishments. As reported by Dan Savage in The Slog, GLBT folks in 11 establishments in Seattle were threatened this weekend with ricin, a toxic chemical, that was allegedly placed in patrons’ drinks. In Dayton, animal rights activist Nathan Runkle was attacked by a stranger after leaving a gay nightclub on Saturday. From a press release from the Mercy for Animals organization (the nonprofit Runkle founded):
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.
It’s sad to see this trend of intimidation and visceral hate continue; for anyone who thinks that the gay rights movement is not under attack (see Mike Huckabee’s recent homophobic comments to Jon Stewart), one only need learn about this attack and this attack and this attack, all occurring in the last month.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I wholeheartedly believe that each of us has our own values and opinions–and that these sentiments are protected by the U.S. Constitution.
But when individual thought becomes violent action? This is when our government–and everyday citizens–must step up to the plate.