The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Police: Intruders Carved Anti-Gay Slurs into Nebraska Lesbian

By Ryan Lenz on July 24, 2012 - 2:51 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Hate Crime

Editor’s Note: Police subsequently said they had not ruled out the possibility that the attack was staged.

Last weekend, three men in masks stormed into a woman’s home in Nebraska, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties, and carved anti-gay slurs into the woman’s body. The men also painted anti-gay slurs on the walls and poured gasoline on the floor to light the house on fire before fleeing, police said.

The fires went out, but firemen and paramedics rushing to the scene in Lincoln, last Sunday discovered the woman, who was a lesbian, across the street, bloody and dazed.

“She had blood streaming down her body,” Raymond Strozier, a neighbor, told the Lincoln Journal Star. “She was crying. She was shaking. She was terrified.”

The fire did little damage, but the 33-year-old woman was hospitalized. News of the attack, which came in the midst of the Star City Pride Festival, spread quickly and prompted hundreds to flood the steps of the Capitol with rainbow flags and candles for an impromptu vigil.

Social media websites also erupted with anger, prompting Karen Bratton-Cranford, president of Star City Pride, a local gay rights advocacy group, to warn those at the vigil to refrain from acts of revenge, the Journal Star reported.

“Don’t go out and act on your own,” she said. “Don’t give them the power to control your actions.”

The Lincoln Police Department has said it is treating the attack as a hate crime. But despite the far-flung interest the story has generated, investigators have been tight-lipped about the details.

No suspects have been identified.

In Oklahoma on Saturday, a gay man was seriously burned when unknown assailants threw what appeared to be an explosive device into his car.

Jon Ferguson, who lives in Oklahoma City, said he was awakened early Saturday by his car alarm and then saw a couple of people vandalizing his car. As he approached, one threw something into his Camaro, causing an explosion.

Ferguson was treated at the hospital for first- and second-degree burns to his face, arms and torso. The experience made him question his decision to come out. “It’s almost not worth being proud of who you [are] and trying to show you’re gay because stuff like this really does happen,” he said. “I’ve always seen it on the news that kids are dying and stuff because they’re being bullied, and you’re 25 years old and something like this happens to you. It’s almost not worth it, and you understand why kids don’t come out of the closet.”

  • Michael

    Wow. All those comments (hate filled and as it turns out, innaccurate, seem to have stopped after the post about this whole thing likely being exactly the hoax the minority posters here thought it might. Any apologies to anyone insulted or vilified yet? There are some emotional things said here and some repugnant things said here. I’ve read comments in defense of the perpetrator of the hoax and in anger at not only her imaginary attackers but whole “associated” groups of people who apparently weren’t at fault. What happens now? We’re sorry we jumped to conclusions? This person (and the other recent hoaxers) have set back gay-straight relations who knows how far and endangered the cause of gay rights. It’s an awful situation and it’s an awful thing to be part of the problem.

  • American

    U.S. News on just published that an article on this titled:

    ‘Lesbian who alleged Nebraska hate crime charged with lying about attack’

    “A Nebraska woman who claimed she was the victim of a horrific hate crime in July and subsequently charged with making false claims to police pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge Tuesday.”

    It appears the story may be a complete fabrication by the lesbian in question.

    Is it hate when it’s a complete fabrication?

  • eightbells

    I have always wondered at the obsession the gay bashers and biblical babbling buffoons have
    with what and how other people use their sex organs. I mean, that is what they think….
    That is a sickness in its self. Perhaps they are of the ‘man on top get it over with quick’ ilk.

    I think when you are so concerned over what other people do in their private lives indicates
    that you have problems with your own sexuality and identity or you just want to hate something or
    somebody, any port in a storm.

  • Reynardine

    MRJ: I cannot, of course, devise an award and give it to myself. If on some occasion I were to be especially and concisely clever, I would be delighted if someone conferred an Epigrammy on me, but I think this week, others have better earned it.

  • MRJ

    What a thread!
    Thank all of you!
    The depravity and patriarchal misogyny of the malignant Right has been something that I have been railing against for years.

    That anyone can immediately claim that a victim of such sick crimes “did it to themselves” shows a serious pathology: and then to justify it by attempting to “explain” their “singular position” by deeming women unfit for reciprocal enjoyment or consideration is absolutely astounding.

    Having been raised in a household and church with similar individuals, many (all in the family) of whom have been divorced by their wives for abuse and adultery, all of which have rationalized their abuse, and used the “sanctity” of a book severely edited by generations of unwashed men, often sitting in cold, dark cells, wearing hair shirts, who might have engaged in self flagellation and “mortification”, on extremely poor diets, being woken up at all hours of the night and forced to kneel and raise “praise” to the “father” that they are doing this for….

    This so labeled “corpse defiler” (chuckle) deserves a shield, hung on a tree, upon which women can line up to spit on.
    My bet? Probably a stench… err… ummm… oops… staunch supporter and card carrying member of the Promise Keepers.

    An aside: have any of you seen the “Christian Warrior” rhetoric on their pages, and what/how NOW classifies them as? Interesting reading to say the least.

    Back to this topic… it is a long, long standing tradition for any who abuse to blame the victim, and further vilify by the type of rationalization and projection seen posted by this knuckle dragging, Chee-to eating (heelarious, if somewhat revolting imagery: thank you) individual.

    I applaud all of you for this rolling on the ground, laughing till I cried, knee slapper in regards to the very justifiable reactions to this/these protrusions (yes: intentional use/definition) into what is usually a thoughtful, inspiring, and interesting thread!
    I would be happy to make you your awards!

  • Reynardine

    Phila, I also don’t think that has any place in a prison system. It’s just that sexual predators are often punished too lightly, if at all, out of a societal feeling that they are “better” than the victim, and one wonders if their viewpoint would be broadened by being at the other end of the equation. However, quite a few were exactly that, and that’s how they wound up where they are.

  • Erika

    Philla, I agree – prison rape is not something to joke about and especially not celebrate. It is a major social pathology. Nobody – not even an icky perv child rapist – ever deserves to be raped.

  • Phiila

    “I hope these cowards are caught and put in prison where THEY may encounter some sexual predators too. Karma has a way of doing that”

    The only thing more depressing than stories like this one is the number of well-meaning people who find it within themselves to gloat over the idea of prison rape.

    It’s not about “karma.” it’s about society-wide dysfunction, stupidity and sexually retarded brutality. Unfortunately, we’re not going to do anything about it because far too many people who should know better confuse it with justice. And that attitude has a lot more in common with the ideology behind this crime than you seem to realize.

  • Reynardine

    Oh, frankly, I think the clearest sight he has ever had of female anatomy was that dirty picture he saw in Onancock back in 1989.