Sunday, August 06, 2006

So, Is New Mexico REALLY 'Gay-Friendly'?

Or is it just Santa Fe & Taos? New Mexico has long been regarded as a bastion of tolerance for difference, especially for GLBT culture. Is our vaunted tolerance anything more than a shallow veneer? Even in Santa Fe, a recent spate of attacks on gay folks has been reported. An unpleasant possibility is posed by the following story.

Moriarty, NM - State police are investigating the beating of an 18-year-old gay man and his female friend as a hate crime. At the request of the victim's family, Eyewitness News 4 (in Albuquerque) isn't releasing his name.

State police say the man met some friends at a Moriarty park and went to a party at an Edgewood home (on the trailer-park clustered plains east of Albuquerque).

People at the party harassed the man because he was gay, police say, so he tried to leave with his friend when the two were attacked.

"He was kicked about the head and body and punched and slapped," said Lt. Rick Anglada with state police. "He was then walked back to a camper trailer at the residence, where they locked him up inside the trailer." An arrest warrant said the man was beaten until the sun rose the next day. (Sounds a lot like kidnapping to me.)

Anglada said the attackers told the man "they were going to scare him straight."

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union says she's disgusted by the crime. "They were so hostile and so angry at the fact he was gay that they decided that beating this man almost to death was justified, which is crazy."

Police have arrested William York, 21, and a minor in connection with the beating. They're still looking for another man, Leroy Segura.

The minor's mother says she doesn't believe it was a hate crime. "We've got gay people in the family," she said. The victim's family says they've received numerous threats since the beating.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Short answer: it doesn't look like it from here...