With all the horrors coming from Russia, America feels like a safer place for gays than most. We aren’t in the clear yet though. Just recently in San Diego, a newly married gay couple (identified only by their first names, Zach and Shawn) were violently attacked by new friends after inviting them to their home for dinner.
Newlyweds Zach and Shawn met a straight couple at the bar Club Kensington on a Saturday afternoon two weeks ago. Zach, speaking with ABC 10, said the man, who was in his 60s, and his wife initially congratulated them on their nuptials. A few drinks later, he and Shawn offered to make the other couple dinner at their home around the corner.
Twenty minutes or so into the house party, Shawn and the man’s wife went out for a smoke. That’s when things took an odd, and violent, turn.
“He looked at me and said, ‘I hate faggots,'” Zach said. Zach claimed the man continued beating him after he lost consciousness, yelling gay slurs and breaking wine glasses on his head. Shawn overheard the attack and ran inside.
“He was curled up on the floor and being kicked,” he said. The man then allegedly turned his ire on Shawn, hurling glasses and further slurs at him before the police were called. Though Zach suffered cuts and bruises, his attacker was not arrested.
Police claim Zach didn’t want to press charges, though he doesn’t recall saying that and has since hired attorney Dan Gilleon to represent them. The assailant faces possible misdemeanor battery charges, but it’s unclear if he will be charged with a hate crime.
“He calls them perverts and shows a bias against homosexuals,” said Gilleon of the attacker. “He also said my client tried to molest him, but when we asked him what Zach specifically did, he couldn’t remember.”
ABC 10 asked Zach if he said or did anything to provoke the assailant. “Absolutely not,” he said, adding, “I don’t think anybody should be beat in their own homes and called faggot. It’s a hate crime.”
As for the reasoning behind the attack, Gilleon speculates that the man may have been upset upon learning that his wife wanted a divorce and was possibly lashing out at a happily married couple.
Perhaps the gay couple’s attacker was simply a marriage equality advocate who wanted to ensure that their marriage was just as shitty as his. Either way, violently attacking someone while shouting gay slurs and claiming “gay panic” afterwards sounds like a pretty clear cut hate crime. Let’s hope it’s treated as such.