arson attacks

North Carolina Gay Couple’s House Set On Fire, But It Can’t Be Considered A Hate Crime

I’m sure Carol Ann and Laura Stutte can relate: A gay couple in Clayton, North Carolina, are holed up a nearby motel after their home was set ablaze in an arson attack, which followed multiple instances of anti-gay torment over the past year. The male couple, who don’t want to be identified, were thankfully out of town when the fire was set in the early morning on Friday. They’ve already dealt with a harassing letter left in their mailbox, a slur scribbled on their house with a marker, and slashes car tires. Police don’t have any suspects as yet, but they are searching for a vehicle in connection with the crime. In North Carolina, hate crime statutes do not include sexual orientation — N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-401.14, which covers damaging another person’s property, covers only “race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin” — so unless the feds are involved this is “just arson.”