On the evening of March 7th this year a couple was leaving Campagnolo, an Italian restaurant, after having a lovely dinner. Campagnolo is known for being owned and operated by a gay woman, Maureen Kalmanson, and often frequented by members of the LGBTQ community. It is a safe environment where gays know they will not be harassed for grabbing a bite to eat while out in public.
The male couple, who wish to remain anonymous, left Campagnolo’s that night holding hands then stopped at the corner to wait for the crosswalk. A car pulled up next to them and the passenger got out and began to harass the men. While calling them “f*ggots” he punched one of them in the back of the head and then pushed him into the street, directly in the path of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, no one was killed in the incident — but only because a witness rushed to help and pulled the man out of the street before he was hit by a car.
The entire incident was caught on the cell phone camera of the victim’s boyfriend and given over to authorities. Additional footage (seen below) is from a security surveillance camera that was released by the Atlanta Police Department.
The release of these videos come on the heels of a once-hoped-for movement this year in the form of state legislation offering protections to the LGBTQ community from hate crimes. Under current federal law, protections have been extended to LGBTQ individuals, but they seem to come with no real backing as most efforts to combat hate crimes must wind their ways through state courts. So state legislation is needed to enforce such measures. Currently Georgia has no protections for LGBTQ people who are victims of hate crimes, so the likelihood of this assault, and others like it, being pursued as what they really are — hate crimes — are slim to none.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, LGBTQ individuals make up approximately 17.4% of all reported hate crimes, coming in second to African-Americans, who are the victims of a staggering 41% of reported hate crimes. Currently only 30 states have legislation making hate crimes against LGBTQ illegal, but 15 of them do not cover gender discrimination which leaves members of the ‘T’ in that community vastly under-protected — if not left out altogether.
You can watch the disturbing video below:
H/T: Raw Story | Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons