(Headline) Californian lesbian gang-raped (Dec 23 2008)
SAN FRANCISCO - A WOMAN was taunted for being a lesbian, repeatedly raped by four men and left naked outside an abandoned apartment building, authorities said.
Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked Dec 13 after she got out of her car in Richmond, in the San Francisco Bay area.
'It just pushes it beyond fathomable,' said Richmond police Lt Mark Gagan on Monday. 'The level of trauma - physical and emotional - this victim has suffered is extreme.' Authorities are characterizing the attack as a hate crime.
Mr Gagan said the victim lived openly with a female partner and had a rainbow flag sticker on her car.
The 45-minute attack began when one of the men approached the woman as she crossed the street, struck her with a blunt object, ordered her to undress and sexually assaulted her with the help of the other men.
When the group saw another person approaching, they forced the victim back into her car and took her to a burned-out apartment building, where she was raped again inside and outside the vehicle.
The assailants took her wallet and drove off in her car. Officers found the car abandoned two days later.
Gay rights advocates note that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have increased nationwide. There were 1,415 such crimes in 2006 and 1,460 in 2007, both times making up about 16 per cent of the total, according to the FBI.
Avy Skolnik, a coordinator with the New York-based National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, noted that gay, lesbian and transgender crime victims may be more reluctant than heterosexual victims to contact police.
He also said the group plans to analyse hate crime data to see whether fluctuations may be related to the gay marriage bans that appeared on ballots this year in California, Arizona and Florida.
'Any time there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks,' he said.
'People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice.' -- AP
Is there even a need to enact your homophobic prejudices for all to see, to experience?
The scariest things about homosexuality are homophobes themselves.
I cannot fathom.