Community members are rallying around a Lincoln, Neb., woman following a Sunday, July 22, home invasion during which, she says, three masked attackers bound her wrists and ankles, carved anti-gay slurs into her skin, and then doused her floor with gasoline, which they ignited, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. A friend of the victim said she managed to escape the house and crawl to a neighbor’s home, naked, bleeding and screaming for help around 4 a.m. By the evening of July 22, about 300 people held a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Capitol.
The Human Rights Campaign released a statement July 23 quoting the organization’s vice president of communications, Fred Sainz.
”The accounts of the violence inflicted upon this woman are truly horrific,” said Sainz. ”We have confidence that the Lincoln Police Department will thoroughly investigate this crime and take swift and appropriate action to bring the perpetrators to justice. No one should ever have to live in fear simply because of who they are. Our thoughts are with the victim and we wish her a full recovery. This act of violence is a jarring reminder that we have much work to do in creating environments where all members of our community feel safe living honestly and openly, and where crimes motivated by one’s sexual orientation or gender identity are never tolerated.”
HRC noted that Nebraska has a hate crimes statute that includes sexual orientation.
A local LGBT group, Star City Pride, has established a Victory Recovery Fund on behalf of the unnamed woman.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino says he will block Chick-fil-A from bringing outlets of the fast-food chain to his city, the Boston Herald reports. Menino’s move comes in response to the chain’s CEO and president, Dan Cathy, suggesting that marriage equality could invite divine wrath.
The Atlanta-based chain is rumored to be eyeing a location near Boston’s Freedom Trail, an area popular with tourists, according to the Herald.
”Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Menino told the Herald. ”You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. … We’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail. … If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult – unless they open up their policies.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D), a lesbian, announced July 24 that after a year of marriage equality in the state, the city has experienced a windfall of sorts, adding nearly $260 million to the city’s economy, CNNMoney reports.
”Marriage equality has made our City more open, inclusive and free – and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement, as reported by CNNMoney, which added a few more figures.
During the past year, the city has collected $16 million in same-sex marriage tax fees. If marriage equality existed nationwide, citing a Congressional Budget Office report from 2004, it could generate $1 billion annually for the federal budget, according to CNNMoney.