COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –Police are investigating a suspected hate crime after a group of men beat two gay Fort Carson soldiers and others while shouting anti-homosexual and racial slurs.
The victims told KRDO-TV they believe they were targeted at a fast food restaurant early Saturday because they’re gay.
Two victims are Fort Carson soldiers, who asked to remain anonymous because being identified as homosexual could harm their military careers.
Another victim, called Ted, said that most of his Army peers know he is gay.
“But I don’t need people higher up knowing,” he told KRDO. “I still have to protect myself as far as on the military side.”
“A lot of racial slurs,” John told KRDO. “A lot of hatred slurs towards like homosexuals.”
The men said it quickly escalated to physical violence.
“I ended up getting kicked in the head and in the ribs several times,” John said. “I have six bruised ribs. And my right eye was completely swollen shut for about nine or 10 hours.
According to police, another victim was treated for a facial fracture. His jaw had to be wired shut.
Police said they are looking in to the possibility of hate crime charges if the assailants are arrested.
This is the reason to many are anxious to certify repeal.
Outserve has released this statement:
“We’re concerned that these soldiers may not get the support they need because of the ongoing impact of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said “JD Smith,” OutServe’s active-duty co-director, who is identified by a pseudonym while “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still in effect. “Will they be investigated for reporting the crime? Or for seeking medical help? These soldiers will have to literally lie at work to hide what’s occurred to them.”
“We don’t know the all the details yet, but it does appear that these guys were assaulted because they were believed to be gay. The simple fact is, no one should have to worry about being beaten for who they are, especially not someone who has put their life on the line to defend this country,” said OutServe spokesperson and combat vet Jonathan Hopkins. “We look forward to a full investigation of the facts and, if warranted, prosecution under Hate Crimes legislation.”
Unfortunately, as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still law these men recognize they are still at risk for humiliating investigations by their superiors into their personal lives and ultimately at risk for discharge. This is why they are afraid to give their name.
If they are unwilling to give their name, it is unlikely they will be especially cooperative to civilian investigators. We have seen in the past civilian investigators report LGB servicemember’s orientation to their military commanders.
This is why DADT has been a shameful failure from day one. Our men and women who serve are at increased risk and can expect no help from the chain of command, only to be victimized further by their own at times of crisis.
Let them face their attackers, unafraid they will suffer more attacks on their person and dignity by the military.
Certify this repeal. End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Put this nightmare behind us.