Lincoln, Nebraska’s LGBT community is stunned and angry over a horrific attack on a local gay woman. The unidentified 33-year-old victim told police that three masked men had broken into her home Sunday morning, bound her with plastic cable ties, and carved anti-gay epithets into her body. The intruders also spilled gasoline in a kitchen area and ignited it with a match, causing about $200 in damage, according to Reuters. Anti-gay slurs were also spray-painted inside the house.
A quickly organized vigil attracted about 500 people Sunday afternoon. Some community members suggested that the alleged crime could have been related to the city’s recent debate over extending protection against discrimination in housing and employment to LGBT people, but no causality had been confirmed.
Tyler Richard, president of the local gay rights organization Outlinc, looked forward to a thorough investigation into the incident, which has not yet been categorized as a hate crime. “We trust that their investigation will be fair and complete and we await the results,” Richard said in a statement. “As we consider the possible impetus for this horrific attack we are reminded more than ever why fairness is vital in our city.”
“The accounts of the violence inflicted upon this woman are truly horrific,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “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.”