A brutal hate crime occurred in Michigan on the last evening of March. A 28-year-old lesbian was jumped by three men, violently beaten and knocked unconscious in what appears to be an anti-gay assault. The assault happened less than two weeks after an image of her same-sex wedding aired in a local TV news report.
The woman—who doesn’t want her name released—and her partner (now wife) live in Ypsilanti Township, near Ann Arbor. They got married on March 22 in Washtenaw County, one of the four Michigan counties that briefly permitted same-sex weddings after a federal judge declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A federal appeals court later put a stay on that ruling, in order to give Michigan a chance to appeal.
She and her wife were one of over 300 Michigan couples who applied for marriage licenses, and her image was broadcast on local TV news.
Days later, the woman was getting off a bus when she was aggressively approached by three men. “Hey bitch, are you that faggot from the news?” she recalled one of them saying, according to the sheriff’s office. Then, one of the men punched her in the face, knocked her to the ground and kicked her. She lost consciousness during the attack, before the three thugs ran off.
Afterwards, the woman was taken to a local hospital, treated for her injuries and released. According to police, she rides the same bus nearly every day and did not recognize her assailants. Who were they? Had they been following her on the bus? Did they plan the attack? These questions remain unanswered.
The sheriff’s office described one of the suspects as a white male, in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a stocky build and a husky voice. The other two could not be identified. If the three suspects are found, they could face hate crime charges. For now, the case is being investigated only as an assault.
Fortunately, the woman is expected to make a full recovery.