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June 20, 2012

Category: Hate Crimes, Texas

Texas Law Enforcement Officials Recommend Suspects in Anti-LGB Vandalism Be Charged With Hate Crime

Arlington PD acts swiftly following vandalism targeting same-sex family

06/20/2012

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – is applauding the Arlington, Texas, Police Department for responding swiftly and thoroughly to vandalism attacks that appear to have targeted one family based on the parents’ sexual orientation. The Arlington Police Department (APD) is announcing the arrest of five suspects in the attacks this morning and is recommending the District Attorney prosecute them under the state’s hate crimes law.

On the night of June 9, the suspects allegedly damaged 13 properties in an Arlington neighborhood. One of those was the home of a family headed by a same-sex couple. The back of the couple’s car included a sticker of two moms, a child, and a dog. The suspects spray-painted “faggot” and “queers” in large letters over the back of the vehicle. View the photo taken by one of the residents.

It is the correlation between the bumper sticker and the anti-LGBT slurs that police say indicates a hate crime. Texas law prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity. It includes property crimes as well as violent crimes. HRC President Chad Griffin released the following statement:

“It’s commendable that the Arlington PD responded to this crime so quickly and thoroughly, and that they are not turning a blind eye to the anti-LGB factors involved – in fact quite the opposite. This is a shining example of law enforcement officials doing the right thing, and working diligently to ensure all members of the community they serve feel safe and protected. Too often, we hear stories of those entrusted to represent and protect us not acting when LGBT people are victimized. It’s particularly important to commend the APD’s actions so others can see that inaction is never an option. Today’s arrests should send a message to LGB people – particularly youth who may feel isolated – that there are people in their communities who will work to help and protect them.”

HRC compliments the leadership of Fairness Fort Worth for their pro-active efforts on behalf of the victims of these horrible crimes. HRC continues to advocate for transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws at the state level.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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