Community supports gay politician following assault
Oklahoma’s first openly gay state politician is receiving vocal support from his community following an assault which he says was motivated by hate. Jim Roth, a Democrat who served on the Oklahoma Cortwas assaulted outside a bar by three men who called him anti-gay slurs during the attack, according to Policymic.
The FBI are investigating the vandalism of an Oklahoma City mosque as a potential hate crime, according to News OK. Last Saturday, vandals spray painted racial slurs, bizarre pictures, and the words “Hale [sic] Satan” on the outside walls of the building. It is not clear if the crime was motivated by increased hostility towards Muslims following the Boston Marathon bombings.
The recent vandalism comes a year after the mosque was attacked with paintballs. Nonetheless, mosque Imam Hassan Ahmed said that he believes the vandals do not represent the majority of Oklahomans, who are good people, and that he would not want to live anywhere else.
Fort Wayne addresses reporting gap after hate incidents
Georgia used federal hate crime laws to prosecute an anti-gay hate crime for the first time, according to The GA Voice. The state is one of five which have no hate crime laws, leaving serious hate crimes to be prosecuted on the federal level.
Lawmakers have come together to form a caucus to represent Sikh-Americans in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to Indian Express. They aim to work on problems affecting the Sikh-American community, including bullying, racial profiling and hate crime. Harpreet Singh Sandu, an activist for the Sikh community who helped form the caucus, said, “Our dream of a direct voice to Congress about Sikh related issues has come true.”
The tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI in 2012 brought to light widespread bias against the Sikh community, and it is estimated that as many as three in four Sikh boys are bullied at school. In February a group of Senators urged the DOJ and FBI to start monitoring hate crimes committed against Sikhs and Hindus, who are currently only counted on hate crime reporting forms as “Other religion”.