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Nebraska woman victim of gruesome attack for being gay, fueling debate over anti-gay religious rhetoric

Nebraska woman victim of gruesome attack for being gay, fueling debate over anti-gay religious rhetoric

Nebraska police are searching for three masked men who carved derogatory epithets into the body of an openly gay woman.

The Young Turks reports that three men wearing masks and the victim could not identify them.  Officer Katie Flood of the Lincoln Police Department told ABC News that "derogatory terms associated with her sexual orientation were painted inside her home" and other news reports state that crude words referring to her sexual orientation were carved into her body.

"We will not release what was written on her body," Flood said. The woman, who is 33, was bound, gagged and mutilated early Sunday and the three attackers splashed the victim's home with gasoline and tried to set it on fire, scorching a floor, police reports state.

ABC News says that the crime is being classified as a hate crime.

Cenk Uygur, Douglas Caballero, and Cara Santa Maria discussed how religious rhetoric that demonizes gays and lesbians can help contribute to this type of behavior (see video embedded below).  "This is what happens when you create a culture of hate and discrimination," Uygur said.

Caballero notes that conservative leaders, even though they do not advocate violence, help contribute to the hate by dehumanizing gay people.

Uygur opined that out of all the Bible verses, members of the religious right focus only on anti-gay passages.  "If you wanted to discriminate, you can pick on divorced people because divorce is not acceptable according to the Bible.  But you don't.  Now why don't they?  It's because they want an 'other' to discriminate against.  They want someone they can pick on, someone they can pour their fear and their hatred into."

"And that is something that is intrinsic to who these people are," Maria added.  "Even when the religious right wants to claim that this is a choice, we all know that this is a biological predisposition which is why the percentages kind of hover around the same number, generation after generation.  When it comes to divorced people, for example, that is actually a choice and that number is steadily rising."


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
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