Called a ‘faggot’ while being beaten doesn’t make it a hate crime in San Diego?

Queerty reports on two obvious hate crimes that aren’t being prosecuted as such for dubious reasons. What good is having hate crimes statutes in the arsenal if they aren’t going to be used? These two cases are in obvious need of federal prosecution as hate crimes.

Jacob Harshbarger, the San Diego man called a “f—— faggot” during a Halloween gay bashing he suffered while walking his dogs, might see his assailants meet some justice: 23-year-olds Michael Brandon and Christopher Blount have been charged with felony battery counts. Police initially called the attack a matter of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” and not a hate crime. It appears they’re sticking to it: prosecutors aren’t levying any hate crime element to the charges.

Meanwhile a second San Diego attack is being reported, with Martin Niwinski and Daniel Crawford getting beat up the following day after Crawford was called “faggot” while dressed up as Freddie Mercury. Neither men are gay, which has Det. Gary Hassen brushing off any hate crime element, because while “a disparaging remark was made … he [Crawford] was sitting with his girlfriend. He is not gay, and as such, can not be a victim of a hate crime.”

The same goes with bullying in schools. One doesn’t need to actually be gay or transgender to be perceived as such and to experience a hate crime because of it. If someone were beaten and called racial epithets then I’m sure hate crimes would be attached, so why not when gay epithets are used while beating a victim?

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