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Slur Painted On Gay Fla. Couple's Home, Then Torch


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Slur Painted On Gay Fla. Couple's Home, Then Torched

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: July 29, 2005 3:00 pm ET

(Orlando, Florida) Police in Polk County, in central Florida, are searching for the person who torched the home of a gay couple after spray painting "Die Fag" on the front steps.

Paul Day and Christopher Robertson returned home from shopping to find their mobile home in ruins.

The couple said that it is the latest in a series of attacks - mostly verbal abuse by a group of teens and young adults hurled at them when they checked their mail.

Police say that a number of items appear to have been stolen from the home. An arson investigation is underway and a spokesperson for the Lakeland Fire Department said it appears the fire had been set in several areas of the trailer.

But, neighbors at the Kings Manor Mobile Home Park where the units sit side by side in rows claim they saw nothing.

Day and Robertson had recently done extensive renovations of the mobile home. The fire has devastated them both emotionally and financially.

The couple, in their mid 20s, have lived in the Orlando area most of their lives and say that homophobia appears to be on the rise.

State statistics confirm that. In 2003, the most recent year for which data has been released, 20 percent of all hate crimes were against gays and lesbians.

This summer has seen a number of arson attacks across the country attributed to homophobia.

Last week a gay club in Brownsville, Texas was gutted by arson. (story) The week before, fire destroyed the only gay club in Fayetteville, Arkansas in what police there also are calling arson. (story)

On July 9, fire damaged a gay-positive church in Middlebrook, Virginia. Police said the arsonist had scrawled a message on the exterior of St. John's Reformed United Church of Christ saying that UCC members were sinners.

The United Church of Christ endorsed a resolution days earlier endorsing same-sex marriage. The resolution was not binding on the denomination's 1.3 million members. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005

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