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|Ala. lesbian beaten at girlfriend's Thanksgiving dinner|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|November 27, 2012 13:23|
A 23-year old lesbian from Mobile, Ala., was allegedly beaten by her girlfriend's brother on Thanksgiving in what some are calling a blatant anti-gay hate crime. Mallory Owens was attacked by Travis Hawkins, Jr., Thursday, Nov. 22, at the home of her girlfriend, Ally Hawkins, according to Alabama NBC affiliate Local 15.
Hawkins has been charged with second degree assault.
Equality Alabama, a statewide LGBT organization, is continuing to collect facts surrounding the case, according to State Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Jefferson), the organization’s chair. Equality Alabama is confident in the investigators, Todd added in a phone interview with GA Voice today.
“The only reason she was beaten is that she was the partner of the sister,” Todd said.
Todd said she and other members of Equality Alabama found out about the attack Monday afternoon.
“I do believe that the officials will do whatever is necessary to make sure the brother is brought to justice,” Todd said. “We're going to make sure he spends some time in jail. Our primary issue is getting the word out that we are engaged with officials and monitoring the situation. If there's enough evidence for a hate crime that we make sure it's done properly.”
Alabama has a hate crime law, but sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected categories.
Todd said Owens was being interviewed today by the FBI, who will then determine if the attack would fall under the jurisdiction of federal hate crimes protection.
“At this point, we're engaged and letting the authorities do their job,” Todd said. “We're going to be on top of it. It was terrible, especially on Thanksgiving, to have something like this happen.”
No vigils or protests have been planned yet, Todd said, but several petitions and Facebook groups calling attention to the attack have been created. One group, Justice For Mallory Owens, has more than 11,000 supporters.
A spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., said that the organization was aware of the attack but was withholding comment.
LGBT rights are a key area of interest for the SPLC. Today, the organization filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against an organization that pushed conversion therapy to try to turn gay people straight. The lawsuit against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
Top photo: Alabama lesbian Mallory Owens after allegedly being beaten on Thanksgiving at her girlfriend's house (via Facebook)
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