Long Beach Police Investigating Possible Gay-Bashing Assault By Four Marines At Popular Local Bar
LONG BEACH, CA -- Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt confirmed Wednesday that department detectives are investigating an assault involving four Marine Corps enlisted personnel who attacked a film student from San Dimas, California, and beat him unconscious outside of Long Beach's Silver Fox Bar, a popular gay patronised establishment.
Pratt said that police responded to the Silver Fox, located on the edge of the city's Belmont Heights neighborhood, at about 2 a.m. Monday. "Based on the preliminary investigation, it was determined that an assault had occurred to a man by several male suspects after they had left the establishment," she said. Pratt added that two bystanders who came to the aid of the victim were also beaten. One of the victims was transported to local hospital with what Pratt described as "non-life-threatening injuries."
In an interview with KCBS-Los Angeles, the man who asked that his identity not be revealed said;
“I remember blacking out. All I remember is being put next to the curb, He starts pushing me and calling me f–. I told him I was gonna call police,” the victim said.The victim told the station that at some point he blacked out. He now doesn't want his face revealed or his identity known telling the station; “I don’t want them to see who I am. They have friends out there."
In a separate interview with the Press-Telegram newspaper, Silver Fox Manager John Barnes told the paper that the four men who were later arrested came into the bar late Sunday or early Monday and the primary culprit, who seemed visibly uncomfortable while at the bar, called Barnes "sweetheart."
"You could tell by the tone of his voice that he was uncomfortable, he was making a demeaning remark," Barnes said.
Pratt said that uniformed officers responded within minutes and the four Marines were arrested on charges of assault and battery. She said that LBPD Violent Crimes Division detectives are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime attack and will present their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office later Wednesday, at which point the District Attorney's Office will determine what the appropriate charges are to be filed.
Pratt said that police are not releasing information regarding the suspects citing that the investigation is ongoing.
A spokesperson for USMC Base Camp Pendleton, where the four men are stationed, declined to comment other than to confirm that Marine Corps investigators were also looking into the incident.
GLSEN 2011 NATIONAL SCHOOL CLIMATE SURVEY: IMPROVEMENT- BUT MORE PROGRESS NEEDED
NEW YORK, NY -- GLSEN released its 2011 National School Climate Survey today, and, while LGBT students are faring better than they have in the past, there is still a lot of room for improvement. This year showed the first significant decline in victimization based on sexual orientation, but over 80% of LGBT students still report being verbally harassed at school and over 70% have heard homophobic slurs used at school “frequently or often.” Transgender students faced the highest levels of harassment; just 4% of transgender students reported that they felt safe at school.
The impact of gender identity or sexual orientation-based harassment can be devastating for students. Nearly one third of LGBT students have reported skipping class or missing a full day of school at least once because of safety concerns. Students who are harassed at school are also more likely to report feeling depressed and have, on average, a slightly lower grade point average than their non-LGBT peers. Students also report that being out at school is a double edged sward; although being out means they do not have to endure the stress of hiding a part of who they are, students who openly acknowledge their sexual orientation or gender identity report they are more likely to face victimization from their peers and sometimes school faculty and staff, who may discriminate against LGBT people.
A number of sources of support were able to somewhat mitigate the negative impact of harassment and anti-LGBT policies. Students who attended schools with GSAs reported fewer incidents of harassment and heard fewer homophobic remarks while at school. Students at schools with LGBT-inclusive curricula were more likely to feel a sense of community, which led to them feeling safer at school. Schools with anti-bullying policies that specify protections for LGBT students were more likely to have teachers intervene on behalf of victimized students and had lower rates of harassment overall.
Unfortunately, still too few schools have GSAs, inclusive curricula, and enumerated anti-bullying policies that would serve to protect and support LGBT students. Especially lacking are anti-bullying policies; well under 10% of students surveyed attend a school with a comprehensive anti-bullying policy.
GLSEN's Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard, states that her organization “has worked tirelessly for more than two decades to address endemic bias and violence directed at LGBT students in our schools. With this report, we are beginning to be able to discern real impact of our efforts.” She acknowledges that there is still “much work […] to be done to turn promising change into a concrete, sustainable reality, but those schools and districts that are taking action are beginning to make a real difference in improving the lives of students and providing better educational opportunity for all."