Queer Voices

Destinie Mogg-Barkalow, Bridgewater State University Student, Allegedly Attacked For Gay Marriage Editorial

A Massachusetts university is planning a rally after a student journalist was attacked on campus for writing a pro-gay marriage editorial.

As the Patriot Ledger is reporting, Destinie Mogg-Barkalow was allegedly approached by a man and a woman who appeared to be fellow students in a parking lot at Bridgewater State University last week. After the pair asked Mogg-Barkalow, who is openly gay, if she wrote the pro-marriage equality article which appeared in The Comment, the university's student newspaper, the woman punched her in the face, leaving a bruise.

Mogg-Barkalow's Feb. 15 opinion piece, titled "Prop 8 generates more hate," appeared a week after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. In her piece, the 20-year-old Mogg-Barkalow -- who is reportedly a junior and an assistant editor for the paper’s opinion section -- called out Prop 8 supporters as intolerant and bigoted.

At present, no one has been arrested, but authorities say they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. Composite sketches of both suspects have been released.

The Boston Globe quotes Dana Mohler-Faria, the university’s president, as saying his school has “zero tolerance for any such actions that impede or curtail the right of the members of our campus community to express themselves freely." Mohler-Faria went on to note, "We stand together, both in strongly condemning this action and in reaffirming our shared commitment to create a campus community that values and respects all."

Dave Copeland, the newspaper's faculty adviser, echoed those sentiments. "In 20 years as a journalist I've been sued and threatened, but no one has ever gone as far as physically attacking me like that," he said. "It sickens me that something like this would happen on a college campus, where students are supposed to be able to express their opinions, values and ideas freely."

A rally in support of Mogg-Barkalow is planned for Tuesday in the Moakley Center at the school.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly identified Dana Mohler-Faria as female.

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