Queer Voices

Ohio's Gay Community Rattled By Three Alleged Hate Crimes

New York's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community may continue to be rattled after a series of alleged hate crimes. Now, however, a spate of incidents is making headlines in another state.

A Northern Kentucky man told Ohio-based ABC affiliate WCPO that he was attacked outside of a Columbus bar on June 6 because he is gay.

Chris Ashcraft said he was beaten unconscious by several men after he responded to one man's request for help with his car. The 25-year-old says he was "taken by surprise" but nonetheless insists he was targeted because he is gay: "It was a hate crime. I was hanging out at a gay bar. It's Pride Month."

At present, detectives are calling the attack a robbery and are not ready to consider it a hate crime yet, according to ABC 6.

Still, some say the attack on Ashcraft is just one incident in what could be a disturbing pattern. Chris Kratavill, another gay man, had to be hospitalized after allegedly being punched, beaten and kicked from behind on June 9. Meanwhile, David Conley, who is also gay, was allegedly attacked and robbed on June 10 by a group of men -- one of whom he claims hit him with a 2-by-4 -- who made "vulgar comments as they approached that indicated an anti-gay bias," according to Outlook Columbus' Bob Vitale.

“He has a black belt,” Robert Younkman, a friend of Kratavil’s, is quoted as saying. “If it had been a fair fight, it would have been a little more interesting. They would have picked the wrong little gay boy to pick on.”

CLARIFICATION: The original version of this story cited LGBTQ Nation as the source of original reporting. It has since been amended to attribute Outlook Columbus.

Tyler Clementi

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