Seattle residents rally against gay bashing
July 13 2004 12:00 AM ET
About 150 protesters upset by an attack on a gay man heard the police chief of Seattle promise that whoever was responsible will be brought to justice. The group rallied Sunday at Westlake Center, then marched to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center on Capitol Hill for a benefit to help support Micah Painter, 23, a landscaper and personal trainer. Painter was leaving Timberline Spirits, a gay bar, in June when three men beat him and cut him with a broken liquor bottle, leaving him severely injured. "We are going to watch this case and make sure that it is prosecuted to the
fullest extent of the law. We've got to be vigilant," rally organizer Michael McAfoose said.
No arrests have been made in the attack, which police chief Gil Kerlikowske told the protesters was under investigation as a hate crime. Kerlikowske said the principal assailant, at least, is "going to be arrested and will be prosecuted." Some speakers said gay men and lesbians feel increasingly under attack as a result of efforts by some political and religious leaders to ban same-sex marriages. One speaker, Bill Dubay, asked protesters to sign a petition opposing a constitutional ban on gay marriage. "We are facing a tremendous backlash," Dubay said.