Lesbian Member of Parliament Attacked at Vienna Pride
BY Thom Senzee
June 17 2014 3:57 PM ET
Austria's first lesbian member of parliament was sprayed with a potentially blistering acid during an interview at Vienna's annual Rainbow Parade celebrating LGBT pride, reports The Local, an English-language Austrian news site.
The attack, which occurred last Friday along the sidelines of the annual parade while the MP was being interviewed by a local TV station, did not injure MP Ulkrie Lunacek or the crew filming her, according to The Local.
Although no injuries were reported, more than $60,000 of damage was reportedly done to the news crew's camera and electronic gear. Lunacek's clothing was also damaged by the acid attack, which authorities said was committed by an as-yet-unknown assailant using butyric acid.
Lunacek is not only the first out member of Austria's parliament, she is also the leader of that country's Green Party in the European Union Parliament.
"Never before has there been an attack at the Rainbow Parade," Lunacek told The Local after the parade. She also said that there is an ongoing need to "fight for tolerance, acceptance and respect" for LGBT Austrians and all people. "Homosexuals and transgender people needed to combat fear and show that they were not only part of society, but at the center of it."
Vienna's 2014 Rainbow Parade was attended by about 150,000 spectators and celebrants, according to The Local, and went off without further incident.
According to a database of chemicals operated by the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C., butyric acid can be produced naturally by food products, such as dairy, but is considered a hazardous material.
The attacker, described as a man with a "solid stature," wore a white polo shirt. He remains at large, according to The Local.