A new report by
human rights group Amnesty International accuses United
States law enforcement agencies of widespread homophobia and
violence against LGBT people. The report, titled
"Stonewalled--Still Demanding Respect," was
published on Thursday and is based on interviews
conducted between 2003 and 2005.
Amnesty says those interviews revealed not only
a pattern of discrimination by the very agencies that
should protect gay people, but they also uncovered
beatings, sexual violence, harassment, and humiliation
at the hands of law enforcement officers. Amnesty says those
assaults occurred against sexual minorities in detention
centers, prisons, at home, and on the street.
The report highlights a 2004 incident in which a
woman from Athens, Ga., says she was forced into her
apartment at gunpoint by a former county deputy and
raped because she is a lesbian. She said the officer vowed
to "teach her a lesson."
A Native American transgender woman told Amnesty
that in 2003 she was stopped in Los Angeles by two
police officers as she was walking late at night. She
said the officers handcuffed her and drove her in a police
car to an alley, where she was beaten, verbally
abused, and raped. After the ordeal, she says she was
thrown to the ground and told "that's what you deserve."
Amnesty says many such victims do not report the
crimes because they fear a hostile or abusive response
from the police. The group calls on federal and state
authorities to fully enforce antidiscrimination laws and to
investigate all allegations of sexual, physical, and verbal
abuse against gay people by their officials. (Sirius