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Report: American
police abuse gays

Report: American
police abuse gays

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 OutQ News)

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