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Tennessee man
receives antigay death threat

Tennessee man
receives antigay death threat

Several gay rights groups are stepping in to investigate a death threat that a Tennessee man received on Saturday. Neal Anthony, whose house has been vandalized several times this year, has spend more than $5,000 on security equipment and $10,000 in repairs after his home, a historical site, was defaced with antigay graffiti, according to Out & About newspaper.

Anthony's partner on June 9 found a message spray-painted on the side of their house that read, "Die Neal." The local sheriff's department said there were no leads at the time, but the American Civil Liberties Union, Hate Crimes Taskforce, and Tennessee Equality Project have each stepped in to push an investigation.

Following a similar attack in April, ACLU staff attorney Christine Sun alerted the FBI of the crimes, but the FBI responded by saying that they could not investigate the attack as a hate crime because sexual orientation is not a protected characteristic under the federal hate-crimes statute, according to Out & About. Sun was told that the Warren County district attorney's office would have to notify the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations of the case in order for it to be looked into by the state.

Graffiti messages previously spray-painted on the home have read, "All gays go to hell," "Fags deserve 2 die," and "Your mama is hell bound." Three teenagers who defaced the home with 91 paintballs were ordered to apologize, placed on probation, and made to mow lawns for five weekends.

The 156-year-old house in McMinnville, about 90 miles southeast of Nashville, was shelter to four generations of the Anthony family, according to the newspaper. It was fully restored last year. (The Advocate)

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