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Gay Couple's Home Destroyed in Arson

Gay Couple's Home Destroyed in Arson

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Neighbors of a gay couple victimized by arson in Clayton, N.C., on Friday said the men had endured antigay harassment for at least a year before the fire destroyed their home.

According to WRAL.com, "A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash, said there have been at least three separate incidents of anti-gay harassment at the home over the past year. The neighbor said the couple had their tires slashed, a gay slur was written on their home in marker and they also received a note with a gay slur in their mailbox telling them to move."

The couple was out of town at the time of the early morning fire and is now staying at a hotel.

A spokeswoman for the Johnston County Sheriff's Office said investigators believe that mowers were stolen from the home in the days before the fire.

"She said that authorities are searching for a white Chevrolet S-10 crew-cab truck towing a small trailer, with a John Deere LA115 riding lawn mower and Troy-Built push mower. Investigators believe the mowers were stolen from the home."

However, according to WRAL.com, "Authorities said that investigators are close to determining that the fire does not fit the state's criteria for a hate crime."

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