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Men Beaten for Singing Wicked Tune in Latest U.K. Gay Bashing

Men Beaten for Singing Wicked Tune in Latest U.K. Gay Bashing


A pair of friends singing show tunes on Manchester's public transit say they were viciously attacked by passengers shouting antigay slurs, leaving one victim 'scarred for life.'

Two men say the brutal beatings they suffered in Manchester, England, at the hands of at least 15 slur-shouting attackers constitute antigay attacks, according to the Manchester Evening News.

"It was definitely homophobic," said Jake Heaton, 19. "Throughout it all they were hurling abuse at us."

Heaton and his friend, 25-year-old Jean Claude Manseau, say they were singing a song from the musical Wicked while riding a regional tram from Bury to Manchester when another rider began lambasting them with homophobic slurs, then turned physically violent.

"It's completely shocking," Heaton told the Evening News. "Nowadays you think people are mostly accepting of people's sexuality, especially in a big city like Manchester. We did nothing to provoke it. We were just having a laugh and a sing on the tram."

The attacks were so brutal that the men took a taxi to a local hospital after waiting 90 minutes for an ambulance that never arrived.

"They split my forehead, my lip, broke my nose," Manseau told the newspaper. "My eyes are black and swollen. My ribs are painful, I can't move much. My face is going to be scarred for life. That has upset me."

Just last month a gay photographer was blinded in one eye when a drive-by attacker in Wales threw gasoline and yelled homophobic slurs at the 20-year-old.

Earlier this year an 18-year-old bisexual theater student in Preston, England, said he was savagely attacked by a gang of thugs near the University of Central Lancashire, according to U.K. LGBT site PinkNews. Local police were investigating the attack, which Richard Scott Kennedy says was so severe that several of his teeth were pounded into his gums.

Perhaps the most disturbing recent news of violent homophobia in the U.K. comes from Joseph Williams, who was recently sentenced to 14 years in jail for taking a hammer to his gay roommate's head while the roommate slept. Miraculously, victim Connor Huntley survived the attack. X-ray images of the hammer lodged deep inside his skull continue to astonish.

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