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Two Arrested for Beating Gay Man Singing Wicked Tunes on Tram

Two Arrested for Beating Gay Man Singing Wicked Tunes on Tram


Jean Claude Manseau and Jake Heaton were victims of a homophobic attack in England because someone didn't like the idea of gay men singing show tunes.

Two people were taken into custody in Manchester, England, after they were arrested for allegedly taking part in a "homophobically aggravated" assault November 1, according to The Manchester Evening News.

"We are still appealing for people to come forward with information, and I would urge anyone who witnessed the attack to speak to police," spokesman Tim Green told the newspaper. "The victim was attacked in a busy place and someone may have seen something and have some key information that could help our investigation."

Reports say as many as 20 attackers beat Jean Claude "Jo" Manseau, 25, into a state of unconsciousness after the alleged instigator of the attack followed he and his friend, 19-year-old Jake Heaton, off of a public transit vehicle in November. The initial assailant has not been identified, but police believe he hurled homophobic slurs at the friends, who are gay, because they had been singing songs from the musical Wicked.

In response to the attack, a massive ensemble of song-lovers and LGBT choirs recently converged on Manchester's public trams to sing the very songs that appear to have set off the gay-bashing incident. The event, promoted on social media by the hastag #SafeToSing, was well-organized and ultimately attended by city officials and members of the public to show support for gender and sexual diversity.

The unnamed suspects, a 29-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, were bailed out of jail wednesday. Local police are still looking for other assilants involved in the attack. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 0161-856-3229, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800-555-111.

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Thom Senzee