On Saturday night, partners Claudia Friedman and Christy Stewart came home to their Houston apartment complex to find Stewart’s motorcycle smeared with animal feces and urine. According to the Dallas Voice, the vandal wrote, “Fuck you move your dike (sic) bike now” in paint on the concrete around the bike.
The bike’s cover was ruined, but the motorcycle itself was unharmed. Stewart said that she and Friedman left the apartment complex in the afternoon and returned around 8:00 p.m. to find the mess and the hateful message. The couple has lived in the apartment for three years, but this is the first trouble they have had.
The couple called the police, who categorized the incident as a hate crime, but are not currently pursuing any leads. There are no security cameras in the parking deck where the vandalism occurred.
“Without witnesses, no confrontations with anyone in the past, the police officer said there’s nothing we can do,” Stewart told the Voice.
Stewart said that they have their suspicions about who committed the crime, based on “dirty looks” they have gotten around the apartments and the fact that the handwriting on the concrete floor looks like it belongs to a woman.
In response to the message, the women left the bike parked in the same spot, now bearing a clean cover and a sign that reads, “To the immature vandals: We are NOT moving our bike!”
“We stood our ground and said no,” Stewart said, adding that the majority of their neighbors have been supportive of her partnership with Friedman, and that she will not let the actions of one angry individual sour her feelings about her community.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “I would say ignorance is the most violent force in society. But you can’t fix stupid.”
According to a report from the Texas Department of Public Safety, 32 percent of hate crimes reported in Texas in 2011 were due to bias against sexual orientation. The 1993 Texas Hate Crimes Act defines a hate crime as “crimes that are motivated by prejudice, hatred or advocacy of violence” as well as “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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