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Man says he was called a "fucking faggot" before attack in Regina

Man says he was called a "fucking faggot" before attack in Regina

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So far, no "compelling evidence" pointing to a gaybashing, say Regina police
A 27-year-old man says he was targetted with a homophobic slur and physically attacked outside a Regina restaurant in the early hours of Oct 17.

Aaron Hampton, who describes himself as bisexual, stopped for pizza with four friends on their way home from a night of dancing.

"We were laughing," says Hampton. "We were actually really happy."

Hampton says three men with shaved heads came into the restaurant. He claims one of the men looked him up and down and may have noticed he was wearing nail polish. He says the man called him a "fucking faggot" and told him he didn't belong in the pizza shop.

When one of Hampton's friends verbally stood up for him, he says the men threw pizza in her face, kicked her in the back of the head, and chased her into the parking lot. Hampton says he was attacked when he told the men to calm down. He says they knocked him to the ground and punched him in the face, leaving him with a sprained ankle and a split lip that needed 12 sutures.

"The doctor said that it's going to be scarred," says Hampton. "The way it was split, it went right through my lip in a few places. I had a flap hanging."

Elizabeth Popowich with the Regina Police Service says the case is still under investigation. She confirmed that suspects have been identified.

"One of the things we're getting is some conflicting information as to how the events unfolded, and we know certainly that there was a verbal altercation and that deteriorated into an assault," says Popowich. "But we still haven't concluded the investigation, so it's still really too soon to say what may result."

But Popowich says the evidence so far is not pointing to a gaybashing.

"The investigation isn't done, but I don't know that there's any compelling evidence that it has anything to do with anyone's sexual orientation," she says. "But, as I said, we do know that it began as a verbal confrontation, so what was said and why — we're still working on that part."

Popowich says the suspects claim one of their parties was assaulted.

The owner of the pizza restaurant told Hampton he has video footage of the incident.

Hampton claims he didn't fight back.

"I didn't even insult them," he says.

When Hampton got home from the hospital, he started a Facebook page called "Gay bashing exposed" to try to find the perpetrators and let others know what happened. Six hundred people have since "liked" it on Facebook.

"I've had a lot of people come forward and show support and love," he says.

Hampton, a current resident of San Francisco, is in his home city of Regina for a wedding. He says he's received several supportive messages through Facebook, and he appreciates the encouragement.

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Comments

precedent
First of all, let me say that I think this assault, like any, is criminal and heinous, and I fully sympathize with the victims.

However, a precedent has been set which I think will undermine any future gay-bashing cases...

In Vancouver, Oasis Nightclub holds a weekly event called "Fag Fridays", put on by DJ Dreaddy and Joan-E, local drag celebrity. They say it's alright to call themselves and their friends faggots, and to put up posters advertising the event all over town and in Xtra for everyone to see.

So why is it a hate crime now for anyone else to use the slur? If we call ourselves faggots, then we must be faggots! Right? Is it a slur, or a label now?

I think that if these perps get charged with a hate crime because of the slur, then so should any who uses hate words like fag - including those mentioned above. Wouldn't that be true justice?

Free speech, not hate speech - censure H8 words everywhere!
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