Story to Watch: Colorado Soldiers Attacked in Possible Hate Crime

In Colorado Springs, police are investigating a suspected hate crime involving two gay men who are soldiers, who were beaten at a fast food restaurant early Saturday.

KRDO-TV reports that the two men, who are soldiers and therefore chose not to reveal their identities to protect their military careers, had gone with a group of friends to the restaurant after returning from a nightclub. According to the victims, they were approached by another group of men who addressed them with racial and anti-gay slurs. The verbal confrontation soon became physical. One victim was kicked repeatedly in the head and ribs, while the other suffered a facial fracture requiring him to have his jaw wired shut. Police are still searching for the alleged perpetrators.

It is important that coverage of this story emphasize that, with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  still in effect, lesbian and gay soldiers who are victims of possible hate crimes must worry about their safety as well as their job security if their identities are revealed. Reporters should respect the victims’ wishes to remain anonymous given the employment risks they face at this time. GLAAD asks that our constituents and readers notify us of any inaccurate or irresponsible journalism they come across by filling out an incident report while we continue to monitor media coverage of this and similar stories.