The beating of a gay man outside the Missoula Club, where he’d gone to celebrate his 22nd birthday, early Sunday morning has spurred renewed calls to add sexual orientation to bias crimes laws in Montana.
“It’s time, regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on,” said state Rep. Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, who said she’ll introduce such a bill in the January 2013 legislative session. “What occurred over the weekend in Missoula evidences it.”
The man indicated to police he was assaulted because of his sexual orientation, Missoula Police Lt. Scott Brodie said Monday.
The man told police he’d asked people at the Mo Club about the location of a gay bar, when someone asked him to step outside for a cigarette, Brodie said.
But the man said that when he left the bar, someone hit him, and then two more people joined in, Brodie said. The incident happened at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and the man reported it to police at 4:30 a.m., after he got home, Brodie said.
The man’s face was badly bruised. Images are displayed on the Wipe Out Homophobia page on Facebook, which has 480,000 “likes.”