Rally to support gay college students who were attacked
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Over 300 students at Miami University and the University of Cincinnati held coinciding rallies today in Oxford and Cincinnati, respectively, in response to a brutal hate crime that left two gay students "bloody and battered" late Saturday night in Oxford.
"Every student should feel safe to walk through campus and our local communities without fear of brutal violence," said Blake Jelley, President of the University of Cincinnati's Alliance. "We urge students and staff at Miami and UC to take a stronger stance against anti-gay attacks and urge administration to take more proactive measures to ensure that our University communities are safe for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression."
Around 2:00 AM on Saturday, March 24, 2012, Miami student Michael Bustin and UC student Adam Voegele were allegedly attacked in Oxford. Police say four male attackers targeted Bustin and Voegele as they were holding hands while walking home around 2am from an event sponsored by Spectrum, Miami University's gay-straight alliance. The attackers screamed derogatory, anti-gay slurs before violently beating the two students.
"The two kids who got abused, they were just walking down the street and they didn't deserve to be treated unfairly," said UC demonstrator Kayla McKinney.
Students at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University say that this isn't the first time that gay students have endured violent attacks on or near campus. Last April two other gay students were attacked after leaving a Spectrum event. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, gays are 8.3 times more likely to be victims of a hate crime.
Gay student leaders hope that today's rallies will underscore the need to address bias and violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender students on both campuses.
"Kids shouldn't have to fear expressing their feelings no matter if its gay, straight, anything. And people should just love each other for who they are," said Adam Voegele.