HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, has asked the FBI to intervene and investigate as a hate crime the severe beating of Mallory Owens, the 23-year old Alabama lesbian whose girlfriend’s brother was arrested only on second degree assault charges. Alabama has no state protections for LGBT people, so their laws would not allow the brutal assault to be deemed a hate crime, but the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act allows the FBI to get involved.
“Three years ago, the Alabama House of Representatives agreed to add sexual orientation to the state’s current hate crimes law protections, but the state senate let the legislation die,” NBC News reports, adding, “In 2006, Alabama voted to approve a ban on same-sex marriages by amending the state constitution.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mallory Owens and her family as she recovers from the horrific injuries she sustained on Thanksgiving Day,” HRC President Chad Griffin said via a statement. “Violence against anyone – no matter what the motivation – is never acceptable. We call on both Alabama and federal law enforcement officials to thoroughly and swiftly investigate this crime to ensure Mallory’s attacker is brought to justice.”
Living openly as an LGBT person in America takes a tremendous amount of courage, and moments like this remind us of the obligation we have to continue creating safer environments – particularly for vulnerable LGBT youth. No one who is brave enough to be open and honest in their local community should ever fear for their well-being or personal safety.”
HRC has reached out to the Department of Justice and the FBI to urge them to investigate the incident and provide any needed assistance to local law enforcement. Alabama has no hate crime protections that cover sexual orientation and gender identity.
WKRG reports that Mallory has no health insurance – however a fund has been set up to help pay her medical bills at any Regions Bank. According to Evelyn Mitchell of Regions Corporate Communications, “An assistance fund has been set up to benefit Mallory
AnnN. Owens,” and the public can go to regions.com to find a bank or “call 1-800-REGIONS for information on locations or bank by mail donations.” Here’s the website for bank locations in the Mobile area.
Image of Mallory Owens via Facebook: Sonia Mason
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