The Attacks on the Atlanta LGBTQ Community Continue
Luke O’Donovan, a queer Atlantan, was attacked and viciously beaten by a mob of men screaming homophobic slurs at a New Year’s Eve party in Reynoldstown on January 1st, 2013. Luke tried to defend himself with a pocket knife and managed to escape, though he was rushed to the hospital with several stab wounds.
The case has moved slowly through the court system. Luke faces five charges of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of attempted murder. Last month, Luke had a self-defense immunity hearing. Luke was denied immunity, but the defense feels that the hearing went well for Luke.
At the immunity hearing, the prosecution made a series of ludicrous claims in order to prop up their case. They made a point of asking every witness whether or not the term “faggot” was offensive, or just a synonym for other “non-offensive” terms like “pussies or bitches,” and later used the word “nigger” as another example of a “non-offensive” term.
Since the May 13th immunity hearing, one of the so-called victims in Luke’s trial was seen in footage of a horrific transphobic attack which occurred just outside of the Stratosphere skate shop in Little 5 Points. Just a few weeks prior to this attack, a group of men accosted, beat, and stripped two trans women nude on a MARTA train. These attacks are disturbing and wrong. We understand that the attack on Luke is a part of this growing homophobic violence in Atlanta.
We ask every member of the Atlanta gay and lesbian community to come to Luke’s trial at 8:45 AM on Tuesday, August 12. Our goal is to pack the court. Your presence will demonstrate to the judge and jury that Luke has many supporters who love and care about him and the issue at stake.