According to Matt Coker of the OC Weekly's Navelgazing blog, Equality California members Mel Distel and Daniel Shad reported the noose to police in their city of Santa Ana. But an officer told them, "what it is, is a string on a door." Says Distel,
I took a deep breath and said "Do you see any correlation between the fact that this is a gay office and there was a noose left on our door in the wake of all of these teen suicides?" The officer said, "Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim," and proceeded to mention that his car had been broken into before. [...] As if that's the same. As if having your stereo stolen is anything like the message "You should kill yourself."
Terrorism of owner or occupant of real property. Placement or display of sign, symbol or other physical impression without authorization, engagement in pattern of conduct, or burning or desecration of religious symbols.
Part of the point of hate crime legislation is to make it clear that a noose on the door of a gay rights group is deeply different from a random car break-in — but apparently Santa Ana police don't care too much about enforcing this legislation. And for anyone who thought an Arkansas school board member's homophobic screed was something that could only happen in the South, this is an ugly reminder that the state that brought you Proposition 8 is still producing plenty of homophobes. It's also a call to action — it's great to send messages of hope to gay kids, but we also need to give them something to hope for, and that includes police who will actually try to keep them safe. You can contact the Santa Ana Police Department here.
Noose Hung At Gay Rights Group's Office [OC Weekly]
The Noose Of Anti-Gay Hatred Alive And Well In Santa Ana [Liberal OC]
Image via Navelgazing