Gay Texas Couple Find ’Leave or Die Fags’ Painted on Porch
A gay couple from a small town in the Texas panhandle said they woke up Monday morning to find an anti-gay phrase painted on their front porch, Pronews 7 reported.
The two men, Joshua Harrison and Jeremy Jeffers of Clarendon, Texas, say they discovered their front porch vandalized with "leave or die fags" painted on it early Monday.
"It was a nice message painted on our front porch right in front of our door," Harrison told the news station. He also said that he and Jeffers reported the incident to police right away. Donley County Sheriff Charles "Butch" Blackburn said the authorities are currently investigating the vandalism and that he considers it a hate crime.
Clarendon is a small town of barely 2,000 about 60 miles from Amarillo. It was founded as a "sobriety" town in contrast to the Wild West boom towns of the late 1800s.
Although Texas is considered a conservative state, GOP Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill into law in 2001 that added sexual orientation to the state’s hate crime laws. According to the Pronews 7, a 2007 crime in Texas report showed that sexual orientation accounted for nearly 20 percent of hate crimes in Texas.
The couple, who have been together for about a year and a half, said the homophobic message has them fearing for their lives.
"I’m absolutely terrified because if there are people in this town that are willing to go to the lengths to vandalize our house and to scare us, they might be going the lengths to do physical harm on us," Harrison said.
The couple says they noticed a change in the people’s attitudes towards them after an ad about the "homosexual movement" was published in the local newspaper by Pastor Chris Moore of the Clarendon Church of Christ, the Clarendon Enterprise.
The ad Moore wrote warns residents about the "homosexual movement."