Task Force: Right-wing rhetoric continues to fuel violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

August 02, 2006

Weekend attacks on six men during San Diego pride festival point to climate of intolerance fueled by efforts to dehumanize and restrict equality for LGBT people

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 — Detectives in San Diego arrested a 24-year-old man and two teenage boys in connection with Saturday’s attacks on six men outside the LGBT pride festival in San Diego's Balboa Park. According to media reports, the suspects will face charges of attempted murder with a hate crime enhancement and assault with a deadly weapon. The assailants allegedly attacked the victims with baseball bats and a knife while taunting them with anti-gay epithets. One of the victims remains hospitalized with a fractured skull.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“The hatred fueling these terrible attacks is not innate; it is learned. And who is teaching it? Leaders of the right wing, who use their vast resources, media networks and affiliated pulpits to blame lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for all the ills of society. We have witnessed years of anti-LGBT organizing in California, and violence is an obvious and potent outgrowth of such malicious activity. It poisons culture and inspires some to believe that it is open season on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Our thoughts are with the men who were attacked and their families during this difficult time, and we stand in solidarity with San Diego's LGBT community in denouncing this violence and in working to build a safer world for all people.”


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.