Monday, August 28, 2006

Saga of the Rainbow Flag: Investigate incident in Meade, Kansas, as a hate crime

Thomas Witt, the chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition, has called for an incident at the Lakeway Hotel to be investigated as a hate crime.

The incident occurred Aug. 11 when a brick, or piece of a block, was thrown through the window of the hotel, which was flying the rainbow flag, a symbol of gay rights. The brick had the word "fag" inked on it. Another brick with the message "get the fuck out of town" was discovered outside the hotel.

The Hutchinson News reported Witt's comments.
"The anti-gay profanity written on the bricks demonstrates this is clearly a hate crime and we insist that it be treated as such," Witt said Sunday at a gathering here of the coalition, which fights discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Witt differentiated the window incident from the clandestine removal of a rainbow flag from the pole in front of the Lakeway on July 31. The boys who later confessed to taking the flag - which has since been replaced - left no message when they did the deed.

Robin Knight, who runs the Lakeway with her husband, J.R. Knight, agrees the window breaking should be pursued as a hate crime while Meade County Sheriff Michael Cox said only that his office continues to investigate.

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