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Lesbian and Friend Beaten to Pulp by a Dozen People at Alabama Bar: Video

Lesbian and Friend Beaten to  Pulp by a Dozen People at Alabama Bar: Video

A 25-year-old lesbian, Laura Gilbert, and her friend Sheila Siddall allege that they were beaten up by about a dozen people at the Villa bar in Opelika, Ala. based on Gilbert’s sexual orientation. Siddall called 911 but when the police arrived they only arrested Gilbert, although Sheriff Jay Jones admits that Gilbert and Siddall were the only ones who sustained visible injuries. He also said that if a hate crime had occurred it would have been treated as such. However, Alabama’s hate crime laws do not include protections for sexual orientation.

TracyEGilchrist

A 25-year-old lesbian, Laura Gilbert, and her friend Sheila Siddall allege that they were beaten up by about a dozen people at the Villa bar in Opelika, Ala. because of Gilbert’s sexual orientation, according to Towleroad.

The hate crime, according to Gilbert, occurred Saturday night when the women attended the Villa for karaoke night on Siddall’s birthday, although Gilbert later said she had reservations about going to the Villa prior to the incident. “I don’t think they like my kind there,” she said she thought before going there.

"As soon as we walked in the bar, I felt uncomfortable," Gilbert told WRLB. "I felt everybody staring at us, but you know, it was her birthday, I didn't want to ruin it for her."

Gilbert says that when they attempted to leave the Villa a woman confronted them and started a fight that was joined by two men, which moved outside and grew to about 12 people pounding on Gilbert and Siddall.

“If you want to look like a man you’ll get hit like a man,” Gilbert said she heard a man say during the onslaught.

When the police arrived they only arrested Gilbert, although Sheriff Jay Jones admits that Gilbert and Siddall were the only ones who sustained visible injuries. He also said that if a hate crime had occurred it would have been treated as such. However, Alabama’s hate crime laws do not include protections for sexual orientation.

Watch the report here.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.