Hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil in Nebraska for a lesbian whose attackers allegedly carved anti-gay slurs into her skin before setting fire to her house.
Around 500 gathered with rainbow flags at the steps of the Capitol building in Lincoln last night (22 July), according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
According to a friend of the victim, who has not been named, three masked men broke into her house in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The attackers reportedly tied her up and cut her all over her body, before scoring her skin with homophobic insults. They then covered the floor in gasoline and set it alight.
Lincoln Police are investigating the incident and Captain Joe Wright confirmed that officers were called to 22nd and E streets on a report of a fire and found the woman across the street from her house.
He added they were told she had been assaulted by more than one suspect, who then set the house on fire. No arrests have been made.
Local gay-rights organization Outlinc said in a statement that it has confidence in the police investigation.
Outlinc president Tyler Richard said: ‘We are shocked and saddened by the report of an alleged hate crime involving a member of the LGBT community early Sunday morning.
‘Our hearts go out to the victim, her family and close friends. Many in our community are understandably experiencing a great deal of sadness, anger and confusion. We look to our entire community to pull together in this difficult time.
‘Outlinc has full faith in the Lincoln Police Department who has a long history of support for Lincoln’s LGBT community. We trust that their investigation will be fair and complete and we await the results.
‘As we consider the possible impetus for this horrific attack we are reminded more than ever why fairness is vital in our city.’