PSLweb: Gay Man Assaulted While Acting as Clinic Escort, Protecting Women’s Rights


From PSLweb:

Charles Wright, a 50-year-old gay man and former vice-president of
Cleveland’s National Organization for Women, regularly escorts women
into the Akron Women’s Medical Group, along with his partner, Tom Reke.
Women seeking care are often confronted by hostile right-wing
protesters opposed to a women’s right to choose.

But on July 18, things became violent when Wright was physically
assaulted
by one of the right-wingers, who broke six of Wright’s ribs.
The assailant, whose name is unknown, is a member of the extreme-right
religious group Jericho Riders Motorcycle Ministry, which regularly
preaches homophobic and anti-women rhetoric. The Jericho Riders arrived
at the Akron, Ohio, clinic to join protesters harassing women seeking
safe abortions.

The assailant saw Charles and Tom embracing each other and began
yelling homophobic slurs at the couple. When Charles vocally expressed
his offense at the comments, he was assaulted. His aggressor rode off
on his motorcycle immediately after.

The Akron Police Department, whose precinct is across the street
from the clinic, did not respond until long after the assailant had
left the scene. The protesters refused to give the name of the
assailant, claiming that they did not know him. However, Charles and
Tom both witnessed the protesters greeting the assailant with a
familiar "welcome, brother!" The Akron police are treating the incident
as simple assault—as opposed to felonious assault—which means they will
make no effort to investigate the crime.

A protest was held on Aug. 1 to demand justice for Wright and call
for an end to the attacks on LGBT and women’s rights. The Party for
Socialism and Liberation joins the Akron community in its struggle
against homophobia, women’s oppression and all forms of bigotry.

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  • hatmaker510

    From this article, the fact that Mr. Wright was assaulted because of his sexual orientation, is this not a hate crime? It should be investigated properly. I don’t live in Ohio though, so I’m not familiar with their laws.
    I hope this makes it into the mainstream news in Ohio. Maybe then the police will be forced to investigate this properly. Hmmm, perhaps that police department needs a few emails reminding them?

    This is outrageous and completely unacceptable.

    Because it was also related to escorts and protesters at an abortion clinic, does anyone here know if that would give the feds jurisdiction? I would like to here others’ thoughts on this.

     

    As always, thanks for informing us, Jodi.

    Melissa

  • invalid-0

    Despite the claims made in this article, the Akron Police are investigating what happened to Charles. They have assigned a detective and they plan to charge his assailant with felonious assault.

  • invalid-0

    Despite the claims made in this article, the Akron Police are investigating what happened to Charles. They have assigned a detective and they plan to charge his assailant with felonious assault.

    Do you have a citation for that?

  • invalid-0

    Looks like the Wikipedia page on “pro-life” violence needs an update. I figured there would be more of these sorts of incidents since Obama’s election, but it seems that murdering a doctor let the movement blow off a little steam. Still, I expect more of the same as anti-abortion activists begin to panic over a more liberal government. The same kinds of things happened during the Clinton administration.

    My condolences to the escorts, of course. I’ve been a volunteer escort (and staff) in the past, and the people who actually stand outside clinics and “minister” to people are nutcases, even the “nice ones” (who won’t give up their buddy… very nice, very nice).

  • http://ourfoundingtruth.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Some in the pro-life movement aren’t really pro-life, however, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Most pro-lifers look to educate; usually young women, who want to abort their child, without looking at all the available options.

  • invalid-0

    Pro-lifers are not for education. There isn’t a single pro-life organization I know of that supports comprehensive sex ed. No, the only “educcation” the protesters outside my clinic give are horribly outdated bits of misinformation that the scientific community has proven wrong for decades. Every single pamphlet they have mentions abortion and breast cancer, infertility, mental health problems, and substance abuse as direct results of abortion. None of them mention the mental and emotional toll of giving a baby up for adoption. Most pro-lifers will say and do anything if they think it will change your mind, regardless of what the facts really are.

  • invalid-0

    Please back up your claim that it is being investigated for felonious assualt.

    Thanks !

  • hatmaker510

    Found this regarding this assault:
    http://www.progressohio.org/page/community/post/daveharding/CqLy/

     

    It does say that police are investigating it as Felonious Assault. (I thought I’d just check myself.)

     If you don’t have time to read it in full, it gave these other details: Mr. Wright was beaten unconscious (I did not know that). He & another escort (who was threatened) at the same clinic are both fearful of returning due to the increased aggression of the "pro-lifers". (Why I use "anti-choice".)
    Just FYI.

    Melissa