Was a Gay Wis. GOP Activist Attacked for His Views?
An openly gay man who has been volunteering in the campaign for a Wisconsin Republican House candidate was beaten in his home. He believes that the attacker was motivated by hatred of his political views.
The Daily Caller, which broke the story, also reported that Kyle Wood's car was vandalized a week before he was physically assaulted. The vandal wrote "house trained republican faggot," "traitor" and "ur like a jew 4 hitler," according to Wood.
Wood says the slurs were in reference to his being a gay Republican who's supporting Chad Lee. Adding another layer to the story, Wood is campaigning for a straight man who is running against a gay man, Democratic opponent Marc Pocan. Add yet another layer to the story: The politicians are fighting to replace Democrat Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for Senate as an out lesbian.
Once he discovered the damages to his car, Wood wrote on his Facebook page, "If you understand either freedom or me at all you would that this will only make me work harder," he said. "You can think whatever you like about me, but I will not be bullied into voting for a gay man simply because I am gay."
Then on Wednesday came the attack.
"I was getting ready for work and there was a knock at the door," Wood told the Daily Caller. "I opened it, and a guy wrapped a ligature around my neck, slammed my head into the doorway, and smashed my face into a mirror, telling me 'You should have kept your fucking mouth shut.' He then kidney-punched me, while at the same time saying I was 'warned,' and continued to beat me," he added.
Wood said he was not able to move the right side of his body after the incident. His eyes were also swollen shut and he suffered a concussion and neck and head lacerations.
Despite these incidents, he holds fast to his political beliefs. "I will not be bullied, intimidated or threatened into abandoning my moral values," Wood said.
Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of GOProud, the LGBT organization for gay ultra-conservatives, sprang to Wood's defense. Wood's attack shows "hate and vitriol directed towards a gay conservative from gay liberals," he told the Daily Caller.
The congressional district in question includes Madison, the capital of Wisconsin and is by far the most liberal district in the Badger State.
A spokesperson for Lee told the website, "We condemn this attack on a member of our team in the strongest terms. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyle in his recovery from this horrific incident, and we hope that the perpetrators responsible are brought to justice immediately."
Police are currently investigating the crime but have yet to name a suspect. According to the (Madison, Wis.,) Cap Times, the authorities don't believe the attack was random.
"We try to protect victims' rights and privacy," police spokesman Howard Payne said. "The detectives have been out this morning and into the afternoon hours interviewing individuals trying to find out who this suspect is," he added."We believe there was some connection of some sort the existed between the victim in this case and the assailant."
Payne, however, did not say if the incident would be considered a hate crime or not.
"Right now we're not at liberty to say because we don't know," he said. "We won't know if that was the case until we develop a suspect."