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Leaders Stand With Crime Victim

Assemblymembers Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) and Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills) and numerous community leaders, including the leadership of Equality Action NOW, a local civil rights organization are holding a news conference on the West Steps of the State Capitol this afternoon, June 9, 2011, at 2pm, speaking on behalf of Seth Parker.

Parker, 26-year-old man was assaulted in the parking lot of the Strikes Family Entertainment Center in Elk Grove late Sunday night, the Elk Grove Police Department reported.

Parker, of Sacramento, said Monday he believes he was attacked because he is gay.

In a news interview, the victim said he and several female friends were leaving Strikes at about 11:30 p.m., when two males who had just been dropped off at the location began harassing their group. When one of the men began directing derogatory comments at Parker, some of Parker’s friends turned to confront the two men.

Parker said he intervened and then began to walk away from the two men when he was punched on the side of his face from behind, he said. One of the two men made derogatory comments about Parker’s homosexuality, "to the point where it was stuck in my head like a bad song," Parker said.

A friend drove Parker to a local hospital, where he was found to have multiple facial fractures, he said.

A full report of the incident has not been released and no one knows whether the attack is being investigated as a hate crime.

Tina Reynolds, co-founder of Equality Action NOW stated that, “We are showing up to take a stand and be vocal and let all communities know this is abhorrent. Hate is hate and it is not okay!”

“My generation has to deal with bullies on the school grounds every day,” says 19 year old Benancio Garza, Gay Youth Spokesperson for EAN, “This is what happens when those same bullies are allowed to get away with hate speech. It turns into hate violence.”

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