A Tulsa man is recovering from a vicious attack by three people who he says ambushed him outside his apartment.
Brandon Patrick, 23, says he was beaten and nearly scalped. Patrick says the only reason he was attacked is because he is gay.
Tulsa Police say the attack happened Sunday night near 13th and Rockford and are looking for one man and two women.
FOX23’s Abbie Alford explains how gay advocates are pushing for change in Oklahoma’s Hate Crime law.
In Oklahoma, sexual orientation is not protected under its Hate Crime law. The group Oklahomans For Equality has been fighting to protect women and men, regardless of their sexual orientation. After the recent attack gay right advocates believe the law must be strengthened.
The bruises, scrapes and stitches are bad enough but 23-year-old Brandon Patrick who is an openly gay man say it’s the voice of one of his attackers that haunts him.
"I could hear the hatred in her voice and the way she was talking to me. I could really tell her hatred toward homosexuals," says Patrick.
The words are too offensive to print for publication but as the attacker shouted gay slurs another woman and a man began beating him right down the street from his apartment.
"I just remember turning around on my back and seeing three people on top of me and they are so eager to get a hit and kick in me," says Patrick. "One lady bit down on my cheek and on my ear."
The beating got even worse as the other woman took out a knife.
"She had it like a butcher’s knife and sawing at my head and I just remember her hand going back and forth, back and forth across my face,” says Patrick.
Patrick says it took all of his strength to fight off the attackers and he called for help. Patrick says he is stunned because he says he did nothing to attract such hatred.
"It was totally unprovoked on my part," says Patrick.
The victim says he’s heard the gay slurs before but never did he think he’d be beaten for being gay.
"I view it as this is an experience. I can share this with people. I can help better our state and our community," says Patrick.
Now Patrick and Oklahomans For Equality hope people will listen.
The group hopes by drawing attention to close a big gap in Oklahoma law that doesn’t recognize violent acts of hate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
"What Tulsan's need to be aware is that some portions of our city are specifically targeted because of their difference," says President for Oklahomans For Equality, Toby Jenkins.
However, critics will argue that any crime is considered a hate crime and certain lifestyles should not have special protections.
"We are not asking for special privileges. We are asking that the punishment should equal the crime. When someone is targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or their gender that shows you some motivation behind that act of violence," says Jenkins.
Patrick says he hopes his voice will motivate others to educate Oklahoma and the nation.
"You have to step forward when things like this happen and people have to know," says Patrick.
Congress recently reached agreement on expanding existing law that gives federal officials jurisdiction over crimes of violence committed because of a person’s race, color, religion or national origin. The new language adds sexual orientation among other things.
Meantime, Tulsa Police say if the suspects are caught they could be charged with felony Assault With A Deadly Weapon that carries a one to ten year prison sentence in Oklahoma.
Tulsa police are looking for two women and a man. One of the women is believed to be in her early to mid 40’s and the other woman and the man could be 17-22 years of age. The suspects are believed to be driving a reddish-maroon 90’s model Mustang.
If you have any information about this crime call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com. Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.