Words: Ben Pulsford

A gay couple were reportedly left bloodied and beaten after being “viciously attacked by a group of men” at a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona simply for being gay.

Sadly, this disgusting act of blatant homophobia is arguably not the most shocking part of the story, as while this was occurring, apparently diners sat back, watched, laughed and let it happen, while the restaurant’s security team reportedly completely failed to protect the pair. Sadly details are sketchy, but here’s what’s out there.

According to AZ Central, an Instagram account named @gayprideapparel – which has now been deleted, but just last week had 44,000 followers – was the first to post about the horrific incident at the Golden Margarita nightclub on 11 April.

AZ Central reported that the page posted a video in which one of the victims described the incident in detail. The deleted post explained that the pair were celebrating a birthday and anniversary at the restaurant in question. The post’s description allegedly said that “people were laughing instead of helping” as the violence took place.

The West Valley NACP and the Arizona Unity Collective have since held a press conference regarding the alleged assault on Rudy Haro and Fernando De Los Reyes Lugo “for being gay”.

In a press statement, the civil rights organisations said: “These two amazing young men (Rudy and Fernando) were viciously attacked by a group of men, while frequenting The Golden Margarita night club on Sunday, April 11th 2021. They were assaulted for being Gay. When the establishment’s security failed to protect them, Rudy, Fernando and their friend, called for the police. Only to be met with dismissiveness by not two, but four, Phoenix Police Officers.”

The Golden Margarita has since released their own statement online, clarifying that “an incident occurred across the street” from the restaurant involving “two separate parties that were patrons that evening”. It goes on to stress that as a business, it would “never condone racial or sexual or prejudice.”

You just kind of casually tolerate it when it’s happening on your literal doorstep then?

The establishment and the police department are now reportedly being pressured to deal with this homophobic attack appropriately.

This is why we still need Pride everywhere, by the way.