Hate crimes spur concern

REGIONAL — An Asheville man, Lamon Hopkins, was arrested with felony assault with inflicting serious injury after police were told that he attacked and berated Luke Hankins with anti-gay slurs, WLOS-TV reported.

The beating occurred in an Ingles parking lot. Two other men and one woman were in a car shouting out threats and anti-gay comments when Hankins went into the store and when he came out, they targeted and pursued him, then physically assaulted him. Hopkins punched him in the face. Hankins sustained three fractures to his skull and a bloody eye. A witness helped him until police came. He took himself to the hospital.

Hankins, who says he is not gay, claims that the police officer, T.J. Jones, who answered the call failed to file a report immediately. He and the incident are both under investigation and is classified as a hate crime.

Meanwhile, across the state in Wilmington, police have not as yet found the person who assaulted gay student Michael Nelmark on June 25. The Wilmington Star said that Nelmark was unconscious for 20 minutes following the attack. He sustained a head wound as well. Nelmark claims that the officers who came to the scene turned the men who were responsible loose.

Anne Nelmark now “worries that her son’s attackers will not face justice.”

This incident is also being treated as a hate crime.

Gala seeks workshop proposals

RALEIGH, N.C. — Equality NC Foundation’s (ENCF) Equality Conference & Gala will be held on Nov. 12 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It is the largest gathering of LGBT and allied North Carolinians focused on securing equal rights and justice across the Tar Heel state.

This year, the annual conference will focus on LGBT activism and ENCF is actively seeking workshops designed to equip participants with the skills they need to work strategically and effectively for positive policy change.

The state’s LGBT community has found itself at the center of controversy this year as legislators consider an anti-LGBT amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages and other relationships. ENC said that the event “will serve to ‘rally the troops,’ educate participants on current policy issues and contribute to the movement by promoting the best practices in grassroots organizing. Workshops tailored to audiences from across the activist spectrum are encouraged, from those who are brand new to LGBT rights to those who have been in the movement for decades.”

Proposals are due in by end of day, Friday, Aug. 19. For proposal development guidance, call 919-829-0343 or email rebecca@equalitync.org.

Full details and application are available at equalitync.org.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988,...