Three gay men have been been attacked in the US state of Utah in the last two weeks.
Early on Thursday morning, 32-year-old Cameron Nelson was attacked in American Fork as he took out rubbish at a hair salon.
He was treated in hospital for minor injuries and says his attackers – two or three men – hurled anti-gay abuse at him.
Police in Salt Lake City are investigating another two separate attacks on the night of August 26th.
In the first, 20-year-old Dane Hall was set upon by four men as he left a club. He sustained a shattered cheekbone and lost six teeth after he was punched and stamped on.
On the same night, a group of men broke into a gay man’s home and attacked his boyfriend.
LGBT community activist Eric Ethington told the Salt Lake Tribune: “This is what happens when our legislature and our local government refuse to take the problems in our state seriously. Violence based on sexual orientation is not acceptable.”
In January, a report by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at UCLA found significant homophobia and discrimination in the state, which is home to the Mormon Church.
The study of 939 LGBT Utahans found that 67 per cent of transgender and 44 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual Utahans say they have either been sacked or have been denied a job or promotion as a result of their LGBT status.