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Homophobe threatens to stone city official for ‘gay sin’ and ‘blasphemy’. Police let him walk free

Lily Wakefield August 5, 2021
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Oregon Gay Black Eric Osterberg Klamath Falls

Gay, Black city official Eric Osterberg was told by a community member that he was "spreading AIDS". (Facebook/ Eric Osterberg)

A city official in Oregon was threatened with stoning during a public meeting and called “a sinner for being gay“.

Eric Osterberg, the assistant city manager of Klamath Falls, Oregon, was giving a presentation on racial equity and justice in the community on Monday (2 August).

But shortly before, Osterberg, who is Black and gay, was confronted by “an individual who brought a rock to this meeting, proceeded to call [him] a sinner for being gay, [and] accused [him] of spreading AIDS here in the community”.

Recounting the incident at the start of the public meeting, he told his colleagues that the man had also accused him of “blasphemy” and of “trying to [he’s] the second coming of Christ”.

Osterberg said that it was a clear example of the fact “that just having a simple conversation about racism in our community is gaining that level of violence, that threat of violence”.

He told the Herald and News that the man, holding a rock around the size of his hand, also told him: “You are a sinner and you need to be stoned. That is why I brought this stone.”

Despite threatening to stone a Black, gay city official in Oregon, the bigot was allowed to walk free

The unnamed man was then escorted out by the Oregon city’s police chief, Robert Dentinger.

Although Eric Osterberg said he hoped the man would be arrested “since he made a direct threat to me, and I think it would be pretty bad if he was allowed to just leave”, authorities said he was allowed to walk free.

Dentinger told the publication: “As of [Monday] night there was not enough information to arrest him. But as things change, we are going to have to talk to him.”

Related topics: Hate crime, Homophobia

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