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Two Burglaries May Have Been Anti-Gay Hate Crimes

Police are trying determine if two recent burglaries in Germantown and the Original Highlands may have been anti-gay hate crimes. The homes of two gay couples were ransacked last month, and the method the perpetrators used was identical in each instance."Both of the homes were vandalized with bleach, toilet bowl cleaner and whatever liquid food items the perpetrators could find in the victims' refrigerators," says Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman.Hartman says he believes the victims were targeted because of their sexual orientation."In the first instance, the perpetrators found a love letter from one of the partners to the other, took it out of the bedroom and placed it neatly on the couch, almost as a statement," he says.Hartman, the LMPD, elected officials and clergy held a press conference Wednesday to raise awareness of the crimes.Federal law was expanded last year to classify crimes motivated by sexual orientation as hate crimes. Police say if the burglaries are classified as hate crimes, the perpetrators will face harsher penalties.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.