Chancellor Thorp told the university that officials intended to report the assault as a hate crime to the federal government. "Everyone in our community has the right to a safe, inclusive and welcome living and learning environment." He continued, "And all of us have a responsibility to stand against acts of violence, harassment, bullying and intimidation and to treat each other with civility and respect."
Outside of a basic incident report on hand at the police station, the attack was not made public by the university until Monday – almost a week later. That lag time upset some members of the gay community at UNC-CH – as if they needed another reason to be upset.
"It's troubling when the only way we find out about a hate crime on campus is by word of mouth," said Jeff DeLuca, a sophomore and co-president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance. It should have troubled him. If the only sources talking about the alleged attack were Gs, Ls, Bs, and Ts it should have led some to believe that the report was just B.S. And it was B.S.
In a message later released to the campus community, Chancellor Thorp revealed the obvious: "The Department of Public Safety has determined that the alleged aggravated assault … did not occur. That report, filed with campus police on April 5, was false. The University will not report it as a hate crime."
But they should report it as a hate crime – one committed by Quinn Matney. The act of filing a false police report is a crime. And, clearly, his motivation for doing so was to tarnish the image of an entire population of people he hates.
The university should not stop there. Administrators should consider an investigation into the source of the burn on his hand. If he burned himself then, clearly, his actions were motivated by the sexual orientation of his target. Chancellor Thorp should honor his promise to “bring the strongest possible charges against the attacker" even if it is concluded that the attacker attacked himself.
Gays have been granted a fundamental constitutional right to abuse their bodies in the privacy of their own bedrooms. But they don’t have a right to do so in public and at the expense of honest taxpayers and scarce police resources.