A Tennessee man claims he was attacked over the weekend outside his high school reunion because he's gay, but local authorities say they have no plans to investigate the alleged incident as a hate crime.
As WSMV is reporting, Shawn Farris says he was attending his 20-year high school reunion outside of Winchester, Tenn., when he was attacked for no apparent reason. "If I had been alone with this man, there's no telling what would have happened to me, if he's capable of doing something like that with witnesses," Farris told the news channel.
Farris claims the man, who is not identified in the report, hurled anti-gay epithets at him before threatening his life, then punching him in the face and throwing him to the ground.
Still, local police say they currently will not investigate Farris' case as a hate crime, calling it simply a fight. Still, Farris, who works as a flight attendant, plans to press charges against his assailant.
Tennessee has been a hotbed of gay and anti-gay controversy in recent months. Last month, a high school journalism instructor reportedly infuriated locals, including one school board member, after publishing a pro-gay profile of a graduating student in the yearbook.
On the other hand, the state's extremely controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill, which intended to restrict public school discussion of sexuality and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, died without a vote in early May after a key GOP sponsor decided "not to bring it up," according to reports.