Gay man beaten during Motor City Pride festival in Detroit

Cristin Howard, beaten during Detroit's Motor City Pride festival, said the attack has left him temporarily unable to work as a hairdresser.
By Frances Burns  |  June 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM
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DETROIT, June 10 (UPI) -- A young gay man says he did nothing to provide a group of five to eight men who beat him to the ground during Motor City Pride, a festival in Detroit.

Christin Howard, 20, told WXYZ-TV the attack occurred Sunday on the Riverwalk. He and a friend were posing for a photograph near Hart Plaza where the pride festival was held.

Howard said a group of men approached them, made fun of his long hair and then attacked him. They knocked him down and continued the assault as he lay on the ground.

He said he has had trouble sleeping since Sunday and cannot work as a hairdresser until his hands heal.

Howard said the assault has also made him nervous about being in public: "Will I go back to Pride? I'm kind of iffy about it right now, because I don't want that incident to happen again, what if the same guys are there?"

The high point of the weekend festival was a parade Sunday morning. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, the plaintiffs whose federal lawsuit led to a declaration that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, served as the grand marshals.

The Rev. Deb Dysert, the associate pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, carried a rainbow flag with the message "God adores you." She joined a cross-section of the area's gay and lesbian community.

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