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Gay men's home burns, with epithet left behind.


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not really an urban development, just want to share the news with fellow Floridians about Polk County

By Kelly Griffith and Amy L. Edwards {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted July 29, 2005

Paul Day and Christopher Robertson knew life as gay men in Polk County could be rough. They had been called names and taunted by neighborhood teens before.

Day, 25, said he even had a mailbox riddled with shotgun pellets once when living near the Green Swamp in the north part of the county.

The couple never thought it would get so bad as Monday, when they returned home from errands to find their house in Kings Manor Mobile Home Park in Lakeland torched and the words "Die hag" spray-painted on the front steps.

Statewide, though, there is an upward swing in the amount of violence reported toward people because of their sexual orientation. In the latest state report, for instance, hate crimes based on orientation accounted for a higher percentage of all hate crimes than ever before.

Monday's case is an arson with burglary, Lakeland Fire Department spokeswoman Cheryl Edwards said. But officials remain tight-lipped about the investigation.


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While socially conservative, Polk isn't that bad of a place. People there tend to stick to their own business, although there are isolated cases like this that happen statewide. I just would like to point out that these people seem to stay far out from the actual urban areas of Polk County. The Green Swamp, which is North of Lakeland, is a pretty isolated area.

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