While polls show a plurality of Americans warming up to the idea of gay marriage, and even the Supreme Court has decided to weigh in on the issue, sexuality-based discrimination and hate crimes continue to be a daily occurrence in America.
The latest victim? Mallory Owens, a 23-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, who on Thanksgiving Day was brutally attacked by her girlfriend's brother — 18-year-old Travis Hawkins — for the 'crime' of being gay.
Kristi Taylor, the mother of Mallory, who is currently recovering at USA Medical Center in Mobile, told WKRG News 5, "he tried to kill her. He's lucky he didn't kill her. She's lucky to be alive [...] I didn't recognize her when I got here. It's hard to look at her like that."
She added this wasn't the first time Taylor Hawkins has attacked Mallory, and claimed that earlier this year he hit her over the head with a pipe wrench. Though Mallory was hurt, her family decided not to press charges after the initial incident. But this time is different.
"I want him behind bars for life," said Mallory's sister Avery Godwin. "He doesn't need to be out, because if he does he could do this to someone else or he'll finish it off with my sister," she added.
Though Travis Hawkins was arrested on second degree assault charges, he was bonded out soon after; even though he beaten Mallory so badly that she had to have facial reconstruction surgery, with metal plates put in her cheek bones.