A couple in Georgia are dealing with severe burns after a man that they knew poured boiling hot water on them while they were asleep.

Marquez Tolbert and Anthony Gooden were sleeping in an apartment belonging to Gooden and his mother when his mother’s boyfriend Martin Blackwell poured the water on the two men. Tolbert and Gooden suffered second and third-degree burns as a result.

Though the state of Georgia does not recognize hate crimes, is is clear that this was one as Blackwell made references to their homosexuality after he attacked them.

“Martin pulled me up and said, ‘Get out of my house with all that gay,'” Tolbert said. “I couldn’t stop screaming.”

Blackwell did not accept blame for the pain he caused, saying that it was just a “little hot water.” He told police that he was disgusted by the men’s relationship.

An upcoming hearing will address whether federal hate crime charges will be applied to this case.

This tragic case is a reminder that though America has come so far in the fight for equal rights for homosexuality, there is still a lot of hate and fear remaining.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com