"The fact that one of your residents has been targeted at their home, in daylight, without a public response from you condemning this behavior is very concerning to us."
The executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, Max Disposti, is calling for Pilot Property Management (PPM) to issue a statement about a recent hate crime that occurred at one of their properties.
On Sunday, April 14, Mr. Aaron Earls who lives in the Oceana South 1 senior community in Oceanside, managed by PPM, found a gay epithet spray-painted on his garage door. But so far the management company and the HOA board have not publicly denounced the act.
In a letter to PPM which he shared with San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Disposti says the North County LGBTQ Resource Center has collaborated with law enforcement and the victim in order to find the person or persons responsible for the graffiti.
"We have contacted the OPD and the FBI because homophobic slurs that are aimed to publicly out and/or shame individuals are considered a serious threat, a Federal Crime punishable with jail sentence," he writes.
Disposti also reminds the company of the LGBTQ non-discrimination clause for housing and employment in California law put in place since 1992. Protections on the basis of gender identity were included in 2005.
The letter states that the crime "has caused Mr. Earls to live in fear, forced to be exposed, or to become a possible target of retaliation."
Residents of Oceana have reached out to Mr. Earls and offered their support and solidarity according to the letter, "However, we have not heard from your management company or the HOA board from Oceana South 1."
"Many seniors within the Oceana community happen to be LGBT and many now fear that a climate of hate may create an intimidating aura for them," he writes. "They need to hear that you condemn this and any similar acts in order to live their life safely and in a healthy environment."
The letter continues:
"This is why we call upon the Oceana Management Company and the HOA of Oceana South1 to take a public stand in condemning this vile and homophobic act.
The fact that one of your residents has been targeted at their home, in daylight, without a public response from you condemning this behavior is very concerning to us.
Your public condemnation would send a meaningful message of harmony and reassure Oceana’s LGBT residents that they will be supported and protected from any homophobic attacks like the one Mr. Earls has had to endure."
Disposti and the North County LGBTQ Resource Center say they would like to see a public statement from PPM by Friday, May 3, 2019, "and to see your management company fostering collaboration with the police investigation, helping to bring this criminal act to justice."
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News also reached out to PPM for a statement on Thursday, but they have yet to respond.
The North County LGBTQ Resource Center has been in the news lately after their own building was vandalized in an apparent hate crime. The flag pole on which the Pride flag and trans flag are displayed was pulled down and the banners were stolen.
Disposti cannot say if the crime on Mr. Earl's property is connected, but the community is definitely on alert.