Over the weekend Austria’s first openly LGBT politician was attacked with butyric acid. Ulrike Lunacek was a victim of an attack at Vienna’s annual Rainbow Parade while she was giving an interview on the sidelines of the parade. Lunacek and the interview team were not injured.
Lunacek is the leader of the Austrian Greens’ delegation to the European Union parliament.
The acid damaged the Member of Parliament’s clothes and the reporter’s camera equipment. Vienna police reported that the assailant had not yet been found and that the acid caused around €50,000 worth of damage to the reporter’s camera equipment.
This incident is a reminder of what LGBT leaders around the world experience and the hurdles that we still have to conquer – that is why this month the Victory Institute kicked off LGBT leadership trainings in Serbia and Peru. The trainings will serve as a tool for LGBT leaders around the world on how to capitalize on opportunities to help advance LGBT equality.
Our elected officials and candidates in the United States also still experience attacks and threats – late last month Houston Mayor Annise Parker received death threats after signing the city’s equal rights ordinance.