Editor's note: The content of this story is not appropriate for children as it includes some offensive language. We didn't edit out harsh language because it's key to the story.
It's about an Irondale man who says he was attacked because he's gay. And he hopes that by sharing his story it will encourage lawmakers to draft and approve hate crimes legislation when it comes to sexual orientation.
Right now, the hate crimes on the books in Alabama only cover race, religion, and disabilities. Sexual orientation and gender identity aren't a part of the hate crime laws.
For Richie Covington of Irondale it's a loop hole he didn't learn about until it was too late. Covington never thought his sexual orientation would lead to an attack. He's been open about being gay for over a decade, but since recently moving back to the South he says he's been ridiculed, harassed, and now attacked.
"If they don't like gay people, they don't like transgender people that's your prerogative to have, but when it gets to the point of hurting another person that's where I have a problem with it," said Covington.
On Jan. 5 Covington says he was walking to the store when a man, who mistook Covington for a girl, hollered at him. When the man realized Covington was a man, things got heated.
"He was like, 'Oh my God, you're an f-ing faggot,'" said Covington.
Covington says he usually keeps walking but this night he'd had enough.
"I was like yeah and what of it m-f? And just kept going."
But Covington didn't get far. He says the man attacked him.
It cases like this that have Representative Patricia Todd fighting year after year to change Alabama's hate law, but so far it hasn't happened.
"What I hear from the opposition is they think all victims should be treated equally, but the reality is we already have enhanced penalties for certain victims," said Representative Todd.
And Todd doesn't think the law will change anytime soon.
"Too much opposition with people who do not understand being gay is not something you choose," said Todd.
Covington hopes legislators will hear his story and rethink where they stand.
"If I can bring any good from this awful experience it, I'd go through it all again," said Covington.
There are federal laws for hate crimes. However in order for it to apply it has to be a federal offense. In Covington's case, the federal hate crime law does not protect him.
Sunday, May 19 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-05-19 22:18:38 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
UPDATE: Neighbors are shocked after two suspects shot three dogs in a New Ellenton neighborhood Saturday night. More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 4:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 20:20:12 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
Aiken County Coroner's office has confirmed that 32 year old Zann Worrell Jr. of North Augusta died at GRU Medical Center on May 18, 2013 at 3:37 p.mMore >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 3:11 PM EDT2013-05-19 19:11:10 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
UPDATE: Richmond County investigators said Tonya S. Terry was stabbed several times in the chest area inside the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Road Saturday evening.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:04:50 GMT
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road. Firefighters were on the scene until around 8:30 a.m. No injuriesMore >>
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road.
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:31:56 GMT
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech. Two of Creech's close friends, who go by Solo and Ruff, say they've been unableMore >>
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech.More >>