Veteran Equality California Staffmember Victim of Palm Springs Hate Attack

 Veteran Equality California Coachella Valley field manager George Zander and his husband were the victims of an apparent hate crime Sunday night. Zander, 71, was leaving Hunters Bar with his husband, Chris, at about 8:30 pm when a stranger began shouting anti-gay slurs at them.Shortly after, the attacker left, but returned with a second man. They attacked the couple from behind, hitting Chris over the head with a bottle and knocking George to the ground. The men fled in what Palm Springs police say was a sedan-type vehicle. The couple was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center, where Chris was treated and released for a possible concussion. George will undergo surgery for a broken hip on Tuesday.

“George is a core member of our team and our entire staff and board were horrified to hear of this terrible hate crime,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “This was an attack on someone who confronts bigotry and hostility as part of his job, and who works every day to make the world a better and safer place for LGBT people. If it can happen to George in a place that we think of as a refuge for the LGBT community, it can happen to anyone, anywhere. In spite of the victories of the past 10 years, we still have so much work to do.”

Palm Springs police are searching for two white males, one described as stocky, with red hair. Anyone with information is asked to contact Palm Springs police at 760-323-8116, or Valley Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP (7867).