Ogden couple's car tagged with anti-gay slurs

Friday , November 11, 2016 - 6:03 PM91 comments

MITCH SHAW, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — Aaron and Nik McFarland woke up Friday morning to an overt message of hate.

The couple lives in Ogden and they are gay. Aaron McFarland, 35, said his husband Nik, 34, woke him early Friday in a panic.

“My husband came and woke me up and told me our car had been vandalized,” Aaron McFarland said. “I didn’t really understand exactly what happened until I saw the car.”

Three large, anti-gay slurs had been tagged on the couple’s car in red spray paint: HOMO DIE, FAG and FAGET (sic). 

“It was just kind of a complete shock at first,” Aaron McFarland said. “I eventually just broke down, but not until probably 30 minutes later. It was just such a shock. I’m still in disbelief.”

Story continues below photo.

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The couple, lifelong residents of Northern Utah, were married on Oct. 31, 2014. Although he didn’t want to give a specific location, Aaron McFarland said they live in Ogden, near the South Ogden border. He said he and his husband get along great with their neighbors and seem to be well-regarded in the community.

“That’s why it’s hard to understand,” he said. “But obviously, it’s probably not a coincidence. It’s pretty apparent that it’s someone who knows we’re gay.”

With no idea who might have tagged their car, Aaron McFarland said he and his husband went back and forth on whether or not to call the police, eventually deciding they should file a report.

Ogden Police Lt. Will Cragun confirmed Friday the couple did file a police report and said there are no suspects in the case yet.

Several media outlets have reported instances of racist and homophobic graffiti since Tuesday’s General Election. 

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Aaron McFarland said he’s unsure whether his vandalism case is related to the election.

“It’s impossible to say,” he said. “I know there’s been a really toxic environment lately. I don’t know. I would hope not.”

Nik McFarland’s mother, Jean Behunin Kay, was both outraged and terrified when she received word of the incident. She shared the story to her Facebook page Friday, hoping to spark some dialogue.

“It needs to be talked about,” she said. “It’s not OK. It’s not OK at all. As a mother, I’m scared to death. It’s basically a death threat.”

Aaron McFarland says he shares his mother-in-law’s feelings of anger and fear, but also has some level of sympathy.

“It’s frightening that people could feel like they have some kind of license to act like this,” he said. “I feel bad for someone who has that much hate in their heart.”

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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