Petition Closed

"A gay man can't be raped." Demanding an apology from the LAPD.



       “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Victim or perpetrator can be of any gender. It is also considered rape in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age.  ” 


On August 31, 2009 James Hornik was raped by another male in Hollywood, California. Mr. Hornik found himself in great need of police assistance and called on the LAPD, trusting that they would help him in his sudden predicament. When asked if he could press charges against his attacker, the LAPD officers simply responded, "A gay man can't be raped". Mr. Hornik was treated at Cedars Sinai Hospital but was denied a forensic rape collection kit by the LAPD, whose job it is to issue such kits through their forensic team. Definitely something that would be immediately done for any woman who is a victim of rape.

According to the California Penal Code, rape is an "act of sexual intercourse or penetration, however slight, which is sufficient to complete the crime". As you can see above, has a similar definition and, after searching many resources, I have yet to find even one that says rape only happens to women. Even the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association do not limit rape to only one gender. It seems rape can occur for anyone regardless of age, gender or sexual identity.

James Hornik has been fighting for more understanding and recognition that men (gay or straight) can be raped ever since that muggy night in August of 2009 with very little help at all. He has contacted organizations such as LAMBDA Legal, the ACLU, the NoH8 Campaign and various others only to be denied help and led in circles. Mr. Hornik even filed the proper complaints with the city, county and the LAPD internal investigation team. The LAPD was exonerated from any wrong doing or neglect by the mayor.

The goal of this petition is to demand that the LAPD make a formal apology to Mr. Hornik and the citizens of Los Angeles County in general for their failure to recognize what was and is a very serious situation and a growing problem within the gay community and society as a whole.

Pause for one moment and ask yourself, what if it happened to you and no one heard your cries?

This petition was delivered to:
  • Lawyer
    Surekha Pessis
  • Los Angeles City Council President
    Eric Garcetti
  • Mayor
    Antonio R. Villaraigosa

Shane Cowart started this petition with a single signature, and now has 6,922 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.