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Out Politician Attacked With Acid at Vienna Pride

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jun 16, 2014

Austria's first out politician, the leader of the Austrian Greens' delegation of the European Union parliament, was attacked with acid at a Gay Pride event Friday in Vienna, the Local reports.

The unknown attacker sprayed butyric acid in Ulrike Lunacek's face as she was giving an interview during Rainbow Parade. Thankfully, the acid did not injure the politician or the individuals interviewing her.

The acid did damage Lunacek's clothes and the camera equipment, amounting to about €50,000 (around $67,716 USD), according to police spokeswoman Barbara Riehns. She added that, as of Sunday, the attacker is still at large.

The politician commented on the attack at the parade.

"Never before has there been an attack at the Rainbow Parade," Lunacek said at the end of the event at Vienna's City Hall. "These kinds of isolated cases showed that the fight for tolerance, acceptance and respect in Austria was not over. People who spread fear and hate needed to be opposed. Homosexuals and transgender people needed to combat fear and show that they were not only part of society, but at the center of it."

Police say the attacker was wearing a white polo shirt, had dark hair and "a rather solid stature."

There were around 150,000 people at the event - the most successful Rainbow Parade in Vienna to date, according to organizer Christian Hoegl of the Homosexual Initiative Vienna. The parade also drew those who oppose the LGBT community, including a counter-demonstration by "March for the Family."

The 50 demonstrators, however, were met by another movement who tote the motto "Love Sexuality - Fight Sexism," and were able to block the anti-gay marchers. Five of the pro-gay protesters were arrested.

Butyric acid is found in milk, butter, Parmesan cheese and has an unpleasant odor. It's the main distinctive smell of human vomit. The USA EPA labels butyric acid as a toxic substance.


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