Three teenagers have been charged in the beating of a gay man. I’ve often said that hate crime laws aren’t’t solely about that single crime, it’s about an attempt by the majority to intimidate the minority.

The alleged assailants saw the man in a residential neighborhood at about 3 a.m. on Friday, and used anti gay slurs before beating him, authorities said. “We don’t want you in our neighborhood,” one of the accused allegedly called out to the man.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone Jr. said the city takes these things seriously.

“To the extent that hatred of any kind is a motivation to target a particular person or group, we place a high priority on prosecuting those defendants and sending a strong message that that type of hatred will not be tolerated.”

What about you, South Carolina?