Crime & Courts

Vandals target Anchorage couple with hate message

Anchorage resident Donny Lee Jacobson walked out of his house Saturday morning and made an unpleasant discovery: half-empty pickle jars spread around his property. Food-like substances used to simulate vomit and feces. A liquor bottle. And a note, decorated with colorful lettering and markered illustrations, left on his windshield.

"First I thought it might be a love note from my husband," Lee Jacobson, a labor and delivery nurse at Alaska Native Medical Center, said.

Then he read the series of messages: "Homos are possessed by demons." "You're going to hell." "White power!" "Fags die, God laughs." Among the multicolored drawings were crossed-out rainbows and a swastika.

Lee Jacobson and his husband, Adam Lee Jacobson, had a marriage ceremony in their backyard a year and a half ago, on summer solstice, and were legally married in Washington state the following October.

"We're not closeted in any way, but we're not living in our front yard, either," Lee Jacobson said in a phone interview Saturday.

Troubling, then, he said, is that the perpetrators likely live in the neighborhood -- and that they appear from the drawings and handwriting to be children.

"(I have) just a little bit of anxiety that a young person would be just so comfortable presenting ... these words ... even if they didn't believe it," he said.

He said he's never felt like a victim and doesn't believe he or his husband is at risk, but he did file a report with the Anchorage Police Department in case of further harassment. The police took some photos and collected the poster, and they expressed concern about its message, although Lee Jacobson said they categorized the crime as vandalism.

That was an element of the incident that bothered him as well.

"It was less the poster content (than) that someone was coming onto our property that I found a little disturbing," he said. "That seemed a little bold."

Lee Jacobson said he's "had a great life as a gay American and a gay Alaskan" and doesn't want to be "perceived as a victim in any way" or as "crying wolf." He specifically cautioned his friends against assigning blame to any religious group. "We have many friends with varied belief systems that are uniformly supportive of our rights as gay citizens," he wrote in a Facebook comment about the incident.

"Neither Adam or I feel victimized in our lives," he said. "We are fully supported by our neighbors and fellow citizens ... It's really just the creepiness of a homeowner that feels a little bit invaded."

Devin Kelly and Maia Nolan-Partnow contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Donny Lee Jacobson's last name and misidentified his place of employment. This story has been updated to clarify APD's response to the incident.