A couple claims they were beaten in Asheville, North Carolina because they are gay.

Mark Little and Dustin Martin of Charlotte told local CBS affiliate WBTV that they were verbally harassed by people inside a passing car as they walked down a street in Asheville, considered one of the state's most gay friendly cities.

When the couple asked the people to stop, one of the passengers got out of the car and attacked the men, beating them on the street.

Little said he questioned whether police officers responding to their call took the crime seriously.

“I feel like that when the cop first came on the scene he just felt like it was just an ordinary crime,” he said. “But what had happened is we were hit just because we were gay.” (A video report is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The perpetrators face a simple assault charge since North Carolina does not have a hate crimes law, WBTV reported.

The attack comes just months after voters approved a constitutional amendment which forbids recognition of gay relationships with marriage, civil unions and possibly even domestic partnerships.