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Activists to rally 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Fort Lauderdale at site of gay teen's murder

News release from GLBT Democratic Caucus:

Enough is enough! Join us this Thursday as we take a stand against hate violence. 

Please join us Thursday, February 28th for a vigil to call attention to the epidemic of anti-gay and anti-transgender hate crimes in Florida.  We are honoring the life of Simmie Williams, Jr., a teen, whose life was tragically halted when he was gunned down in cold-blooded murder last Thursday night.  The vigil is a call to action to mobilize communities against crimes of hate.

Currently the police are investigating Simmie’s murder as a hate crime based on accounts from witnesses at the scene.  Few other details are known.

Late Saturday night, only two days later, two men were assaulted, one brutally attacked outside of The Floridian, an historic Fort Lauderdale diner.  Their assailant using anti-gay slurs during the assault. “Are you looking at me, you faggot?  You know what I do to faggots?  I break their necks,” spewed from the assailants mouth before he pummeled the victim.

We can be horrified, but we cannot be surprised.  Enough is enough, it’s time we take a stand.  As a community we must not let a cold blooded murder and hate violence in our own backyard go unaddressed.  

Our horror, our outrage, our prayers are empty today until we take action to protect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their families - indeed all of us from this predictable epidemic of violence. Here's the truth: We let anti-gay hatred and violence flourish in our schools and we are all responsible for not stopping it before the blood spills out into the street.

Join us as we gather to remember Simmie and stand up against the rising tide of violence Thursday, Feb 28th at 4:30 for a memorial service at the murder site at the 1000 block of Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.

Immediately following, join community leaders and elected officials for a town hall at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (1717 N. Andrews Ave.) at 6:30.

For more information, call:

                Tobias Packer- 305 924-1899 // tobias@eqfl.org

                Michael Emanuel Rajner- 954 288-1999 // merajner@gmail.org

A special thanks goes out to the strong coalition of community leaders and organizations who have banded together to say enough is enough!  Including:

American Veterans for Equal Rights
Broward Human Rights Initiatives
Dolphin Democrats
Equality Florida
Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus
Fight Out Loud
Gay American Heroes
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida
Human Rights Campaign of South Florida
Pride South Florida
Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Sunshine Cathedral MCC
Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives
Unite Fort Lauderdale


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