Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jorge and Will: Tragedy and Hope - by: Kate Kendell - The Bilerico Project

This week two stories collided: The story of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado and the story of Will Phillips. On November 14 the decapitated, dismembered, and burned body of Jorge Steven Lopez was found by the side of the road in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Jorge was 19 and openly gay. He was much loved by his wide circle of friends. He was handsome and hopeful. He had his whole life ahead of him.

While Puerto Rico does not have any history of prosecuting hate crimes, it is clear to many that there is no other explanation for the savagery of Jorge's murder. The response of the police agent investigating the crime betrayed an appalling level of homophobia and bigotry. In a televised statement, the investigator noted that "people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen." This so-called "investigator" should be fired and never allowed to wear a uniform which implies he protects anyone, ever.

It is impossible to imagine the pain of Jorge's family and friends. The shock of his murder has stunned the LGBT community in Puerto Rico. Jorge's murder is the direct result of prejudice, ignorance, and bigotry that still dominate life for so many LGBT people around the globe. For many, daily insults, fear, and brutality are a way of life. Compounding this untenable situation is the fact that the very officials empowered to protect our LGBT brothers and sisters either turn a blind eye, are complicit in the terror, or actually perpetrate the attacks. Hearing these stories is almost more than a heart can bear.

On the day I heard about Jorge's horrific killing, I also read the story of Will Phillips. Read complete article – by Kate Kendell The Bilerico Project

Related links:

DISMEMBERED BODY of 19-year-old college student Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado - SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -> Benedict XVI & His Hierarchy RESPONSIBLE

Will Phillips Arkansas Fifth Grader Refuses to Pledge Allegiance until LGBT people are Equal – planetransgender – Kelli Busey

A boy and his flag - Why Will won’t pledge. By David Koon Arkansas Times

Gruesome murder of gay teen in Puerto Rico

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