14th Annual: Vigil for Victims of Hate and Violence
4:00 pm = Sunday, February 19 = 2012
600 Dexter Ave
(Alabama State Capitol)
Montgomery, AL 36130
Friends, sometimes we forget how far we've come.
Next week we remember Billy Jack Gaither who was brutally murdered in Alabama because he was gay. On February 19, 1999 his throat was cut and his body bludgeoned before being thrown on top of a pile of tires and set on fire. He was thirty-nine-years-old and worked at the Russell Athletics apparel company near Sylacauga, Alabama.
Every year since, outraged citizens have assembled on the capitol steps in Montgomery. Join us as we demand more from our legislators. Why? Because lesbian and gay people are the 3rd most targeted victims yet Alabama’s hate crime law still excludes crimes based on orientation and identity. In 14 years have we learned nothing from Billy Jack Gaither?
The event is free & open to the public.
Please RSVP below to assist our planning.
Sam Wolfe - civil rights lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center where he helped launch their nationwide LGBT Rights Project. The project’s legal action has been reported on the front page of The New York Times, CNN Presents, and Anderson Cooper 360. Wolfe was recently recognized as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.
Patricia Todd - associate director of AIDS Alabama and is the first ever openly gay elected official in the state of Alabama. In the legislature, Todd represents District 56 and has focused on issues surrounding poverty and urban living. Unopposed for re-election in 2010, she is serving her second term. Todd also serves as board chair of Equality Alabama.
James Robinson - established GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services after he began a personal search for deeper meaning in his life. Recognizing a greater purpose in his life, he set out to support youth and young adults who are struggling with issues related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sara Couvillon - was told by Hoover High School officials that she couldn't wear a T-shirt that read, "gay? fine by me." The resulting firestorm of media and community support quickly forced the school to reconsider. "It isn't easy being singled out, but if I can give someone else the courage to be who they are then it's worth it to me."