Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ray Taavel murdered in Halifax for being gay 4/17/2012

I'm literally too upset and angry to even write a reasonable and sensible blog tonight, but it has to be mentioned that one of the primary gay rights activists in Halifax was murdered early this morning in a violent hate-crime attack by a man who was heard shouting out homophobic slurs as he literally beat Ray to death.  Ray had worked with Halifax Pride as well as Wayves Magazine - two of Eastern Canada's best-known LGBT community organizations. 

The perpetrator if this crime, Andre Denny, has a history of violent attacks. He was actually deemed not-guilty of a recent assault causing bodily harm due to being 'not criminally responsible' because of a mental illness. Andre was currently being institutionalized for mental-illness issues, but for reasons not yet clear, he was released from custody on a 'one hour pass'. rather than return to the hospital, he committed this murder. This raises serious questions about the health care system and justice system in Nova Scotia.  As sad as this crime is, to think it was potentially caused indirectly due to negligence of government employees, makes it an even more bitter pill to swallow.

While I did not know Ray, I have many good friends who knew him, worked with him, and loved him. Many of my friends are hurting tonight, and I hurt for them, and I hurt for my hometown of Halifax, where I literally lived and grew up in during the 1970s. A vigil is planned for tonight in Halifax to remember Ray's amazing life, and to publicly express concern over the inequalities and safety issues the LGBT community still faces in Canada these days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX_P6JXHmX4 here is my vlog today, where I discuss this issue, as well as several other hate crimes that have happened in our lovely planet this week.

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