TODAY: Brian Sims Hosts a Rally for Gay-Bashing Victims
Today at 2 p.m., State Representative Brian Sims will host an event in Love Park for the two victims of the September 11th gay-bashing in Center City, and to call for hate crime laws that would protect LGBT people in Pennsylvania.
He’s pulled together quite an impressive (and hefty) list of speakers:
Caryn Kunkle, friend of and spokesperson for the victims; Council President Darrell Clarke; Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams; First Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., Philadelphia Police Department; state Rep. Cherelle Parker, chairwoman of the House Philadelphia Delegation; state Sen. Larry Farnese; Councilman Jim Kenney; Ted Martin, executive director, Equality Pennsylvania; Chris Bartlett, executive director, William Way (LGBT) Community Center; Tom Earle, chairperson, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; a representative of the Mazzoni Center, an LGBT health care and wellness facility; Elicia Gonzalez, executive director, GALAEI, an LGBT Latino social justice organization; Sharron Cooks, community organizer and consultant at Making Our Lives Easier LLC.
Sims is serious about getting this law changed. He told us last week that he wants to take the victims in the gay-bashing to Harrisburg to make sure the current laws, which don’t recognize sexual orientation, get changed:
“One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes it takes a horribly negative experience to get people out of their seats, for them to be active and engaged,” says State Representative Brian Sims of his colleagues in Harrisburg. “It’s not necessarily because they’re opposed but because they aren’t aware of the need. So we are going to be sure to utilize this horrible event to make sure that they hear about it. I’m going to be bringing two people with me who will be able to tell them all about it.”
The rally takes place at 2 p.m. at Love Park (1599 John F. Kennedy Boulevard).