Press release from Waymon Hudson of Florida’s Fight OUT Loud:
Fight OUT Loud is very disturbed to learn of the recent string of anti-gay crimes in Broward County. First, there was the senseless murder of 17 year-old Simmie Williams Jr, which Police are investigating as a possible hate crime based on his sexual orientation or gender identity. Then, a gay couple was brutally attacked and gay-bashed in the popular tourist area of Las Olas Blvd while having anti-gay slurs screamed at them.
These events point to a very unsettling trend in South Florida. There seems to be an atmosphere of intolerance being created in South Florida. We at Fight OUT Loud cannot help but see the connection between the virulent anti-gay rhetoric of people like Jim Naugle and the Florida4Marriage group and wonder if their continued demonization of the LGBT community is leading to this increase in anti-gay violence. The dangerous, hate-filled words of these people have inflamed violence against innocent members of our community and must not go unchallenged.
Join the coalition of community leaders and organizations 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.
Yesterday the bashing victim from the Floridian diner incident blamed Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for inciting hatred of gays. The police have not made an arrest in the attack.