Crime | News | South Carolina

Hundreds Attend Vigil for Slain South Carolina Gay Man

Sean_kennedy

According to Greenville Online, the FBI is still reviewing the murder of Sean Kennedy in South Carolina to determine whether or not to classify it as a hate crime.

On Sunday, hundreds of area residents held a vigil in the young man's honor. Kennedy was killed on May 16th after Andrew Moller jumped out of a car outside Brew's Bar and punched Kennedy to the ground. He died of his injuries 17 hours later.

Organizers hoped the vigil would draw attention to the need for hate crimes laws in both South Carolina and nationally.

KennedySean's mother, Elke Kennedy, spoke at the vigil as did Beth Stroud, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Upstate. Said Stroud: "No one is safe from hatred until everyone is equally valued as a human being and equally protected under the law."

According to Greenville Online, Scott Henderson, clerk of the Greenville Quaker Meeting, condemned a county resolution passed a decade ago: "[Henderson] said the community ought to repudiate 'the hateful resolution that stands on the books today that was passed by the Greenville County Council more than 10 years ago.' The council voted 9-3 in 1996 to pass a resolution saying homosexuality was incompatible with community standards. 'We must create a society in which love, not hate, is supreme,' Henderson said."

Moller, charged with murder, is currently being held at the Greenville County Detention Center.

UPDATE: A foundation has been created in memory of Sean Kennedy to help raise awareness and support legislation that prosecutes hate crimes based on sexual orientation.

Sean's Last Wish [official site]
More than 200 attend candlelight vigil [greenville online]
Vigil For Slain Gay Man Pushes For Hate Crime Law [wyff]
(image: greenville online)

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SC Hate Crime: Mother of Sean Kennedy Speaks Out [tr]
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Comments

  1. It was nice of the Quakers to stand vigil.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jun 4, 2007 1:45:01 PM


  2. I lived in Gville in 1996 and it was this resolution that caused the city to have the Atlanta Olympic torch bypass Greenville, and, more importantly from a financial perspective, caused the national Tour du Pont bike race, which brought in a ton of money, to cancel the Greenville leg in 1997.

    Posted by: Greg | Jun 4, 2007 1:49:58 PM


  3. If I am not mistaken, I thought that was off the books now. Or maybe just Greenville City took it off. I could be wrong.

    Either way, glad to see so much attention getting paid to this incident. I doubt it will be classified as a hate crime due to a lack of strong evidence plus lack of legislation. At least people are talking about it.

    Posted by: scott | Jun 4, 2007 2:03:46 PM


  4. If I am not mistaken, I thought that was off the books now. Or maybe just Greenville City took it off. I could be wrong.

    Either way, glad to see so much attention getting paid to this incident. I doubt it will be classified as a hate crime due to a lack of strong evidence plus lack of legislation. At least people are talking about it.

    Posted by: scott | Jun 4, 2007 2:03:58 PM


  5. It's nice to see so many people turn out for this. Maybe this tragedy will change some hearts in my old home state.

    Posted by: sam | Jun 4, 2007 2:08:12 PM


  6. I live in Spartanburg, about 25 miles from Greenville. Believe me, this incident and the vigil were barely even mentioned in the local media. Especially after the incident happened, it was mentioned for maybe a day and then it was over.

    Posted by: Jay | Jun 4, 2007 2:45:20 PM


  7. Actually Jay, I live in Greenville and I saw the story last night on Fox news at 10:00. CBS news (wspa) had it has their top story and did a lengthy segment on it, including a previous sit down interview with Sean's mother. Greenvilleonline had it as their 2nd top story earlier today with pictures. This story has actually received a lot of attention in Greenville.

    Posted by: scott | Jun 4, 2007 3:06:53 PM


  8. Every time I see a different photo of this poor kid, my heart sinks. He looks so kind and full of joy in each of them. RIP

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 4, 2007 3:19:55 PM


  9. Also check out...http://www.seanslastwish.com/.

    Posted by: scott | Jun 4, 2007 3:51:44 PM


  10. Yeah, he was just at an age when he might have gone surfin' with some dudes, a la the video here. That he missed out on and much else.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jun 4, 2007 4:08:14 PM


  11. i stand corrected. guess i haven't been watching the news at the right time.

    Posted by: Jay | Jun 4, 2007 5:40:58 PM


  12. I'm glad this is getting some attention. But when are people going to face up to the reality of hate crimes? You can pass all the laws or ordinences you want, you can have vigils all day and all night, 24/7, you can deplore and angonise yourself to death......but you can't stop a person who wants to kill another from doing it, and to kill ANY human, for ANY reason is a hate crime....period!!!!
    These people who kill or assult others simply because of their skin colour, or sexuality or religion, are NOT going to be deterred one single bit by all the hate crime laws in the world. Laws don't stop crimes, all they do is make it known what are considered to be crimes......or what will happen to you if you commit a crime.....but they can't change thought or minds....
    Sometimes I feel like I wish they would repeal all the hate crime statuetes.....why??......because I want to know who the haters are, so that I can avoid them, or neutrlize them in some way, or isolate them....hate crime laws only make them go undercover.....then we don't know who they are until they kill or assault.

    Posted by: Joshua | Jun 4, 2007 6:29:58 PM


  13. I think the killer will have a whole new perspective on gayness—particularly gay sex—once he arrives in jail.

    Posted by: dcn | Jun 5, 2007 12:56:46 AM


  14. What gets me is they are still considering whether or not to completely classify this as a true hate crime. What part of the whole story does the goverment not understand? Regardless of it's true nature, the man took an innocent life away from his family. He needs to pay! I hope he likes Prison sex!

    Posted by: Benjamin | Jun 5, 2007 5:25:38 AM


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