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Strong Turnout at Anti-Hate Rally for Ontario Gay Bashing Victim


More than 1,500 people turned out for a vigil on Friday night in Thunder Bay, Ontario in response to the brutal beating of Jake Raynard (above), who was attacked with his friends outside a bar by a group of men last Saturday. Raynard sustained 15 cheekbone fractures, a broken jaw, eye socket, and upper palate, while helping his friends escape into a cab. Those responsible, who made remarks about Raynard's sexual orientation during the attack, have not been caught.

Raynard12 TBNewswatch reports: "After an initial speech by Raynard, the crowd walked from Waverly Park, down Camelot Street to North Cumberland Street where the attack took place and up Red River Road back to the park...The event had eight speakers including Raynard. They ranged from union leaders to church ministers. Speaker Louise McKissick said it’s time for Thunder Bay to undergo a transformation. "Anger transformed into action can change things," said McKissick. "We need a community where diversity is not just tolerated but celebrated." Raynard said the next step for him after resting and healing is to advocate for several initiatives including an increased police presence in the North downtown core."

A great video report on the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. One of these days, just one of these days, we've got to read about a gay guy and his buddies turning around and beating the hell out of their attackers. Why are we never hearing about these events? At some point Gay men are going to have to learn to walk prepared for an attack. Should the have to? You know the answer. WILL THEY HAVE TO? Yes.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 12, 2009 9:06:34 PM

  2. You know those gay friends you have who just don't care?....who just don't care about "gay marriage" or "the cause" or "our agenda".....they will face a day when they realize, it's NOT an option to care or not to care, to protest or not to protest, or to be passionate or not. It's a matter of standing up not only for our rights, but the happiness and SAFETY of the next generation of gays who are depending on us to pave theway for a road full of equality. It's our responsibility as every gay person in this world to be active....great or small, any way we can, to influence, educated and create positive change TODAY.

    Posted by: Bayley | Sep 13, 2009 1:17:32 AM

  3. i am with Sargon Bighorn. i keep thinking the same thing. one of these days, someone or a group is finally going to have had enough or will be prepared and it will not be pretty.

    that or a riot will break out. there seems to be a sudden rise on raids and attacks on gay people, gay bars. If and when someone fights back, i will root for them. there is only so much anyone can take.

    Posted by: Gary | Sep 13, 2009 12:03:40 PM

  4. 1500? That's quite a turn-out. You'd be hard-pressed to get that even in a big city, let alone Thunder Bay. How many were from the Thunder Bay 'community' and how many were 'outsiders'?

    Sorry to be so cynical.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Sep 13, 2009 12:23:42 PM

  5. That's an amazing turnout for a city like Thunder Bay.

    What would I do if I was attacked? I'd call the police. I'm not sure what Sargon Bighorn is trying to say, but it smells vaguely of vigilantism. And yes, let's all root for riots. Those always turn out well. I understand that things like this make the gay community angry (and it makes me a bit angry too, I'm not a complete robot) but violence is obviously not the answer to violence. I've thought about doing terrible things to the people that mugged me but if I ever saw them I'd rather carefully make sure they went to jail instead of going all Kill Bill on them.

    Posted by: Eric | Sep 13, 2009 1:22:13 PM

  6. this is so sad. i pray that this young man heals in body and in soul. it's so sad. more power to him for refusing to disappear!

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Sep 13, 2009 10:40:16 PM

  7. Thunder Bay is geographically isolated. It is four hours away from Deluth, a good days drive away from the Toronto area. So what you see in the video are pretty much all northern Ontarians.

    All I can say to the vigilantes on this threat is why not listen again to the speakers. Vigilantism is not what Jake Reynard wants.

    Posted by: David | Sep 14, 2009 9:28:26 AM

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