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Gay Man Stabbed, Left Paralyzed In Nova Scotia Attack


A gay man was violently attacked in the street early Saturday morning by a man who had been at the same Nova Scotia bar he was in earlier that night. Choir director Scott Jones' throat slashed and he was stabbed in the back, the knife severing his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Police made an arrest in the attack late last night.

The CBC reports:

GayshanePolice said Shane Edward Matheson, 19, of Trenton, N.S. is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, in the violent attack on 27-year-old Scott Jones early Saturday morning. The accused was arrested without incident at a home on High Street in Trenton at 11 p.m. AT on Saturday. 

Matheson is facing another charge of assault with a weapon for an incident earlier in the evening against an 18-year-old woman. New Glasgow police Const. Ken Macdonald said that charge is unrelated to the attack on Jones, which happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Jones' friend and roommate Amy Punke said she and Jones were out with friends celebrating the opening of a friend’s art studio. Though she didn’t witness the attack, Punke has been speaking to Jones, who remains in critical but stable condition in a Halifax hospital.

Jones' friends suspect a hate crime:

“Myself, and his family and the people that know him, we feel that he may have been targeted because of the fact that he’s gay — and he’s openly gay in town,” said Punke in an interview with CBC News on Saturday.

Police still are not commenting in the allegations the attack was motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation. They said they are still speaking to witnesses.

Watch a CBC news clip, AFTER THE JUMP.

This post has been updated to include the correct location of the crime.

Continue reading "Gay Man Stabbed, Left Paralyzed In Nova Scotia Attack" »

Nova Scotia Newspaper Runs Prank Wedding Announcement Featuring Two Straight Guys


Someone decided it would be funny to send an announcement to Halifax's The Chronicle Herald regarding the wedding of Bobby Cooper and Russell Rogers. Unfortunately, Cooper and Rogers are straight and not getting married. The newspaper, unfortunately, never checked:

Bobby Cooper, one of the men featured in the announcement, issued a statement lashing out at the "prank."
"The announcement was placed as a poorly thought out prank from a friend that I feel should not have been approved by the staff at The Chronicle Herald without checking with one of us first,” Cooper said in the statement.

“I am a strong proponent of equal marriage rights for the LGBT community, and hate having my name involved in a prank that could possibly be perceived as making a mockery of something that the community had to fight towards for so long in Canada."

Cooper was not the only one to take offense at the ad. Leaders of the Halifax gay community were also unimpressed.

“I think it’s stupid. I think it’s childish. I think it’s lame,” said Halifax Pride spokesperson Neville MacKay.

Hundreds Mourn Canadian Gay Activist Killed in Brutal Beating: VIDEO


Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil in Halifax, Nova Scotia in honor of 49-year-old Raymond Taavel (pictured, below), a Canadian gay activist who was brutally beaten by a schizophrenic on unescorted one-hour leave from a psychiatric hospital this week.

TaavelAndre Noel Denny, 32, used anti-gay slurs during the attack, and authorities are determining the murder's status as a hate crime. Denny is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder.

The National Post reports:

According to court documents, Mr. Denny was found not criminally responsible for a “variety of offences” on Sept. 1 and 2, 2009, including uttering threats, causing unnecessary injury to a dog, possession of stolen property (the dog) and breach of probation. Court documents also indicate he has “a long history of schizophrenia, paranoid subtype, coupled with a substance abuse problem.” Police could not confirm reports the suspect yelled gay slurs at Mr. Taavel, but say they are “considering all possibilities” with respect to a motive.

To the man who worked beside Mr. Taavel for 13 years, the activist was a passionate “activist without anger.”

“He had a lovely, joyous presence,” said Barry Boyce, a senior editor who worked with Mr. Taavel at Shambhala Sun magazine in Halifax. “You couldn’t stay mad at him for more than 35 seconds” he told the National Post, his voice shaking. “He was a real sweet guy.”

Denny570 News adds:

The lawyer for a man accused in the death of a prominent activist in Halifax's gay community says his client should not have been released from a local psychiatric facility. Pavel Boubnov said outside provincial court that Andre Noel Denny should not have been granted a one-hour pass Monday night from the East Coast Forensic Unit. Boubnov says Denny, who is scheduled to appear in court later today on a charge of second-degree murder, is afraid and wants to return to the psychiatric unit.

Watch CBC's report on the attack and vigil plus a few moments from the vigil including a speech from Boyce, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hundreds Mourn Canadian Gay Activist Killed in Brutal Beating: VIDEO" »

Canadian Activist Beaten to Death Outside Halifax Gay Bar

A psychiatric patient "suffering from paranoid schizophrenia" is in police custody and is expected to be charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Raymond Taavel, a Halifax, Nova Scotia gay activist, CBC reports:

TaavelRyan Raymond Taavel was former chairman of Gay Pride week events and a well-known editor for Wayves magizine. He also worked for the Shambala Sun Magazine. A vigil is being organized in his honour Tuesday night.

He was found lying in the street bleeding at 2:39 a.m. local time by a passing motorist who called Halifax Regional Police. Taavel died at the scene.

He and a friend had just left Menz Bar, a popular Halifax gay bar, when they got into an argument and fight with a much larger man. Two witnesses have told police the attacker used homophobic slurs during the beating and one eye witness told CBC News that he repeatedly slammed Taavel's head into the street where the victim was found by police and later pronounced dead by paramedics.

A witness, who only wants to be identified as James, told CBC News that he saw a large man attack two smaller men, who appeared to be friends. One victim fled and the attacker then slammed the other man's head into the street.

Taavel's attacker was reportedly on unescorted leave from a psychiatric hospital.

More at Halifax newspaper The Coast.

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