NOTE: MEMORIAL SITE FOR LAWRENCE KING HERE
If you have been reading some of the other LGBT news blogs or any gay media you probably have read about the tragic death of Lawrence King (pictured) on Tuesday, February 12th in Oxnard, California.
King, who was only 15 years of age, was shot to death by a 14 year old classmate at the E.O. Green Junior High School aparently as a result of anti-gay sentiments brought up by King's incresed openness about his sexuality and his willingness to dress in ways that challenged perceptions of gender (it makes me wonder about the sort of environment in which the teen that shot King was brought up).
The Los Angeles Times has followed the story with incredibly moving pieces (here, here and here) with the New York Times finally devoting some extensive coverage earlier today (San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter has also had extensive coverage).
Personally, I have been following the developments and wondering if the presidential candidates might speak to this terrible killing.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama released the following statements within the last 24 hours:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2008
Contact: Obama Press Office; (312) 819-2423
Statement on the Death of Lawrence King
Chicago, IL – Barack Obama today released the following statement on the death of Lawrence King.
“It was heartbreaking to learn about Lawrence King’s death, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. King’s senseless death is a tragic example of the corrosive effect that bigotry and fear can have in our society. It’s also an urgent reminder that we need to do more in our schools to foster tolerance and an acceptance of diversity; that we must enact a federal hate crimes law that protects all LGBT Americans; and that we must recommit ourselves to becoming active and engaged parents, citizens and neighbors, so that bias and bigotry cannot take hold in the first place. We all have a responsibility to help this nation live up to its founding promise of equality for all. “
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2008
Contact: Press Office, 703-875-1271
Statement From Hillary Clinton
On The Memorials For Lawrence King
“I was deeply saddened by the recent death of 15-year-old Lawrence King who was killed at his school in Oxnard, CA. No one should face intimidation or violence, particularly at school, because of their sexual orientation or the way they express their gender identity.
“We must finally enact a federal hate crimes law to ensure that gay, lesbian and transgender Americans are protected against violent, bias-motivated crimes. We must send a unified message that hate-based crime will not be tolerated.”