Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hate Crime Vigil Draws Large Crowd

The candlelight vigil in response to the recent hate crime in Lowell drew a crowd of over 100 supporters. The vigil was held at St. Anne's church in downtown Lowell.

Speakers included Lowell Mayor William Martin, City Counselor Eileen Donoghue, State Senator Steve Panagiotakos, and Father
Ramón Aymerich. The speakers all touched on the subject of combating violence against LGBT members of the community.

Marianne Gries, a Lowell resident and former MassEquality employee, took these pictures of the vigil.


At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will someone tell Senator Steve Pangiotakis that a sleaze is always a sleaze no matter how well-pressed and coiffed he appears? I was one of many at last night's St. Anne's vigil for gay-bash victim James Nickola, who was beaten up this past weekend by three young thugs because he is gay. Everyone there stood in solidarity, holding candles, singing songs, saying prayers, with Nickola in attendence visibly somber with a stitched-up lip. And who should show up to speak to the gathered crowd? Why, Steve Pangiotakis. This is the same politician who vehemently opposes gay marriage and gay civil unions, who has been quite open about his disdain over the fight for this long-overdue civil right. And, now, there he was, in his natty suit and carefully cultivated haircut like a two-bit henchman from "The Sopranos," working the crowd with his talk of violence and unity, in the midst of gay men and women who may possibly not be able to sanctify their own personal relationships because of his bigoted views on gay marriage. This hallowed event was besmirched by the presence of a politician who is both self-conscious with no conscience.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Fumi said...

I agree that Sen. Pangiotakis is one of ,if not the most, the most homophobic voters at ConCon.

That's why I think it's a integral step to sway the enemy on board for the hate crime bill that will include protection for transgender.

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I attended the vigil last night to show my concern for the terrible hate crime which was committed against this individual. I was appalled, however, to see Senator Panagiatakos there as someone speaking about hatred in Massachusetts. His voting record and speeches clearly indicate that he is not a friend of this community. I approached him after the speech and asked if he was a vehement opponent to same-sex marriage and he nastly replied, "You bet I am." He then indicated to me that his only reason for attending was to garner votes. Of course, Channel 7 and 25 were filming and this media pig was allowed the podium to present a lie to the voters of this commonwealth. I understand that we are a welcoming community but I fail to understand how someone who is so opposed to gay rights could take stage at this event.


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