Saturday, June 28, 2008

Community Vigil for Flagstaff Hate Crimes Victims, June 29

FLAGSTAFF - Equality Arizona will be holding a vigil for last Sunday's anti-Gay hate crime in downtown Flagstaff this coming Sunday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. in front of Flagstaff City Hall on the corner of Rt. 66 and Humphreys Street. The vigil will begin at City Hall. Participants will walk north up the sidewalk along Humphreys Street, turn right on Aspen Street, and walk on the sidewalk several blocks to the corner of San Francisco and Aspen where the assault occurred, and then proceed back to City Hall along San Francisco and Rt. 66.

Event supporters include First Congregational Church of Flagstaff-UCC, Coconino County Democratic Party, Northern Arizona Pride Association, Friends of Flagstaff's Future, Planned Parenthood of Arizona and PFLAG Flagstaff. Vigil speakers include: Rev. Bill Guise of FCCF-UCC, PFLAG Flagstaff President Georgia Duncan, Northern Arizona Pride Association President Kat Jim, and Friends of Flagstaff's Future Board Member Shelley Silbert.

Please join us to show the community that Flagstaff residents stand firmly against hate violence and that we support LGBT friends, family, neighbors, visitors, and co-workers. Hate crimes affect everyone, not just the victims, by creating a climate of fear and intimidation.

As Equality Arizona Executive Director Barbara McCullough-Jones says, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand with them and the Flagstaff community in calling for justice in this case. Equality Arizona will continue to partner with city leaders to create an environment where everyone who visits, lives or works in Flagstaff is safe and free from bias and discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression."

We will provide a limited supply of candles for vigil participants. Feel free to bring your own candles and signs that express words of encouragement for the victims, support for the LGBT community and expressions against hate violence of any kind. Rainbow flags, peace flags and other colorful items are also encouraged. Flagstaff police officers will be present to provide security. Equality Arizona volunteers will be wearing safety vests and reminding people to stay on the sidewalk during the march and obey all traffic laws

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