Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for February, 2009

Candlelight Vigil for Simmie Williams

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2009
Simmie Williams, Jr.

Simmie Williams, Jr.

A candlelight vigil was held Sunday in Fort Lauderdale for Simmie Williams, Jr., who was shot to death exactly one year ago. Simmie was dressed in drag when he was shot down. He was seventeen. Despite a $5,000 reward, no arrests have been made in the case. Denise King, Simmie’s mother, spoke at the event:

“When you look at it, it could happen again,” King said. “And it’s going to be somebody else’s child and they will want somebody to step up, you know, and speak and tell what they want.”

More Violence in Ft. Lauderdale

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2008

Simmie WilliamsSimmie Williams Jr., 17, was shot and killed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl as week ago. He was dressed in drag when he was shot on February 22. He died later at Broward General Medical Center. Police are still investigating.

Melbourne BrunnerThe following evening, a gay couple was attacked and beaten at an outdoor restaurant. A man walked past their table when Melbourne Brunner’s partner, Mitchell Mart, said “Good morning.” Moments later, the man returned, yelling, “Are you looking at me, you faggot? You know what I do to faggots? I break their necks!” The couple asked for their check and left. They were attacked as they were getting into their car.

On Thursday, community LGBT leaders gathered for a vigil for Simmie Williams and called for an end to violence against gays and lesbians. Following the vigil, about 120 people, including Melbourne Brunner, gathered at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Fort Lauderdale for a forum to discuss the attacks.

Last summer, Ft. Lauderdale’s mayor Jim Naugle ratcheted up local anti-gay sentiments by hyping the epidemic of sex in public restrooms — an “epidemic” which local police say simply doesn’t exist.