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Parents of murder victim to urge lawmakers to protect gay kids

The parents of Ryan Keith Skipper, the victim of a gay-hate-crime murder in Polk County, will mark what would have been his 27th birthday Monday by joining others in support of anti-bullying legislation in Tallahassee.

Hate crimes against gays can start with bullying of gay students in high schools, said Brian Winfield, communications director for Equality Florida, a gay civil-rights organization.

“Bullies are the people who grow up to commit hate crimes in early adulthood,” he said.

Skipper was stabbed to death March 14, 2007, his body dumped on an unpaved road and his car burned and abandoned beside a Winter Haven lake. Two men have been charged with his murder.

“Ryan endured bullying in school and endured bullying and harassment afterward. It ultimately ended up with his murder,” said Lynn Mulder, Skipper’s stepfather.

The Safe Schools bill before the Legislature does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity but is a major step in addressing the harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, Winfield said.

The Mulders’ appearance at a noon news conference accompanies a traveling “Gay American Heroes” memorial on display Monday in the state Capitol rotunda. Skipper is profiled among the more than 500 gays who have been killed in hate crimes nationwide.

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Moscow’s mayor bans gay parade, cites violence

The mayor of Moscow said the city will not allow gay Pride marches to take place on this year’s May Day holiday, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday. Mayor Yury Luzhkov has been an opponent of gay pride marches, once calling them “Satan’s work.” A spokesperson for the mayor told reporters that a permit for the parade is being denied because of Russian society’s opposition to the “gay lifestyle and philosophy.” He also said the government wanted to avoid what it assumed would be widespread violence as a reaction to the parade.

Nicolai Alexeyev, the leader of LGBT activist group Gay Russia, has been working to get the mayor to allow the events. An unsanctioned parade in May 2007 to commemorate the decriminalization of homosexuality ended in violent gay bashing by ultranationalists.

“This is not a question of security,” Alexeyev told AFP. “It is only a question of the personal hatred of the Moscow mayor toward gay people.” (The Advocate)

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Lake Cowichan man gets three-month conditional sentence in assault of gay man

Punishments have been handed to a Lake Cowichan father and son charged in connection with the beating of a gay man last fall.

On Wednesday, Judge Bruce Mackenzie ruled James Green would receive a conditional sentence for his role in the attack of Mark Edwards last September.

The following day his son, Lundi Green, entered into a peace bond and was handed a $500 fine.

“Mr. Green is prepared to enter into a peace bond for a period of six months and have no contact with Mr. Edwards,” said his lawyer Scott Sheets.

The peace bond prohibits Lundi from contacting Edwards directly or indirectly.

While the younger Green was not convicted of assaulting Edwards, his father was, and received a three-month conditional sentence as a result of the attack.

That sentence carries 14 conditions and will prohibit James Green from using drugs, alcohol or weapons. He was also handed a curfew for three months that will require him to remain home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Last September, Edwards said he was attacked outside a Lake Cowichan establishment by two men.

He said he was choked, beaten, and suffered a concussion. He suggested the assault was motivated by his sexual orientation.

Harry Potter – Daniel Radcliffe’s nude photo threat

Daniel Radcliffe’s manhood will be protected by security when he makes his Broadway debut.

The ‘Harry Potter’ actor will strip naked in play ‘Equus’ in New York later this year, and theatre bosses are worried audiences may try and sneak cameras in just as some fans did when he starred in the West End version of the play.

Special equipment is now being installed to prevent theatre-goers taking photos of him in the nude.

A source is quoted by Britain’s Daily Star newspaper as saying: “When the show opened in the UK, some rather over-enthusiastic female fans sneaked cameras in to snap Daniel when he strips naked on stage.

“They all wanted pictures to circulate to friends and over the internet so we are bringing in tighter security.”

Bosses are also considering increasing security at the stage door, so the 18-year-old star can arrive and leave safely without being mobbed.

Daniel – who plays young wizard Harry Potter in the big-screen versions of J.K. Rowling’s books – recently confessed he is nervous about making his Broadway debut.

He said: “It will be amazing – but I will be terrified!”

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