20-year-old Sean Kennedy: another young gay man beaten to death

Matthew Shepherd isn’t the only victim. Laramie isn’t the only killing field.

Pray hard. Educate well. Wish I had more to say.

A Message
From the Moderator’s Office
of Metropolitan Community Churches

__________________________________

June 1, 2007

Dear Friend:

I’m writing today to invite you to reach out with a word of love and encouragement.

Let me explain…

Just two weeks ago, 20-year old Sean Kennedy of Greenville, South Carolina was enjoying an evening out with friends. His friends and family describe him as happy, loving, energetic, personable, friendly, and caring.

As Sean left a “teen night” event at a local gay bar, a car pulled up, a young man hopped out, and Sean was beaten by an 18-year old in yet another senseless anti-gay hate crime.

Sean died the next day from injuries he received in that attack.

I was deeply saddened by Sean’s tragic death, and I was also deeply touched by the words of Sean’s mother, Elke Kennedy.

Listen to what she told a local TV station:

“When Sean told me he was gay, he said, ‘Mom, I understand if you don’t want to love me any more.’ And I told him there is nothing, ever, that you can do to make me stop loving him.” Then she added, “If your son or daughter is different, you need to support them for who they really need to be.”

So today, I’m simply writing to invite you to share your love and condolences with this mother, who loved her gay son so beautifully and unconditionally. Will you send her a word of encouragement and let her know she is in our prayers during her time of sadness and loss?

Notes and cards may be sent to her by postal mail at: Elke Kennedy, 7 Brandywine Court, Greenville, SC 29615. You may send e-mails to Elke at elke445@yahoo.com.

One more note:

On Sunday evening, June 3, a public vigil will take place in Greenville to honor Sean’s life. This vigil is being organized by Rev. Donna Stroud, pastor of MCC of the Upstate, along with other religious leaders and political groups, and Sean’s family will be present.

Below, I am including a copy of a public statement by Rev. Elder Arlene Ackerman and myself which will be read at the vigil.

Won’t you join me in prayers that this vigil, along with the public attention it will receive, will help to motivate the state legislature to adopt a hate crimes bill? South Carolina is one of only four U.S. states that has never adopted any type of hate crimes law.

Thank you for taking a moment to respond to this request, and thank you for the many ways you share God’s unconditional love every day. “By your love for one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” (The words of Jesus, from the Gospel of John 13:35)

Grace and peace,

~Nancy

Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

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