Dear Members and Supporters,
I was in Shreveport recently to interview a candidate to become our North Louisiana field director. During my visit, I also met with the leaders of People Acting For Change and Equality (PACE), an organization the Forum For Equality helped launch in Shreveport a few years ago.
P.A.C.E. leaders told me the story of John Skaggs, a 52-year-old gay man who was brutally attacked with a pool cue at a downtown bar two days before. John ended up in the hospital and was being scheduled for extensive maxillofacial surgery. Fractures to his face could cause loss of vision and other long term physical impairments, not to mention the psychological consequences of such a trauma.
John’s attacker has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and the commission of a hate crime. Ironically, this crime happened in a city where the Forum, P.A.C.E., and other progressive organizations teamed up more than a year ago to educate the mayor and city officials about the need to adopt laws protecting LGBT people. In addition, you might want to know that anti-gay hate crimes are on the rise, according to statistics recently released by the FBI.