Inlaws & Outlaws

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Hate Crime Victim To Be Memorialized With Screening

charliehoward.jpgOn July 10, activists in Bangor, Maine are marking the 25th anniversary of the hate crime murder of 23-year-old Charlie Howard with a week-long series of events, including a community screening of Inlaws & Outlaws.

On July 7, 1984, Charlie Howard was murdered by three teenagers while walking home with a friend. Taunted and beaten, Charlie was thrown off a bridge into the Kenduskeag Stream twenty feet below. His body was recovered hours later. At the time, many in Bangor tried to downplay the murder, with some essentially blaming Charlie for his own death because he had dared to live as openly gay.

Nonetheless, the untimely death of an innocent man inspired a generation of concerned citizens to fight for hate crimes legislation, and LGBT equality throughout Maine. Author Stephen King lived just down the street from where Howard was murdered and was said to be deeply affected by the tragedy. To this day, citizens of Bangor continue to work towards creating a permanent memorial to Charlie Howard.

While the murder of Howard is a reminder of the difficult work that remains in eradicating homophobia, the week of Charlie Howard Remembered also highlights the enormous progress made in Bangor and throughout Maine. On May 6 of this year, Maine Governor John Elias Baldacci, a native of Bangor, signed legislation making same-sex marriage legal in Maine.

The screening of Inlaws & Outlaws is free and open to the public. It takes place Friday, July 10 at the Hammond Street Congregational Church, UCC. A pizza dinner will begin at 6 pm (admission is just $6), followed by the movie and a discussion.

For details on the film screening, go here. For a moving remembrance of Charlie Howard, and the galvanizing effect it had on many, go here.


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