A group of gay and lesbian activists in Savannah is speaking out in the wake of a gay man who was beaten over the weekend, calling on city officials to take action.
Kevin Clark, a longtime board member of Georgia Equality who directs its Savannah chapter, issued an open letter on Tuesday. The four-paragraph letter is a public response to the beating of Kieran Daly, 26, early Saturday. Two Marines have been charged in the case and the FBI has opened a preliminary inquiry into the case as Savannah police continue their investigation.
Clark and other activists are planning a rally for 2 p.m. on Sunday in Johnson Square in downtown Savannah. Clark signed the letter along with Jesse Morgan from First City Network, Laura Cahil from Armstrong Atlantic State University, and Charlene Aldron and Tracy DuBois from MEGA Families-Savannah Chapter.
The full letter:
Another tragic beating has occurred in the historic district, leaving a 26 year old gay man unconscious and suffering from seizures and bruises to the brain. The alleged perpetrators ran away after the attack and when apprehended told police a version of the attack that did not match witness accounts. The cowards struck the victim in the back of the head as he was walking away. They were charged with a misdemeanor and released to military police, while the victim lies in the hospital.
Savannah has an unfortunate history of gay assaults in the historic district and, worse yet, a history of its leaders – including those in law enforcement, City Hall, in the business community and in the military – turning a blind eye to the violence. Nothing has changed in over 30 years!
We find it ironic that money is being spent to attract creative and high tech business, while a broader message is being sent that if you are educated, creative and gay, there’s a chance you will be assaulted, and that Savannah’s leaders will avert their eyes.
We expect city leaders to hold the attackers accountable for their actions.