GREENVILLE, S.C. — On Friday, May 16, 2008 hundreds of LGBT and straight ally community members turned out at Main Street Plaza to celebrate the life of openly gay college student Sean Kennedy, slain in an anti-gay hate crime May 16, 2007.

The crowd joined Kennedy’s mother, Elke Kennedy, in remembering the life and spirit of her son exactly one year after then-19-year-old Stephen Moller punched him in the face. Kennedy’s fall to the ground after Moller’s punch resulted in serious head injuries, causing his death.

Moller was first charged with murder but has since had his charges reduced to involuntary manslaughter.

“What will it take for all of us to get involved?” Kennedy asked the crowd, according to

After Kennedy’s speech, the crowd participated in a march to Liberty Bridge. Participants dropped flowers into Reedy River.

“It simply can no longer be tolerated that people can attack and even kill others with the possibility of walking away with no jail time,” Elke Kennedy said.

5 replies on “Hundreds turn out for Kennedy one year vigil”

  1. Good journalism? Maybe not. States as fact that which has not been proven (i.e., Kennedy’s accidental death as a anti-gay hate crime). FBI and local authorities concluded it was not. A tragic death, yes; a anti-gay hate crime, probably not. Journalism is supposed to be about the facts, and when making such statements as above, objective and fair.

  2. Sorry, Charlie. Outside of homophobic Greenville — i.e., the place where elected officials pass non-binding resolutions against gays and lesbians simply to demonstrate their hatred — people see this crime for what it is. Eyewitnesses said Moller used an anti-gay slur during the attack — sorry, CASE F’n CLOSED! You can argue that this wasn’t a homophobic murder, because I think there probably was no intent to kill on the part of the assailant. HOWEVER this was without a doubt an anti-gay HATE CRIME!

  3. Actually, GLF, the resolution was passed in Greenville County, not the City. Much like the relationship between Asheville and Buncombe County, so is the relationship between Greenville the City and Greenville County.

    I’m not sure how much credibility those “eyewitnesses” carried with investigating officers, who found no reason to call this a ” anti-gay hate crime.” And even if the assailant used a perceived anti-gay slur, so what. I use them occasionally myself but intend no hate-crime by it. And besides, FBI statistics clearly indicate that having “hate crime” categories in terms of enhanced punishments do not reduce the level of occurances. Hate is a bad thing, no doubt, regardless of who it is directed against and one could argue that any violent crime could be classified as a hate crime. My only concern is when the “gay community” or “gay press” start shouting “hate crime” (most often in an attempt at fund raising for some cause) without ascertaining for certain if there was one or not.

  4. So do you think there IS such a thing as a hate crime against a person from the “gay community” and if so, exactly what would have to occur for you to accept it as such?

  5. David Gillespie said:

    “And even if the assailant used a perceived anti-gay slur, so what. I use them occasionally myself but intend no hate-crime by it.”

    The above says it all. No point in taking this any further.

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