Press

Task Force joins mourners in vigils across the U.S. in honor of Jorge Steven López

Date: 
November 22, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Pedro Julio Serrano, Communications Manager
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954
pjserrano@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force joins with mourners who will gather tonight in vigils across the U.S. in honor of Jorge Steven López, a 19-year-old gay man brutally murdered in Puerto Rico in a possible hate crime. For more details on the vigils, click here.

Statement by Pedro Julio Serrano
Communications Manager, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Founder, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s

"The Task Force joins with Jorge Steven's family and with people all across the world to say, 'Homophobia's got to stop and stop now.' I have been in close contact with Jorge Steven's family and after meeting with his parents, Jorge López and Miriam Mercado, I was profoundly moved by their words. Jorge Steven's mother said, 'When my son told me he was gay, I told him, 'Now, I love you more.' I want to tell the world that hatred is not born with human beings, it is a seed that is planted by adults and is fostered creating a climate of intolerance and violence. We must change our ways and understand that anyone could have been my son. And I want everybody to know that Jorge Steven was a very much loved son.'

"'We must change our ways,' as Jorge Steven's mother said. We must understand that love is more powerful than hate, that justice will prevail and that there is hope. We must indeed change our ways. Our lives depend on it."

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

–30–

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.