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Protest Vigil at Merlo Library June 20, 2006

Thanks to the efforts of Deacon Rob Hadley of the Good Shepherd Parish of the Metropolitan Community Church, we have photos of our June 20th vigil protesting the arson attack on the Merlo Public Library’s Lesbian and Gay collection. The Tribune, Red Eye, Pioneer Press, and channels 2, 5, 7, 9, 32 and 66 covered the event, helping send our stop gay-bashing message that much farther.

With many more people out of the closet in public during Pride weekend and next month’s Gay Games, it is particularly important to send a loud message NOW against hate violence. Violence against LGBT people typically spikes during big public events like these.

We appreciate the solidarity we received from other groups participating in Tuesday’s protest, including Black LGBT & Allies For Equality and Chicago ANSWER. Finally, thank you also to all who donated books! Due to your generosity, we gathered two full big boxes of books to donate to Merlo and the Gerber Hart Libraries.

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On a sad note, today we learned from the Chicago Free Press that Jermaine Robinson, a 31-year-old gay man, was severely beaten on the northwest side of the city outside of Club Mambo, a place on Milwaukee Avenue which has a “gay night” on Thursdays. Four or five attackers beat him with baseball bats while calling him “faggot” and other slurs. Robinson said that police officers told his boyfriend “that there have been five other similar bashings near Club Mambo in recent weeks,” said the Free Press.

GLN is attempting to initiate a conversation with Mr. Robinson to see what we might be able to do to help him and address the issue of anti-gay hate around Club Mambo.

Burned Gay & Lesbian Books from Merlo Public Library

Andy Thayer



Bob Schwartz


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