Police now say they have “no evidence to suggest” the shooting of a teenage lesbian couple in South Texas last weekend was an anti-gay hate crime, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
However, that hasn’t stopped LGBT advocates and others from planning vigils across the state and nation this weekend for the two women.
Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, died at the scene, and Mary Christine Chapa, 18, is in stable condition after both were shot in the head at a bayside park in Portland, Texas, late Friday or early Saturday. Friends say the couple had been together for five months.
“Whether or not it was a hate crime, it was a crime against humanity, and for that reason alone we must stand up as humans family and support all who are in mourning,” said Michael Diviesti, co-state lead organizer for the LGBT direct action group GetEQUAL Texas. “When something like this happens to one of us, it happens to all of us.”
GetEQUAL Texas is planning vigils in Dallas and San Antonio for the couple, who will also be remembered Friday night at the park where they were shot in Portland — and at events from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. this weekend. For a full list, go here. The Dallas vigil will be at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Legacy of Love Monument, at Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road.
“Join the Dallas LGBT Community … as we show our response to this senseless violence against such young members of our community, not anger or violence of our own, but by an outpouring of love for these young women and their families,” wrote Daniel Cates, North Texas coordinator for GetEQUAL. “It is our goal to cover the Legacy of Love Monument with our own expressions of love. The community is encouraged to bring flowers to lay upon the monument steps, candles, letters and any other expressions of love and peace and respect for these young girls. GetEQUAL TX will provide 2 Rainbow Flags where members of the Dallas community can write personal messages — one will be sent to the family of Mollie and the other to Kristene in hopes of a full and speedy recovery.”
Equality Texas and the Human Rights Campaign issued a joint statement Tuesday urging local law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Justice to continue their investigation of the shooting. The statement said HRC has reached out to Portland police, the DOJ and the FBI.
“I want to express my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific crime,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Two young lesbian women were shot and one lost her life. Regardless of the motivation behind this tragedy, we must send a strong message that violence against anyone is never acceptable. We have reached out to law enforcement officials at both the federal and local level, and hope to see a thorough investigation. These women, and all victims of violent crimes, deserve nothing less.”
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