LGBT Die-In Leaves Mark At Capitol

Activists hit the pavement tonight to discourage homophobia and show their support for this session’s anti-cyber-bullying legislation.

Queer Texas United, an organization dedicated to equal rights for the LGBT community, hosted a rally at the south gate of the Capitol, where about 50 people lay down on the cold concrete steps to “die in” (rather than sit in), each representing a victim of a hate crime or someone who had committed suicide in the last two years due to bullying. As victims’ names were read off, rally organizers traced each person on the sidewalk, leaving a message for legislators to find tomorrow morning.

Specifically, activists gathered to support Democratic Rep. Mark Strama’s House Bill 224 and Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis’ Senate Bill 245, both of which address cyber-bullying in public schools. But they plan to reach all the legislators this session.

“This issue is about more than schools, this is about life and death,” rally organizer Reuben Haylett told attendees over a megaphone. “This is about our government, communities and our families recognizing the value of young lives.”

Rep. Joe Farias, D-San Antonio, made a guest appearance toward the end of the rally to show his support as well.

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Alexa Garcia-Ditta is a staff writer (and former intern) covering women's health, reproductive health and health care access.

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