Loved ones say young man's killing reflects difficult life gays face in Polk

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Posted on March 13, 2008 - 9:14am by Anonymous.

http://www.lobbytools.com/article.cfm?aid=12215170&keyword=Equality%20Fl...

Loved ones say young man's killing reflects difficult life gays face in Polk
Orlando Sentinel, 3/13/2008

In the after-midnight darkness of March 14, 2007, the blood of 25-year-old Ryan Keith Skipper soaked into the soft dirt as his killers drove away in his new Chevy Aveo.

The killers had dumped his body on an unpaved road in a Polk County neighborhood of mobile homes and 5-acre lots where everybody has a dog, a gun and a few head of livestock.

Skipper's car was found 12 miles from his body on a boat ramp to Lake Pansy in Winter Haven, abandoned and partially burned. The two young men later arrested in his murder were charged with committing a hate crime because they told witnesses Skipper was targeted for being a homosexual.

In the year since his death, Skipper has come to represent to gays in Florida what Matthew Shepard has meant to gays nationwide.

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