Vancouver’s West Side was filled with people marching hand in hand waving rainbow flags to show support for Jordan Smith, 27, who was beaten last month in what is being called a gay bashing.
The Join Hands for Justice rally to denounce violence against gays, lesbians, the transgendered and bisexual.started at English Bay ending at the spot where it is alledged that 20-year-old Michael Kandola and four others beat Smith for handing hands with another man.
Smith was hit so hard that he was knocked unconscious. His mouth is still wired shut repairing his jaw broken in three places.
The moderator of the rally Jim Deva asked police chief Jim Chu to hold the rally. Chu agreed and asked to be able to speak at it. Chu walks in Pride Parades every year to show his support for the community.
Chu said that the police department is for changes in legislation that would make it easier for judges to cite hate crimes when they consider sentencing for these type of offences.
Chu said that the gay and lesbian community has his assurance that “we will continue to take your safety seriously.”
“This city values human dignity,” said Chu. “There are a few who commit hate crimes and they will end.”