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Gay Man Beaten and Burned to Death in Scotland

Gay Man Beaten and Burned to Death in Scotland

In the early hours of Saturday morning the body of 28-year-old gay hotel manager Stuart Walker was found tied to a lamppost in the small town of Cumnock, Scotland.

Reports are that he had been ‘horrifically’ beaten and burned; police said it was not yet clear if he was dead when his body was set on fire.

He was last seen at 2:30 am after being out with friends, and his body was found at 5 am.

Local police say that they have not ruled out a homophobic motive for his murder.

A spokeswoman said:

“In terms of claims of his sexuality and lifestyle we are not ruling out any aspect of his life to try and identify why someone would want to kill him.”

A tribute Facebook page was set up on Sunday morning and many people who knew him have been leaving messages paying tribute to his good humor. A tribute video was also quickly produced by a friend.

Although a number of reports on social media early on Sunday pointed to the possible homophobic motive, newspapers were slow in covering this aspect and on BBC Scotland on Sunday night the murder was the fourth story — with no mention of the possible motive, as was also the case in other media coverage.

On Twitter, the well-known gay journalist Patrick Strudwick led efforts to draw media attention to the story. He suggested that the reportedly vicious nature of the violence immediately reminded him of past homophobic murders.

A lack of national attention to the 2008 homophobic murder of gay teenager Michael Causer in Liverpool was strongly criticized, particularly the BBC’s lack of interest. Causer’s murder did draw enormous local attention including a march attended by local leaders and the establishment of a foundation in his name, but almost all national media failed to cover it.

Hate crimes reported to police against gay people in Scotland have been reported to have risen almost fivefold in the past five years. A gay rights group, Stonewall Scotland, said that two thirds of Scottish LGBT people in a survey had been verbally abused in the past year, while a third had been physically attacked.

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152 comments

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5:31AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

This is such a grim story - and it's interesting that here in Britain there's been so little coverage (compared to that of Jo Yeates' murder, for example).

4:50PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

Ameer appears to not comprehend the difference between an illegal and hateful act by individuals vs. institutionalized and legalized brutality, discrimination, and murder against gays by a government.

1:41PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

This is shocking--how can we have faith in humanity when things like this happen????

3:12PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Ban all religions and most of hate, prejudice and wars go extinct. I don't hate xtians or any other believer in mythology. I just don't associate with them. Sooner or later they will try to convert me and I'm not interested.

7:32AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Too bad there are so many ignorant people.

5:27PM PDT on Oct 29, 2011

So sorry things like this happen.

9:40PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Ameer, they are hanging gays in Iran as we speak. Muslims don't bother treating them disrespectfully, they just kill them. Speaking the truth is not "hateful" but gay bashing by the Pope IS. Harrassing, beating and killing gays just because they are gay is "hateful". ALL
RELIGIONS are HATEFUL to GAYS. Those would INCLUDE but not LIMITED to CATHOLICS,
CHRISTIANS and MUSLIMS. They are ALL HATEFUL RELIGIONS and have caused UNTOLD DEATH and DESTRUCTION. HATING GAYS is an INTEGRAL PART of ALL RELIGIONS and every one of them quotes from their dusty old history books to provide an
excuse why they do it. THOSE ARE FACTS. Why don't you stop calling me names and
give ME some FACTS?

10:50AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

How sad.

9:08AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

@ Ameer T. Yes, Muslims, Christians and anything else when those espousing the radical members of these groups. It is not the fact of being Muslim, Christian or any other group. Just the right-wing radical elements, those whose intolerance have brought destruction for centuries.
Most people are not in that vein, but those that are, are the most vocal. People need to stop adhering to these radicals and espouse the moderates.

9:08AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

How absolutely horrible!

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