Friday 2nd August marks the fifth anniversary of Michael Causer’s death. Friends and family will gather for a vigil which will live link Liverpool with New York.
Five years ago, Michael Causer, 18 was brutally attacked at a house party and never recovered from his injuries. A judge ruled the assault was not homophobic, but it had been investigated by police as a hate crime and his family believe Michael died because of his sexuality.
As well as remembering Michael, the vigil will also honour Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker, who was murdered in a racist attack in Huyton in 2005; Sophie Lancaster, who was murdered in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007 for the way she looked; and Ali Forney, who was murdered in New York in 1997.
At the vigil, everybody will be invited to write a private, personal pledge to be a friend – not only to people they know, but to others, including those who may be considered ‘different’ because of race, gender, sexuality or membership of an alternative culture.
Friday’s event – Lean On Me: The 5th Anniversary Vigil for Michael Causer – will see the foundation join forces with three other charities to highlight prejudice and hatred, and encourage people to play their part in preventing and tackling it.
Liverpool Lord Mayor Gary Millar and friends of Michael, Sophie and Anthony are due to speak at the vigil. Organisers are also due to link live via Skype to the Ali Forney Centre in New York, which provides housing for LGBT young people in Ali’s memory.
The vigil takes place at 6pm in Temple Square, Temple Street, in the heart of Liverpool’s Stanley Street Quarter.
It has been organised by the Michael Causer Foundation, in partnership with the Ali Forney Centre, The Anthony Walker Foundation and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
Gerry Proctor, chair of trustees at the Michael Causer Foundation, said: “Michael, like Anthony, Sophie and Ali, was a young person with his whole life ahead of him who was denied the chance to reach the great potential that he had.
“While much progress is being made, people continue to be victimised, attacked and killed because of who they are. We want this to stop. We believe that friendship is key – supporting our friends but also offering friendship, support and tolerance to people we don’t know.
“We are very pleased to be working with our partners to take a stand and we look forward to welcoming anybody who would like to join us at the vigil.”