Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral held a memorial service on Saturday 30 November for Michael Causer, an 18 year old gay man who was attacked and seriously injured on 25th July in what police described as vicious and unprovoked homophobic attack. He was found unconscious on a road, lying in a pool of blood. The openly gay teenager suffered massive brain injuries and was rushed to hospital. Despite brain surgery, he died in hospital on Saturday 2nd August.
More than 200 people attended the service at the cathedral, including Michael’s family, friends and many LGBT community members. The service was described by one of the gay men present as very moving; some of Michael’s favourite songs were played, candles were lit, words were said to remember Michael and a period of silence was held to reflect on his life. The service was led by the Dean of Liverpool and the vicar who had taken Michael’s funeral.
Local gay politician Steve Radford said: “The service was dignified, sensitive and moving. The Dean led the whole congregation in a prayer of affirmation to stand against all hate crimes. The clear leadership of the Anglican Church against racial, homophobic and all forms of hate crime is to welcomed by all.”
Two teenagers denied murder when they appeared at Liverpool Crown Court. James O’Connor from Halton and Gavin Alker from Runcorn, both 19, had previously been charged with causing grevious bodily harm to Mr Causer. Their trial will begin on January 26th.
The killing has drawn comparisons to the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in October 1998. Shepard was a gay University of Wyoming student. He met two men in a Laramie bar and left with them. He was beaten and left to die lashed to a fence on windswept country road. Found unconscious, he was rushed to the hospital, but died a week later. Two men are currently serving life sentences for Shepard’s murder.