LGBT community to rally after Rogers' arrest

2012-08-22T11:05:00Z 2012-08-22T22:29:06Z LGBT community to rally after Rogers' arrestBy JONATHAN EDWARDS / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

A rally in support of Lincoln’s gay and lesbian community is planned for Wednesday evening, a day after police said a hate crime reported last month was staged.

By early evening, more than 120 Facebook users said they would attend the “LGBTQQA Solidarity Rally,” 9-10 p.m., on the west side of the Capitol. Nearly 1,350 people were directly invited.

“We will remind each other that we are stronger as one and that no matter what happens we must continue to trust each other and work together toward our common goals of safety, equal rights and equal recognition,” Sarah Bredthauer wrote on Facebook.

“No matter what did or did not happen, hate crimes are still a real threat faced by our LGBTQQA community.”

The acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Allied.

The rally will echo a vigil held a month ago after Charlie Rogers, 33, reported a vicious hate crime. Rogers said three masked men came into her house, tied her up and carved anti-gay slurs into her skin.

On a few hours' notice, hundreds met at the Capitol to denounce the attack and support Rogers. The groundswell continued, with vigils in Lincoln and Omaha. People also donated money to help Rogers recover.

Lincoln police on Tuesday said they think she staged the attack and arrested her for making a false report.

“Some people might be saying hate crimes aren't real, or that we're 'liars,' or that this is somehow proof that we don't deserve equal rights,” Lydia Fiedler wrote on the event’s Facebook page.

“We all need to take this opportunity to stand up and show that we aren't embarrassed or shaken; that we cannot be easily distracted, divided, or deterred. Let's all get together and show a little love and unity.”

Police Chief Jim Peschong made a point to note that hoaxes are extremely rare at a Tuesday news conference where he announced Rogers’ arrest.

“This case will not impact our trust in crime victims,” he said.

Reach Jonathan Edwards at 402-473-7395 or jedwards@journalstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/LJSedwards.

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