Vigils have been held in the US in memory of Tyler Clementi, a student who committed suicide after his gay sexual liaison was allegedly streamed on the internet by his roommate.
On Sunday night, students and staff members at New York University attended a ceremony at Washington Square Park for the “You-Are-Loved Glowlight Vigil”, to take a stand against anti-gay bullying and in honour of Clementi.
New York Governor David Paterson, who attended the event said: “I am no stranger to bullying. I know how it is when you are singled out for prosecution for being no more than what you were born as. I came here as a governor to tell you that the laws of the state of New York will be behind you…”
On Monday night, hundreds of people took part in another hour-long tribute to Clementi at Rutgers University, where he was a student.
“The outpouring of emotion and support from our friends, community and family – and from people across the country – has been humbling and deeply moving,” said Clementi’s parents, Joe and Jane Clementi, in a statement.
“Regardless of legal outcomes, our hope is that our family’s personal tragedy will serve as a call for compassion, empathy and human dignity.”
Eighteen year Clementi, a gifted violinist, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on September 22nd.
His roommate, Dharun Ravi and a classmate Molly Wei, both also 18, have been charged with various counts of invasion of privacy, which could land them in jail for up to five years.
It is believed that the sexual encounter was streamed on the internet without Clementi’s knowledge from a webcam linked to Ravi’s computer in the room.