Greenville mom raises awareness about hate crimes

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A Greenville mother is watching developments out of Orlando a little closer while fighting back painful memories that hit close to home.

Elke Kennedy’s son Sean was killed nine years ago after he was targeted for being gay. Sean Kennedy was struck in the face after leaving a nightclub and died days later from injuries sustained in that attack.

Sean’s attacker was sentenced to five years in prison, but three of those years were suspended for time served.

Since then, Kennedy started a foundation and launched a speaking tour, pushing for equality and tougher sentences for people who carry out such attacks. During her activism, she visited Orlando and became friends with many in the Central Florida LGBT community.

“You look at this year, you look at the violence and it’s increasing everywhere,” Kennedy said. “This mass shooting, it just shows to me that we’re going in the wrong direction.”

Kennedy plans to continue her activism.

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