Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ricky Martin speaks out against hate crimes, urges acceptance

Ricky Martin specifically mentioned Jorge Steven López Mercado, murdered Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero, Matthew Shepard and other hate crimes victims in an op-ed el Nuevo Dia published earlier today.

The Puerto Rican singer, who has faced consistent questions about his own sexual orientation over the years, said headlines about López's brutal murder near Cayey last month and other recent murders have shaken him.

"The deaths of James Byrd, like that of Matthew Shepard, Jorge Steven López, Marcelo Lucero and Luis Ramírez, like other victims of violent hate crimes, should be unacceptable to all human beings; because we are all human beings," Martin said.

He further wrote he feels mere tolerance of those who are different is simply not enough.

"If we accept each other, humanity will come together," Martin wrote. "And if humanity comes together, equality for human rights will become a reality. If equality for human rights becomes a reality, peace will be within our reach."

Martin is the latest Puerto Rican celebrity who has spoken out against hate crimes since Juan A. Martínez Matos murdered López and dumped his decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body along a remote roadside on Nov. 13. Olga Tañón discussed the case on her weekly talk show earlier this month. And reggaeton artist René Pérez and Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones spoke out against López's murder after they attended a San Juan vigil late last month.

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