AUGUSTA – The Senate adjourned Thursday, memorializing hate-crime victim Charlie Howard.

Sen. Nancy Sullivan, D-Biddeford, requested that the Senate remember Howard, recalling how on July 7, 1984, the 23-year-old man was beaten up by three teenagers and thrown to his death from a Bangor bridge “simply because he was gay.”

She called the killing “not a bright star in Maine’s history.” But his death led to greater concern about protecting gays, including Maine lawmakers’ passing a law to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination last month.

“It is in my prayer that Charlie Howard did not die in vain,” Sullivan said.

– Bonnie Washuk

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