BANGOR, Maine (AP) – It’s been 25 years since Charlie Howard was chased down in Bangor, beaten, kicked and tossed into a stream because he was gay.

The 23-year-old Howard drowned on July 7, 1984, a murder that made national headlines and led to an anti-discrimination ordinance in Bangor and a state hate crimes law. This year, the governor signed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in Maine.

Howard, a New Hampshire native, is being remembered this week in religious services, concerts, workshops and the dedication of a memorial near where he drowned, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Three teens who attacked Howard were charged with murder, but eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to the Maine Youth Center for an indeterminate stay not to exceed their 21st birthdays.

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