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Sean Kennedy's Killer Denied Early Parole

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Coverage of Tuesday's vigil, including Elke Kennedy (right).

As we reported at glaadBLOG last month, the man who killed 20-year-old Sean Kennedy because he was gay was up for early parole after serving only 8 months.

After getting word of this, Sean's mother Elke Kennedy called on the community for help through the foundation she started in her son’s name, Sean’s Last Wish.

Tuesday night, Sean's Last Wish held a vigil in Sean's memory at the South Carolina State House. The vigil was a call to local authorities to keep Sean's killer behind bars, and to recognize hate crimes. Elke told WIS-TV news that the state needs a hate crimes law: "[Sean] always said, 'when I get older, I'm gonna change this, make sure people are treated equally."

Local South Carolina media reports today that Sean's Killer, Stephen Moller, was denied early parole. South Carolina is one of only five states that does not have hate crime legislation on the books.

Click here to see local news coverage of Tuesday's vigil.