Metro Weekly

Maryland delays gay man’s effort to receive money meant for victims of violent crimes

”I am upset and disappointed that this program never helped us and is not organized to work, even for those who do it right from the start…. Why does the board not recognize that the victims include the family and/or caregivers who are truly the ones supporting everything financially?”

Alex Chavarria, surviving partner of Glenn Footman who died on November 9, 2009, had been shot twice and critically injured 14 months earlier on the 600 North Howard Street, near the Metropolitan Community Church in a somewhat economically-challeged portion of downtown. According to the Baltimore Sun, a witness reported before the crime that they’d heard a young man say, “I’m going to kill myself a gay tonight,” shortly before the gay couple was approached, and was Footman shot. Chavarria’s struggle as a survivor is documented in today’s Baltimore Sun. It’s reported that the state maintains a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board which provides assistance to “innocent victims of crime,” but Chavarria says Footman passed away just one week shy of the board’s scheduled review, alleging that there were unnecessary delays. The board says now that $5,000 is available to cover burial costs, but it remains unclear if the $12,000 he asked for would be available to Chavarria as an unmarried partner. The Maryland legislature, courts and voters have not yet legalized gay marriages in that state. (Baltimore Sun)

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