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Nearly 100 gay rights activists gathered to remember a 23-year-old female impersonator who was killed in Yuma, Ariz., three months ago. Amancio Corrales's murder has remained unsolved and has become a rallying cry for advocates who believe the gay man was targeted because of his sexual orientation. Investigators have declined to label the case a hate crime.
On Saturday, advocates and Corrales family supporters gathered at the Arizona capitol for a candlelight vigil. "We don't know if this is a hate crime," said Democratic state senator Robert Cannell, who attended the event with Corrales's mother and sister. "But if it was a hate crime, it's tragic. We hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice."
The vigil was intended to support the family but also to advocate for adoption of federal legislation that would give the FBI and other agencies more authority in dealing with hate crimes, said Amy Kobeta, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Human Rights Fund and Foundation. Corrales was found dead of violent trauma on May 6 in the Colorado River near Yuma, according to authorities. Dressed as a woman, he had been barhopping with friends earlier, police say. Whether the murder was a hate crime is something for prosecutors and the courts to sort out, said Capt. Eben Bratcher, a spokesman for the Yuma County Sheriff's Office. (AP)