By David Vandygriff
An LGBT activist whose home went up in flames over the summer is believed to be the victim of arson.
Lab tests have now confirmed that gasoline was used in a fire that ruined the home of Nikki Joly, the director of the Jackson Pride Center in Michigan.
Joly and his partner, Chris Moore, lost two German Shepherds and three cats in the blaze on August 10, which friends say was started by homophobic bigots who were fighting back against the progress that the activist has made in the city of Jackson.
According to a fundraising page that was set up by supporters of the couple, the fire took place just five days after Joly led the town’s first Pride march.
“During the summer of 2017, despite fear mongering by local bigoted conservatives, Nikki defiantly and persistently organized Jackson’s very first LGBTQ Pride march,” the page reads. “Tragically, last night, just five days after Nikki led the march, his entire two-story home was burned in an act of arson…This is a hate crime that was premeditated and destructively heartbreaking beyond measure.”
Mike & Molly star Rondi Reed submitted an emotional video for the crowdfunding page, saying that due to the hate the current administration has been spreading, “it’s up to us to root that out and plant love and spread love.”
To help donate to the couple who lost everything in the fire, visit the YouCaring fundraising page here.