Activists and politicians are demanding an investigation of the death of lesbian Massachusetts Army National Guard Specialist Ciara Durkin.
Durkin was found dead from a bullet to the head, on Sept. 27 while serving in Afghanistan. The family has revealed to The Boston Globe and other media outlets that they feared Durkin's death was a hate crime. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) and other LGBT organizations, along with U.S. Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., John Kerry, D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., are calling for a thorough investigation of the service member's death.
The Pentagon said that Durkin died of injuries 'suffered from a non-combat related incident' at Bagram Airfield, The Belfast Telegraph reported.
'Specialist Durkin's family deserves to know what happened,' SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis stated in a press release. '…Anything but a full and thorough investigation into her untimely death would be a disservice to her memory.'
The organization revealed that Durkin, who was supposed to return home in the winter, had planned to marry her partner.
There is currently no evidence supporting that Durkin was a victim of a hate crime. However, Kerry made arrangements for a second, independent autopsy of Durkin in Massachusetts, according to The Patriot Ledger. Results are pending.
According to SLDN, Durkin revealed to her family that she had witnessed things she didn't agree with. She asked her family to call for investigation if she were to die.
Durkin was given an Irish funeral with full military honors on Sat., Oct. 6, in Quincy, Mass. Kerry and Gov. Devan Patrick were among the approximately 2,000 attendees, PlanetOut.com reported.