It was with great sadness that I and some other PinkNews readers have learned of the death of Stuart Henry Ross (Stu). Up to last summer, he was a prolific contributor to PinkNews, and his contributions on a wide range of issues were well appreciated by many. A good example of the quality of his writing is a piece he wrote for PinkNews, just over a year ago, titled: “Should the law protect us from insults?”

Like most readers, I met Stu via “Readers Comments” and we later communicated through email. We had many a robust exchange on issues that concerned us. I, more than most, disagreed with some of his views. Yet I found Stuart to be passionate and articulate about issues concerning gay folk and, more widely, concerning matters of social justice. He was keen to make his views known more widely, yet with the purpose of working toward a fairer and more just society.

What endeared me to Stu was that despite our differences he was always courteous and sensitive and would carefully put forward views based on fact and reason. I believe that many PinkNews readers regarded him highly and, like me, mourn the passing of a very decent man who has been taken from us while still in his prime (Stu was 38). I would like to pay my own tribute to his contribution in my own life and thinking and as one whom I looked upon as a friend.

On a practical note, some details of Stu’s death are still not known and there is an inquest still pending. It has been suggested that folk do not try to contact his next of kin but I have passed on my own personal condolences and have made mention this also includes his friends on PinkNews.

One of those close to Stu made the comment “that Stuart’s friends might also find some suitable ways of remembering him and carrying on all that he was passionate about as this would be a fitting tribute and one I’m sure Stuart would have approved of”. Rest in Peace Stuart.