NYC City Council candidate Yetta Kurland is speaking out after Wednesday’s anti-gay hate crime attack in Manhattan’s historically LGBT-friendly Chelsea neighborhood. Peter Notman and Michael Felenchak were holding hands, walking home from the movies, when two men called them “fags.” They quickly found themselves surrounded by six men and were assaulted. Both men suffered facial lacerations and one required stitches.
“I was hit with brass knuckles down the side of my face, and I had contusions; had to have an MRI, and Michael received several stitches in his mouth where they punched us,” Notman said, according to WCBS. Police yesterday released a sketch and wanted poster of two of the attackers.
Kurland, in a press release sent to The New Civil Rights Movement, asks “When is enough, enough?” She is running to represent Manhattan’s third district, which includes the neighborhood where this latest anti-gay hate crime occurred.
Anti-LGBT hate violence and bias crimes have been rising over the past few years, and NYC’s gay community suffered a devastating hate crime wave in May, when Mark Carson was shot and killed for being gay.
“At what point do we acknowledge that our District has an endemic problem with bias violence and commit to do something beyond just quick press conferences, or short term increase of law enforcement?,” Kurland asks, adding, “We need real and long term solutions to this serious threat to our community.”
Kurland, who is also a civil rights attorney and LGBT activist, adds:
“Each time one of these tragic events occur, I renew my call for a three point plan to help make a real difference: 1) More police in the community, 2) sensitize these police officers to have respect and understand the concerns of the LGBTQ community, and 3) keep accurate statistics on the incidents of bias crimes so that we can learn when, how and why they happen to better prevent them from happening in the future.”
“It is a disgrace that in 2013, in the greatest city in the world, in the 3rd City Council District, a community which has elected a member of the LGBTQ community representing them for decades in City Office, that we have to worry about being violently attacked, simply walking down the street, and it sickens me that this problem is continuing with such regularity.”
NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, who both represent the Chelsea and Hells’ Kitchen neighborhoods, NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Kurland, have all been speaking out against the attack. Quinn and de Blasio are running against each other for mayor of New York City.
Image of Kurland via Twitter
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