Violent anti-LGBT hate crimes have almost doubled this year over last year, and last year’s were up double digits as well. This month alone, there have been at least seven anti-gay hate crimes, including the shooting death of Mark Carson, a 32-year old gay man, on Friday.
Over forty community, local, state, and even national groups and politicians joined together with thousands of New Yorkers to mourn Friday’s murder of Mark Carson, and to “rally against hate,” and hate crimes in the city that has seen at least 25 this year.
Local NY politicians are making their concern known — in person. The list of those who have spoken out and/or attended Monday evening’s march and rally include:
NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, New York State Senators Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, candidate for Manhattan Borough president Julie Menin, and NYC City council candidates Yetta Kurland and Corey Johnson.
Also, this list of more than 40 organizations and politicians, via HRC, supported Monday night’s march and rally:
300 West 23rd, 22nd, 21st Streets Block Association | Ali Forney Center | Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS | Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics of the Church of St. Francis Xavier | Chelsea/West Village for Change | Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats | GLAAD | God’s Love We Deliver | Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce | The Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce | Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP) | Harlem Pride | Harlem United | HK5051 Neighborhood Association | Human Rights Campaign, Greater New York | The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission ( IGLHRC) | Judson Memorial Church | The Latino Commission on AIDS | League of United Latin American Citizens, NYC Chapter | The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center | Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens | The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) | LGBT Task Force | London Terrace Tenants Association | Make the Road NY | Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer | Manhattan Community Board 2 | Manhattan Community Board 4 | New York City Anti-Violence Project | New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick | New York State Senator Brad Hoylman | Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation | NYC for Action | Project Find | Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx | Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) | The West 47/48 Street Block Association | Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund | Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office | Village Alliance | West 8th Street Block Association
But up until late yesterday, conspicuously absent from these lists was the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.
Yes, Mayor Bloomberg let four days and a rally by thousands of New Yorkers to mourn and protest the hate crime murder of a gay man pass before showing up to say something. Until yesterday, Bloomberg had not made one public comment this year about the anti-LGBT hate crime wave in his city. Not a word.
And his PR people have been equally absent. An email to the Mayor’s office yesterday from The New Civil Rights Movement received no response.
Heck, even National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown and hate group head Tony Perkins yesterday, after much prodding by LGBT activists and The New Civil Rights Movement, issued statements condemning the hate crime violence — on the same day the Mayor of New York City got around to it.
It’s not like the Mayor was on vacation. A quick glance at his press releases shows he had time for several commencement addresses and joining Yahoo! for an announcement, all since Mark Carson’s murder.
But finally, the Mayor spoke yesterday.
“Last Friday, the murder of a young man named Mark Carson shocked our city. He was murdered because of his sexual orientation – and only because of his sexual orientation,” the Mayor said at a press conference with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. Kelly has been on scene and very visible in these hate crime investigations.
“It was a cold-blooded hate crime that cut short a life full of promise – and brought back awful memories for people who were once afraid to walk down the street with the person that they loved.
“Thankfully, we have come a long way from those days – but the murder of Mark Carson is a tragic reminder of how far we still have to go.
“In recent weeks, there have been a number of incidents where people were attacked, verbally and physically, because of their sexual orientation. And in just the last 24 hours, the NYPD learned of two other incidents of New Yorkers being attacked violently because of their sexual orientation.
“Both of these incidents took place in Manhattan – and Commissioner Kelly will provide some more details about each.
“Thankfully, in this case nobody was killed – but that doesn’t for a moment make these crimes any less despicable, or any less unacceptable. New York City has zero tolerance for intolerance.
“We are a place that celebrates diversity – a place where people from around the world come to live free of prejudice and persecution. Hate crimes like these are an offence against all we stand for as a city – and we will do everything possible to stop them, whether that hatred is based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity.
“That’s why we work hard to protect every community that’s victimized by hate crimes, and that’s why we’ve increased patrols in the areas where hate crimes have occurred, something Commissioner Kelly will discuss.
“The NYPD, however, can only do a certain amount to protect New Yorkers from violence. We’ll do everything that we can and we’ll prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, anyone who commits hate crimes. But all of us can do our part as well to end hate crimes and spread tolerance: as parents, as teachers, as friends, and as members of the community.
“No person – regardless of what they look like or who they love – should ever walk down the street in fear.”
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