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NYPD: Gang Targeted Gay Men in Vicious Attack

NYPD: Gang Targeted Gay Men in Vicious Attack

Associated Press

October 09, 2010

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the city’s highest-ranking openly gay official, called the attacks “vile” and “horrifying.”

“These attacks are appalling and are even more despicable because the victims were clearly targeted in acts of hate simply because they are gay,” Quinn said. “The cowardly few who committed these crimes do not represent New Yorkers, and our community will not be cowed by such violence.”

A weekend rally on anti-gay bias was planned following other crimes against gays.

On Sunday, a patron at the Stonewall Inn, a symbol of the gay rights movement since protests over a 1969 police raid there, was beaten in an anti-gay bias attack, according to prosecutors. Two suspects in the case were charged. Their attorneys say they’re not guilty.

That attack followed the Sept. 22 death of New Jersey college student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his sexual encounter with a man in his dorm room was secretly streamed online. The student’s roommate and another freshman have been charged with invasion of privacy. Authorities are considering bias-crime charges.

The attacks remain all too common, and there is still a stigma to being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trangendered person, said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which works to combat attacks on gays and others. That stigma leads to such attacks and to young people feeling their only alternative is suicide.

“We have to stop thinking that it’s OK to bully LGBT people or make fun of LGBT people,” Stapel said.

“What we see now is the link between casual sort of comments and the real and horrific violence that results because those comments contribute to an entire culture of violence,” she said.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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