The World's New Gay State

Flag Burning, Hateful Attack on Gay Community Stirs Impassioned Response for Gay Equality.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on April 17, 2010

The Center is a beacon of safety and hope for LGBT New Yorkers and our building stands as an emblem of our community’s presence in the city. The Center is visited over 300,000 times every year by people in search of support, safety and transformation. More than 1,000 young people come through our doors annually searching for acceptance and a place where they feel comfortable expressing their true selves.

Cowardly acts of hateful speech must be responded to with acts of courage and unity.

The Center has partnered with Gilbert Baker, the Rainbow Flag’s creator, as well as many elected officials and other organizations to bring together our community and unfurl a new 20 foot long flag that will drape the building. On Wednesday, April 21st at 5:00 pm we will gather together as one to prove that we will not sit idly by while our home is threatened. We invite our straight allies to stand with us to demonstrate that LGBT safety and rights are not just an issue for LGBT people. Our city is strong and we need to come together to show that we cannot be intimidated.

Please join us and demonstrate the true power of community!

When: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Where: In front of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th Street, Manhattan
For questions or how to help, please contact Jeffrey Klein at jklein@gaycenter.org


Statement from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:
“New York City, which itself is a symbol for hope and opportunity worldwide, takes symbols of hate very seriously. We’re the most diverse place anywhere on the planet, but we’re unified against anyone who tries to attack because of who other people are.”

Statement from Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer:
“This hate crime perpetrated against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center is a cowardly attempt at intimidation, and it will not be tolerated. The burning of a rainbow flag – a proud symbol of the LGBT movement – should be taken as seriously as if the American flag had been desecrated. I urge anyone with information about this despicable act to contact the NYPD at 1-800-577-TIPS.”

Statement from Congressman Nadler:
“I was appalled to learn of the recent hate crime at the LGBT Center,” said Congressman Nadler. “Burning a rainbow flag and placing it in front of the Center’s entrance is a cowardly act clearly intended to intimidate members of the LGBT community. As a proud cosponsor of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed into law last fall, I deeply believe that there is no place in our society for such hateful treatment of human beings, especially not for their sexual orientation or gender identity. I commend the NYPD for its swift response to this incident and for appropriately treating it as a hate crime.”

Statement from Assembly Member Daniel J. O’Donnell:
“I am appalled by the recent hate crime incident at the LGBT Community Center. Leaving a burned pride flag at the symbolic doorstep of our community is an act of intimidation that should be condemned by every New Yorker. I am grateful that the New York Police Department is taking this incident seriously and will make every effort to catch the culprit and bring them to justice. As an out and proud member of this community and patron of the LGBT Center, I will do everything in my power to ensure that the Center remains a safe space.”

Statement from Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn:
“The act of hate demonstrated outside the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in the Village is unacceptable. I was angered and deeply disturbed when I heard someone would go to such great lengths to burn a rainbow flag and pin it to the outside of the building. The Center has long been a safe space for LGBT people and will continue to serve New Yorkers who need specific health and social resources. We will continue to combat hate through education to ensure spaces like the Center stay safe. We will continue to speak out against hate and to ensure spaces like the Center stay safe. Our community will continue to stand up against all acts of hate.”

Statement from New York State Senator Tom Duane:
“I was deeply aggrieved and angered to hear that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center was vandalized under the cover of darkness Tuesday night. The Center represents an entire community whose sense of security has been violated by this targeted violence, but we will not be intimidated and we will not be victimized. The Center is working with the New York City Police Department’s 6th precinct and Hate Crimes Unit and the New York City Anti-Violence Project to respond to this apparent hate crime and I am confident that those responsible will be brought to justice. This event is only the latest indicator of the continued need to reduce ignorance, hatred and bigotry in our society.”

Statement from Assembly Member Deborah Glick:
“The LGBT community will not be intimidated by acts of vandalism directed at this important institution in our community. We stand united with the broader Village community to ensure the safety all those who visit the Center.”

Statement from Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner:
“This chilling act of hate reminds us that despite the gains the LGBT community has made violent intolerance is still a very real and disquieting aspect of our society. It is critical that justice is delivered swiftly because it sends a message—particularly to LGBT youth—that civil society does not align itself with bigotry, but rather embraces the diversity that makes our city great. As an openly bisexual man, I understand acutely how important these messages are in the social and emotional health of the younger members of our community. I am pleased to learn that the NYPD has acted appropriately in the investigation of this deplorable hate crime.”

Statement from Assembly member Matthew Titone:
“The LGBT community is a strong and proud community that will not be intimidated by cowardly acts of ignorance. Intolerance like this should not be tolerated by anyone.” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens “This hateful act is yet another reminder of how far we have to go toward making our City one that is free of hatred and biggotry at all times and for all people. “I am confident that the NYPD, along with the help of New Yorkers, will find those responsible for this attempt at intimidation.”

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