More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
UPDATE: Police Claiming Long Island Vandalism Not A Hate Crime
The Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit investigated last week's incident at the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Center as a hate crime but determined it was not, police said Tuesday.
Police arrested three men and a woman, all from Bay Shore, Monday in connection with the vandalism and charged each of them with second-degree criminal mischief. None of the four was charged with a hate crime.
The Long Island GLBT Center plans to issue a statement soon. We'll update this post with that statement once it is made.
UPDATE: The Long Island GLBT Community Center has released it's statement. Here is an excerpt:
Over three years ago, two of the four people arrested were former clients of LIGALY. The individuals regularly displayed inappropriate and disruptive behavior toward staff and other clients. This behavior made many of our clients feel unsafe, and the organization responded appropriately by discharging them from our services. We are saddened to hear that the individuals arrested continued to act out in hatred and violence, as these attacks illustrate.
While the vandalism is no longer being investigated as a bias crime, we feel that the investigation and the attention paid to these crimes by public officials and media was appropriate. Vandalism of this magnitude is intended to send a message of fear. The Center stands as the most public declaration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender pride on Long Island. As the most visible symbol of GLBT presence and pride, the vandalism was indeed interpreted and felt as an attack on these already vulnerable communities.