Monday, February 2, 2009

Long Island GLBT center vadalized  

I received some really sad news via e-mail today. I was born and raised on Long Island, so I became very familiar with the work of the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) organization. They lead the extremely popular Gay Pride Parade on Long Island every year, they send peer educators to schools to teach about GLBT people, and they have a center that welcomes all GLBT people and their allies when they feel as if they have nowhere else to go.

Between late Saturday and early Monday, the LIGALY center was vandalized. The front door was completely shattered, and the LIGALY van had its windows smashed in and its tires slashed. Police have been alerted, and this is being treated as a hate crime.

Estimated damage to the front door is over $1,000, and damage to the van is estimated at over $4,000. They need every cent they can get to repair their center and get their van back on the road, which transports youth to the Center and educators to schools. If you can, please make a donation.

Eventually, the glass will be cleaned up and the windows will be replaced. It is the emotional damage that will take a little bit longer to fix. This was an attack on the entire GLBT community, and it deeply saddens me to see how much hatred exists in this world. It saddens me that instead of embracing diversity and respecting alternative lifestyles, people will turn to physical violence as an attempts to intimidate entire communities. This was a terrorist act. The only thing to do is to let it encourage us to unite against violence motivated by hatred.

What next?

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2 comments: to “ Long Island GLBT center vadalized

  • February 11, 2009 at 10:03 AM  

    Two of the guys arrested were kicked out of LEGALY activities and one was a Driver for the program. Can a crime by gays committed on gays count as a hate crime? It doesn't if both parties are straight. It was more an act of revenge than hate.

  • February 11, 2009 at 11:18 AM  

    Right. I wrote this post before they made the arrests. I'm aware that it's no longer labeled as a hate crime.