CROWN HEIGHTS — A vicious anti-gay attack on a local man last week revealed the threat of violence that remains against LGBTQ people, even in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to support gay marriage, according to Brooklyn leaders who publicly condemned the assailants.
A group of 20 elected officials and leaders of gay rights groups met on Thursday afternoon at the site of the June 30 assault, first reported by DNAinfo, in which a 36-year-old man was hit in the head with a rock while being called “f----t” and other anti-gay slurs at the corner of Carroll Street and Utica Avenue, prosecutors said.
The group, organized by Crown Heights' state senator Jesse Hamilton, expressed unequivocal support for the victim while noting particular disgust at the timing of the attack, days after the court’s decision to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in all fifty states.
“We did not pass in this land — the law of the land — that you can love and marry who you want and allow that law to be trampled on in Crown Heights on Utica Avenue,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Thursday. “We’re moving forward together.”
Carlos Menchaca, the openly gay Brooklyn council member, said the decision sent a very strong message across the country that was “not felt positively by everybody.”
“So, we need to make sure that … we are vigilant about our message of love,” he said.
Public Advocate Letitia James, too, encouraged those who support LGBTQ rights, especially people of color, to not give up the fight.
“I’ve heard from too many members of the gay and lesbian and transgender community here in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant who do not feel comfortable in their own communities. This is unacceptable,” she said. “We, particularly people of color, should not allow hate in our communities.”
“Despite a resounding victory in the Supreme Court recently, the fight for full equality on these streets is not over,” she added.
Two people, 18-year-old Safire Ellington and 33-year-old Leroy Bacchus have been charged in the June 30 attack, according to prosecutors. Four others who participated in the assault are still at large as of Thursday, police said.