Joint Statement on Flag Burning at LGBT Community Center

Thomas K. Duane

April 15, 2010

Joint Statement by Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Senator Thomas Duane, Assembly Members Danny O’Donnell, Deborah Glick, Dick Gottfried, Micah Kellner, Matthew Titone and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer
Re: Condemning the Recent Flag Burning at LGBT Center

“The act of hate demonstrated outside the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in the Village is unacceptable,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “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.” 

“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," said New York State Senator Tom Duane. “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.”

“I am appalled by the recent hate crime incident at the LGBT Community Center,” said Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell. “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.”

"This outrageous attempt to intimidate the LGBT community will have the opposite effect," said Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, who represents Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen/Clinton, Murray Hill and part of the Upper West Side in the NYS Assembly.  "It galvanizes the community, including its friends.  I applaud the NYPD for its quick response to this hate crime."

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

“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,” said Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner. “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.”

“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.” -Assemblymember Matthew Titone

“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,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens. “I am confident that the NYPD, along with the help of New Yorkers, will find those responsible for this attempt at intimidation."