Earlier this week thousands of people marched in Manhattan, New York to denounce a stark increase in violence against the gay community in the city and specifically the brutal aggressive shooting on of Mark Carson last weekend.
Openly gay Mark Carson was shot in the face after being followed and subjected to homophobic verbal abuse and slurs in through New York’s Greenwich Village. Witnesses claim the man charged with Carson’s murder, Elliot Morales, asked him “Do you want to die here?” and “What are you, gay wrestlers?” before shooting him in the face.
New York City Police Department chief Ray Kelly said, “It is clear that the victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay,”
Many are shocked by the crime, believing New York, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2011 was a safe place for gay people to live. Indeed the area of Greenwich Village is a well gay friendliness and acceptance. “There aren’t supposed to be anti-gay hate crimes taking place almost in the shadow of the Stonewall Inn,” said political analyst Richard Socarides.
On Monday, thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the shooting. Some of those present carried placards dedicated to “gay angel Mark Carson” whilst some others chanted slogans like “Hate No, Gun Control Yes” and “Homophobia’s got to go”.
The New York Police Department have said anti-gay bias crimes in the area have risen sharply compared to the equivalent period last year, from 14 incidents to 24. However the figures may not tell the whole truth for many believe that only a few anti-gay crimes are actually reported to the police for a number of reasons, not least the fear of not being treated fairly.
Morales has yet make a plea and is currently being held in custody without bail.