Andy Humm at Gay City News has published his story about Saturday’s rally in Queens for gay bashing victim Jack Price. Here’s what the counter-protesters had to say.
An interracial group of about 20 of Danny Rodriguez’s supporters boldly demonstrated across the street from the rally with signs and chants insisting that he did not commit a hate crime, though most conceded the assault itself was a crime.
Marcel Gelmi, said, “Danny has gay relatives and friends. It was an assault. Drop the hate crime.”
Gelmi is now famous for displaying to WABC-TV News a tattoo on his bicep reading, “Thou shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination. 1 Leviticus 18:22.” Asked why he picked that particular Bible verse, he said, “It’s what I believe in,” but refused to elaborate. When told that the end of the verse is “they shall surely be put to death,” Gelmi protested and pulled out his version of the Bible that omitted that phrase.
“There’ll be gay people testifying in Danny’s defense,” Gelmi claimed.
Joseph Perez, another of Rodriguez’s friends at the counter-protest, said, “[Price] blew kisses at [Rodriguez]. [Price] was always writing on walls, ‘For a good time, call Jack,’ and putting his number there. [Price’s] a drug addict and a crackhead.” Perez said if a man blew him kisses, he’d beat him up, too. “Take me to jail,” he said.
Rodriguez’s friends have been telling these stories in his defense to the media and prosecutors, but a middle-aged College Point woman at the anti-hate crime march who wore a hood to obscure her identity and asked that her name not be used said that the stories are lies and that some among the suspect’s supporters are threatening people.
“A lot of teens wouldn’t come here today because they’re a gang,” she said. “I’m afraid they’ll come after me. It’s people who don’t like Jack who wrote it,” referring to the graffiti saying that Price was looking “for a good time” and giving out his number. She said vandals wrote that her son “is a pussy” on her door using the same magic markers in the same script. “Everyone knows these boys are troublemakers.”
Some of the above-quoted counter-protesters have been commenting on my own report from the day.