Yesterday the already struggling gay youth center in Long Island suffered thousands of dollars in vandalism damage .Via Newsday:
Vandalism at a center that serves gay and lesbian youths in Bay Shore is being investigated as a hate crime, Suffolk police said Monday. Police were called Monday morning to the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Center, at 34 Park Ave., after the front door of the center was damaged and the center’s 2003 Ford van was vandalized — its tires slashed and windows broken. Further details were not immediately available. “This type of attack against the gay community will not be tolerated in Suffolk County,” said County Executive Steve Levy. “Our police department will seek to apprehend any wrongdoer and help ensure that there is swift justice to deter any such activity in the future.”
From the Long Island Gay & Lesbian Youth Center:
This morning, LIGALY, Center and SAGE-LI staff members arrived at work and were forced to face the terrible realities of homophobia and transphobia right here on Long Island. At some point between late Saturday and early Monday, The Center’s front door was smashed to pieces and our van’s windows were broken, mirrors mangled and all the tires were slashed. As soon as we encountered the damage, it was reported it to the Suffolk County Police Department and to the Suffolk County Bias Crimes Unit. We believe this was an act of bias and hope that The Police Department continues its investigation looking at this as a hate crime. This was not a simple case of vandalism, but an attack on our entire community. We are thankful that this act happened while The Center was closed and therefore no one was physically injured, but this was a clear attempt to instill fear in GLBT people throughout Long Island. I want all Long Islanders to know that we will not stand by and allow anyone to terrorize our community. We will use this heinous act to raise awareness of the discrimination and hatred that GLBT people are all to often a target of. The glass will be cleaned and the van will be back on the road soon, but ultimately it is my hope that we can make this a turning point for GLBT people.