Hate Letters Reaffirm Organization’s Mission
Long Island GLBT Network Receives 3rd Hate Letter Within 16 Months
Two days after the Long Island GLBT Network (The Network) announced plans for the first GLBT-friendly senior housing development in the Tri-State area, their community centers in Woodbury and Bay Shore received identical hate letters.
The letters spewed homophobic hatred with degrading, graphic language and promises of violence. It was the second letter to be received since June, when a letter was delivered to The Network’s Bay Shore Center threatening Long Island Pride and PrideFest (below) with the type of violence that had occured at the Boston Marathon in 2013.
In a statement, David Kilmnick, The Network’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “These threatening letters are a reminder that despite advances in GLBT equality, homophobia and hate still exist and are very much alive. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure Long Island is a safe and welcoming place for all GLBT people and families.”
The hateful letters were turned over to the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments and their Hate Crimes Bureaus who are continuing efforts in their investigations to find the individual(s) that are behind the letters.
Kilmnick went on to say that The Network’s “Centers are safe and all programs will continue as planned,” and “additional security measures have been taken…we have the utmost confidence in both Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments.”
Just one day after receiving the hate letters, more than 65,000 students and educators in 61 schools across Long Island stood up against hate as part of Long Island Gay and Lesbain Youth’s (LIGALY) 13th Annual “National Coming Out Day (NCOD) School Awareness Campaign.” The effort – which is one of the largest in the nation – is a reminder and demonstration of what this organization signifies and stands for – being out, proud, visible and building coalitions and creating change.
Kilmnick’s statement ends by saying, “We will continue to carry the torch for nothing short of full equality and complete safety for all our families in every school, city, town and village across Long Island…and we will do so with great pride.”