|MARK CARSON Shot dead by stranger.|
The boyfriend and I go to New York City every September and have typically stayed at a friend's apartment on Christopher Street in the West Village. I've always felt safe, but a recent spate of hate crimes has many gays nervous. In the early hours of Saturday, things escalated to a new frightening level when a gay man was shot and killed by a man shouting anti-gay epithets (his accomplices seem to have fled before the actual shooting occurred). The shooting took place just a few blocks from where we have usually stayed. This growing anti-gay violence obviously raises the question of what is fueling this hatred. We, of course, know the answer: religion. Religion and the constant mantra that gays are a threat to marriage, gays are a threat to children, gays are a threat to society. In New York we see the anti-gay extremism encouraged by bigots like the porcine Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Nationally, hate groups like Family Research Council keep up a steady drumbeat of anti-gay propaganda. And the consequence is violence and death: The New York Post reports on the horrible event:
A gay man was gunned down in Greenwich Village early yesterday allegedly by a bigot who hurled homophobic slurs at him — a senseless attack that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called “clearly a hate crime.”Brooklyn resident Mark Carson and a pal were walking on Sixth Avenue near West Eighth Street at around midnight when the two were approached by Elliot Morales, 33, and two other Hispanic men, police said.“Look at these faggots,” one of the men snarled, remarking on the boots, cut-off shorts and tank tops that Carson, 32, and his friend were wearing. “What are you, gay wrestlers?”Carson and his friend turned right onto West Eighth Street. One of the Hispanic men left. Morales and the other man kept shadowing them.“Do you want to die here?” Morales asked Carson, a manager at a West Village frozen-yogurt shop.“Is he your boy?” he asked Carson, pointing at his best friend of 15 years.When Carson answered “Yes,” Morales pulled out a silver Taurus .38-caliber revolver and blasted him once in the cheek, authorities said.Carson died shortly after at Beth Israel Hospital.“I thought that kind of hate stuff was gone, but I see that it’s not,” the victim’s distraught father, Mark Carson Sr., told The Post.It took time to identify Morales because he was carrying a Pennsylvania man’s ID and was “very uncooperative with detectives,” said cops and a law-enforcement source. The ex-con, who served 11 years in prison on a robbery conviction, seemed so crazed, cops were investigating whether he was on drugs, a police source said.The murder is at least the 22nd anti-gay attack in the city so far this year, police said. Anti-gay attacks are up an alarming 77 percent from 13 such assaults during the same period last year.A spate of anti-gay attacks have plagued the West Village and nearby neighborhoods in recent weeks. As many as five anti-gay attacks have been reported in the city this month.