Antigay Attack Rocks Stonewall Inn

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com October 05 2010 8:00 AM ET

In New York City, two suspects have been arrested in the antigay beating of a man early Sunday morning at the historic Stonewall Inn, while another defendant is being held for an antigay attack against a group of men in the Chelsea neighborhood late Friday night.

According to the Associated Press, in the incident at the Stonewall Inn, “The victim was using a restroom at the Greenwich Village bar around 2 a.m. Sunday when a man at the next urinal, Matthew Francis, asked what kind of an establishment it was, prosecutors said. On being told it was a gay bar, Francis used an anti-gay slur and told the victim to get away from him, assistant district attorney Kiran Singh said.”

Francis said, “I don’t like gay people. Don’t pee next to me,” according to the prosecutor’s account reported by the Associated Press.

The New York Daily News reports that a codefendant, Christopher Orlando, blocked the door while Francis demanded money and punched Benjamin Carver, of Washington, D.C. The victim, who is 34, was treated at the hospital and released.

Francis, 21, was held on $10,000 bond and Orlando, 17, awaited arraignment.

The Stonewall Inn is the site of the uprising credited with launching the modern gay civil rights movement in 1969.

In the second incident, at 25th Street and Ninth Avenue in Chelsea late Friday night, a group of male friends kissing each other goodnight were approached by another group of men who told them, “This is our neighborhood,” according to the AP. Two men attacked the group of friends with fists while Andrew Jackson threw a metal garbage can into one victim’s head.

Jackson, 20, was arraigned on hate crime assault and other charges, the AP reported.