The father of Christopher Orlando, one of two men accused of an antigay attack at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City over the weekend, insisted his son is not a bigot, while it was revealed that codefendant Matthew Francis has a lesbian sister.
Orlando, 17, and Francis, 21, have been charged with assault as a hate crime and attempted robbery for the attack against Benjamin Carver, 34, early Sunday morning at the Stonewall Inn in the West Village, site of the 1969 riots credited with launching the modern gay civil rights movement.
Police say the duo punched Carver, a visitor from Washington, D.C., and demanded money in the bar's restroom, where one of the accused started a conversation by asking whether Carver was gay, then saying, "Don't pee next to me, faggot."
According to the New York Daily News, Don Orlando said his son Christopher wants to apologize to Carver, who needed stitches above his eyebrow because of the attack,
"We are a working class family," said Don Orlando, according to the Daily News. "We don't hate anyone here."
"I'm not going to sugarcoat what happened," said the father from Staten Island. "It was a bar fight, but I swear on my life it's not about Gays or race or any of that. We don't care about any of that stuff in this family."
The Daily News also reports that codefendant Francis has a lesbian sister, Deana Francis, who is angry at Orlando's attorney for arguing that her brother initiated the assault. She told the newspaper, "It takes two to tango. My brother isn't the only one at fault here. There is a lot more to this story."