In response to continued hate crimes against members of the LGBT community in Puerto Rico, Melissa joined elected officials and advocates at City Hall this morning to declare today, July 13, 2010, “The New York City Day Against Homophobia,” and to call for the investigation and prosecution of these vicious acts.
This coalition also announced the release of a new report on hate crimes in Puerto Rico, as well as another more extensive report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) on hate crimes against the LGBT community across the United States.
Earlier this year, Melissa helped organize a delegation of NYC and Chicago elected officials to visit Puerto Rico in the wake of the brutal murder of Jorge Steven López Mercado, who was one of at least 25 members of the LGBT community who have been killed as a result of hate violence on the island since 2002.
Here is Melissa’s statement on today’s event:
“Time and again, there has been an unacceptable, deafening silence from Puerto Rican authorities in response to the brutal violence and murders,” said New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Most egregious and irresponsible has been the lack of response from Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño who has been absent in the dialogue, media response and community building which have taken place after each and every violent act.”