City Council Declares July 13th “NYC Day Against Homophobia,” in Solidarity with the LGBT Puerto Rican Community

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.

Melissa speaks at event (Photo by Juan David Gastolomendo).

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.

Melissa reads the proclamation that declared today "The NYC Day Against Homophobia." She is joined by Council Members Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer, and activists Pedro Julio Serrano and Guillermo Chacon (Photo by Juan David Gastolomendo).

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.”
More photos from the event (Photos by Alex Florez):

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