The community has shown an massive show of support for the bias-related vandalism of The Long Island GLBT Community Center. The incident has also been reported by many in the media and the blogosphere.
UPDATE: GOVERNOR DAVID A. PATERSON RELEASED A STATEMENT TUESDAY ABOUT THE VANDALISM OF THE CENTER. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.
The last 24 hours have been a difficult, but also empowering time for the staff of the Long Island GLBT Services Network. Since we first arrived at the office yesterday morning to discover the destruction waged on our community’s home, we, as I am sure many of you, have felt a range of emotions. The moment the word got out about what had happened, we received and have continued to receive an amazing outcry of support from the GLBT and Allied communities locally, statewide and nationally. Here's what has transpired since we last communicated yesterday:
Individuals and businesses have donated money or services to help us get the center up and running, our van on the road and ensure that this does not happen to our home or community again. If you have already donated, thank you. If you haven't yet, stand up to hate and make a donation to The Center.
Emails and phone calls of support have poured in from all over the country.
Local and national media as well as the blogosphere have reported on the incident to help us raise awareness and bring the person or people who did this to justice. Click here to see the coverage.
Messages of concern and support came from Governor David Patterson and many other local and statewide elected officials. Additionally, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy released an official statement saying that "this type of attack against the gay community will not be tolerated in Suffolk County".
The Suffolk County Police Commissioner also stated that this will be treated as "Criminal Mischief as a Hate Crime" and are asking anyone with information to contact the Hate Crimes Unit at 631-852-6323 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
With your support, we were able to make sure that this crime was investigated for what it is: A hate-motivated attack on our community. As many of you have said to us, this attack underscores the continued need for LIGALY, The Center and SAGE-LI.
While the LIGALY van will be off the road for an undetermined amount of time, we remain committed to not allowing this terrible act to affect our ability to provide important and vital programs and services to the GLBT community. We have returned to our regular program schedule today and no further events will be canceled or postponed due to the vandalism.
This Friday, February 6 at 3:00pm, The Commissioner of The New York State Division of Human Rights, Galen D. Kirkland will be visiting our Center to offer his support and facilitate a discussion with the community on hate crimes on Long Island. We are honored to host the Commissioner and hope you will join us.
We will continue to communicate with you as new information becomes available. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at 631-665-2300.
Once again, thank you for your support both during this difficult time and every day of the year.