D.C. March Against Hate Crimes

Supporters marched against anti-gay hate crimes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of people marched to take a stand against the string of assaults and attacks against gay people. NBC4's Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012)

    Hundreds participated in a march to support the victims of two separate anti-gay hate crimes in Columbia Heights on Tuesday night.

    A Facebook event page titled "Silent March For Victims of GLBT Violence" called for a procession to begin at the Columbia Heights IHOP restaurant where a gay man was shot in the chest early on the morning of March 11 after arguing with another man.

    Hate Crime in Columbia Heights

    [DC] Hate Crime in Columbia Heights
    A group of unknown suspects attacked and robbed a man on Monday night in Columbia Heights and Police have determined it was a hate crime. NBC4's Darcy Spencer spoke with the victims partner. (Published Thursday, Mar 15, 2012)

    "Enough is enough," said one march participant.

    According to the Washington Blade, the 31-year-old victim was sitting at a table in the restaurant with two of his cousins when they overheard the shooting suspect and two of his companions use an anti-gay slur. When the victim got up to pay the bill, the suspect and his two friends blocked his path. In the ensuring scuffle, a shot was fired, injuring the victim's liver.

    On Monday night, a gay man was severely beaten and robbed after getting out of a cab on Georgia Avenue.

    No arrests have been made in either case.

    Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham, whose district includes Columbia Heights and who is also gay, issued a statement Friday denouncing the crimes.

    "It is now clear that both are hate crimes, in fact, that targeted gay men," Graham's statement read, in part. "Such crimes clearly will not be tolerated. And we are all agreed on that."

    Mayor Vincent Gray also issued a statement this week denouncing the crimes: "“These kinds of crimes are particularly insidious, because they are designed to instill fear in an entire community. This cannot and will not stand in the District of Columbia, where all of our residents have the right to walk the streets of our neighborhoods free of fear, regardless of their identities, beliefs or characteristics."