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Thousands march downtown in wake of anti-gay violence

Demonstrators rally Monday in response to a recent

Demonstrators rally Monday in response to a recent spate of hate crimes. (Craig Ruttle) Credit: Demonstrators rally Monday in response to a recent spate of hate crimes. (Craig Ruttle)

Thousands of New Yorkers, elected officials and gay rights activists hit the streets of Greenwich Village Monday in response to a recent string of crimes against LGBT people.

Protesters marched from West 13th Street to the corner of West 8th Street and 6th Avenue, where Marc Carson, 32, of Harlem, was gunned down on Saturday.

Carson’s death was the fifth high-profile hate attack in Manhattan in a month and activists said they have had enough.

“Hey hey, ho ho, homophobia’s got to go,” they chanted as they marched.
The rally was organized by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and several gay rights groups.

Around midnight Saturday Morning, cops say Elliot Morales, 33, approached Carson and used homophobic slurs against him and his partner before fatally shooting him in the face. Morales was arrested a short time later.

“The family wants justice served so that Marc’s death is not in vain,” Carson’s aunt Flourine Bompars told the crowd.

This year, there have been 24 reported hate crimes, 10 more than during the same time last year.

Glennda Testone, executive director of the LGBT Center, said the show of support would push governments around the world to create laws that would protect gay people from further harassment.

Quinn, who marched with her mayoral Democratic rivals Bill Thompson, Bill de Blasio, Sal Albanese and John Liu, said the city is taking steps to prevent more hate crimes.

In addition to starting an anti-hate initiative in public schools, Quinn said there would be increased police presence in the West Village and Chelsea until the end of June. “I don’t know why we’ve taken a step backward, but that’s the case. So we will push forward,” she said at an earlier news conference.

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