2018-02-07 / Political Page

New Queens LGBT Center Opens

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Congress Members Carolyn Maloney and Joseph Crowley joined Public Advocate Letitia James and other city and state officials, city agencies, the NYPD, FDNY and LGBT Network President David Kilmnick to officially open a new LGBT Center in Long Island City.

Hate crimes have risen nearly 20 percent this year in major cities across the country—they are up almost 30 percent in New York City—and hate crimes against LGBT individuals now account for one-fifth of all hate crimes committed.

The LGBT Network held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new center on Thursday, February 1, at 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City.

The LGBT Network has been serving LGBT individuals for 25 years as an association of non-profit organizations comprised of Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY), The Long Island LGBT Community Center (The Center), Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders – Long Island (SAGE-LI) and the Queens LGBT Center (Q-Center).

This year, among the six largest cities in the US including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, there has been an overall 22.4 percent increase in hate crimes. A recent analysis determined that sexual orientation was the second highest cause of single-bias crimes among close to 5,500 incidents reported by law enforcement. Individuals are by far the most common victims of single-bias hate crimes with over 82 percent of offenses. Discrimination and hate crimes in the workplace are at crisis levels with 25 percent of LGBT individuals reported workplace discrimination and roughly 30 percent of transgender people saying they were either fired or quit as a direct result of their gender identity.

LGBT Network’s Q-Center will announce two new initiatives to support and protect all of the borough’s LGBT families: A comprehensive advocacy and justice initiative working with the NYPD and Queens District Attorney to report hate crimes; and a family education, support and advocacy initiative to support parents of LGBT people with a special emphasis in immigrant communities.

NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, NYS Assembly Members Brian Barnwell, Stacey Pheffer Amato and Danny O’Donnell, NYC Cultural Affairs Chair Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Finance Chair Daniel Dromm, NYC Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis and NYC DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong also attended.

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