Father Tony

Churches Ignore Jack Price Anti-hate Crime Rally in Queens. Vicious is Holier than Gay?

Filed By Father Tony | October 18, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Christine Quinn, college education, hate crimes against LGBT people, homophobic behavior, Jack Price, queens

We joined three hundred people in College Point, Queens (one of the five boroughs of New York City and one of the most ethnic and racially diverse places in the world) for a rally and march to protest the homophobic attack on Jack Price who remains in the hospital. JoeMyGod has a good account of the protest, and you must read the comments from not only his usual readers, but from the gang members supporting the attackers and from the family of the victim. Some of this is deeply disturbing.

Rally organizers Danny Drumm, Brendan Fay and Marisa Ragonese directed a crowd comprised of locals and folks from outside the neighborhood under heavy police protection.

Unlike many of these rallies, this one was marked by the cordoned presence of a dozen supporters for one of the men accused in the brutal attack, the jailed Danny Rodriguez. Their signs said "Free Danny", "No Snitchin" and "No Hate Crime". We looked into their faces and tried to understand what kind of childhood abuse would produce a person who would tattoo an Old Testament Levitical prohibition of gay sex on his arm. These young people were livid with hatred.

On the other side of the street, where the politicians urged us to peacefully ignore the thugs, I saw only one clergyman, Rev. Charles McCarron, an Episcopal priest. Where was the priest of the local Catholic parish, St. Fidelis? Where were the leaders of the black and Hispanic evangelical churches? Their absence sent a resounding and clear message to the people of College Point: being gay is worse than beating up a person because he is gay. Shame on those church leaders who felt conflicted about whether or not to attend a rally protesting senseless and brutal homophobic violence. There was evidence of Jesus, however. Some of the thugs in the "Free Danny" group wore the image of the crucified Jesus on beads around their necks.

After the break are some photos of the day, a video of organizer Marisa Ragonese who delivered some fine words and more.

(For identifying captions to the following, go to the complete set on Flickr.)

Flickr slideshow:

Looking into the eyes of the small children marching against hatred with their parents and carrying signs decrying homophobia gave me hope that in the long run - and without the help of our churches - we will weed thugs and homophobes out of the family of man.

Here is Marisa Ragonese, Director of Generation Q, the only drop-in center for LGBT youth in the Borough of Queens (2.5 million residents). Listening over her shoulder is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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What a sad comment on the utter lack of clergy support in denouncing violence. What did that Jesus guy speak about? Something about the harvest being full but the workers few? Where do they think He would have been? Ignoring the problem from the safety of the church, or standing by the victim?

They have a far different Bible than I do apparently. As a fellow Episcopalian, I'm glad at least ONE priest bothered to show up. What a complete indictment and conviction of the entire religious establishment. Crimes of omission, anyone? How can clergy be so utterly cowardly.

How can the clergy be so utterly cowardly? Are you really asking that? Have you ever picked up a history book? History is full of examples of the church looking the other way as people are persecuted. Jesus Christ. Grow up.

the rest of the clergy were there. they were being represented by the people who you reported were carrying the signs -

"Free Danny", "No Snitchin" and "No Hate Crime".

where do you think the core "beliefs" of the counter-protesters came from?

there are higher order forms of "ignorance"...

A few weeks ago the Synod of African Bishops met in Rome and labelled homosexuality one of the risks to the African family and tied it to colonialism, whereupon Uganda started work on a law making certain categories of homosexual contact capital offences punishable by death.

The Liberal Sisters, many of whom have publically supported LGBT rights, are receiving an "Apostolic Visitation" at the urging of Cardinal Levada of the CDF and by the oder of the Cogregation for the Clergy to determine what kinds of corrective measures need to be taken with these orders, possibly including silencing them, putting them back into the habit and into the clasroom and out of social welfare issues.

And you wonder that the local Catholic priest was not present? We are hugely fortunate that he wasn't congratulating the fellow with the Leviticus tattoo on camera.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 18, 2009 10:11 PM


Where was the priest? I have to ask you did the church in California finally allow the dismissed priest you posted on, who refused to condemn Gay Marriage from the pulpit, to find employment?

As you reported they sand bagged his first job. They have been getting it wrong since the "ape hostel" Paul hijacked the Jerusalem church from Peter.

Most politically-correct Manhattan gays wanted nothing to do with this. Ethnic minorities attacking a Caucasian gay man just doesn't go along with the world view they're so desperate to maintain, when the only place they're maintaining it is in their own heads.

James P Minsinger | October 19, 2009 12:47 PM

Sad to say, but here in San Francisco, CA, there is still a belief in most ethnic minority churches that homosexuality is a cardinal sin. We did garner support of two of the most powerful Black preachers in fighting Prop 8, Amos Brown & Cecil Williams. Also, because of cultural differences, the Asian & Hispanic community in general do not accept homosexuality as okay. Fortunately, it is not politically correct here to be anti-gay. For the most part, government, commerce, and at least a slim majority are in support of equal rights for the GLBT community. We still have a long road ahead of us. We are making progress. Jack Price was a victim of a hate crime.

Just wondering, did any reporters ask those saying things like "Free Danny" why he should be freed for beating someone regardless of the gay part? And if so, what was the reponse? I know it would not help but I would love to hear what they say to why man who does that should be free.