The New York City Anti-Violence Project reports that two men were hospitalized over the weekend after being assaulted by at least four males in Babylon, Long Island.
Authorities have arrested males – in their late teens and early 20s – in connection with the assault.
One of the injured men, according to the report from the AVP, was in serious condition on July 22. The other man was treated and released.
LongIsland.News12.com reported that four men were walking in Babylon at about 3:30 a.m. on July 21 when they stopped two other men to ask directions to the train station.
The four men then began to beat the two men, while shouting homophobic slurs.
The defendants face charges of gang assault and third-degree assault with hate crime penalties.
A press release from the Long Island GLBT Services Network stated, "The alleged anti-gay hate crime in Babylon is disturbing and frightening. Many people think that just because we are winning the right to marry in many states, that the world has changed and everything is now okay for gay people. This incident reminds us that we need to be vigilant in combatting hate and homophobia and that there still is a tremendous amount of work to do to make our Long Island a safe and welcoming community for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and families. It is our hope that the Suffolk County District Attorney will continue to prosecute this as the hate crime that it is, and show no mercy to the attackers – they need to be sent away to prison, and by doing so, this will send a message all across Long Island that hate and violence will not be tolerated against any group."
The New York AVP has responded to a series of anti-gay assaults this summer, including a fatal attack on one man.