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Gay couple beaten for holding hands in New York's Chelsea neighborhood

A group of men attacked and beat a gay couple for holding hands in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Police say that Peter Nortman and his boyfriend Michael Felenchak left the Chelsea Cinemas holding hands just after midnight early Wednesday when they were confronted by two men on West 24th Street.

The two assailants launched a barrage of anti-gay slurs as they beat the coupe, one of whom required seven stitches. Four other men, who appeared be friends of the attackers, joined in the beating – also hurling anti-gay epithets.

The gay couple fought back but they told NBC 4 New York that they were overpowered. "We did what we could," Nortman told the channel. "It was six of them and two of us." 

At a news conference with out New York City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, Portman, 53, said he’s now afraid to walk through Chelsea — his home of 20 years.
“This is unbelievable,” he said. “I was shocked that this happened on a street I called home.”
Chelsea is considered a very gay-friend neighborhood.

The recent attack follows a series of similar anti-gay assaults in the spring, including the fatal shooting of a gay man in Greenwich Village. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

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