Rally held in response to anti-gay graffiti at Rockland County Pride Center
Crowds rallied Sunday in response to a recent case of anti-gay graffiti at the Rockland County Pride Center in Nyack.
Supporters came together on South Franklin Street in the fight against discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
"There is a lot of people in the family who are out and discriminated against, and I just wanted to be here for them," said Harvey Erdsneker, of Nyack.
Spreading the message that hate has no place in their community, demonstrators at the "Stand With Pride, We're Here" rally raised their voices in response to anti-gay graffiti found Wednesday on the Rockland County Pride Center building. Nyack 16-year-old Nay Grillo was determined to be at the rally.
"This is a safe space for a lot of queer teenagers. The people who run this organization come to our school and it's such a safe place for everyone. When I heard about that, I'm just glad they decided to do something about it," Grillo said.
"We're part of the Nyack Jewish community and when they come for our neighbors who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, they come for all of us," said Tamara Freuman, of CSI Nyack.
According to national crime statistics, incidents of hate and violence against the LGBTQ+ community are increasing. Community members and their supporters vowed to never back down.
"The graffiti and all of these acts of hate are really a manifestation on what's going on a national level by our elected officials, and they have the power to put a stop to it and that's our expectation," said Brooke Malloy, executive director of the Rockland County Pride Center.
The offensive graffiti has since been removed.
Orangetown police said they are also continuing an investigation of the incident. So far, there is no official word of an arrest.