Attacks on gay bars across America continue, with a New York City venue being attacked for the fourth time in a month.
A CCTV video posted on Twitter shows a man hurling a brick at VERS in Manhattan, whilst patrons are still inside on Saturday night.
The bar’s owner, David DeParolesa, told the New York Post that he had anticipated potential for anti-LGBTQ+ attacks when he opened it, installing shatterproof glass as protection.
This meant no one was harmed by the brick, although a window was cracked by the attacker.
DeParolesa described the series of incidents as “unnerving”, and “yet another manifestation of hate against our community.”
“One disturbing thing about what’s happening to VERS is this guy isn’t trying to break in, he’s doing this during business hours … There’s an ominous feeling that this won’t cease or that it could escalate,” he told the New York Times.
Last night, a man threw a brick through the window at VERS while patrons were inside. This is the third time this has happened THIS WEEK! If anyone recognizes him or has any information, please let me know. pic.twitter.com/N1c8nQxiTO
— ryan (@thisismeryan13) November 20, 2022
He attributed this to the political movement against LGBTQ+ people in America: an “emboldened anti-gay, anti-trans resurgence,” occurring in the United States’ political sphere.
The most recent attack on VERS happened on the same night as a deadly shooting on an LGBTQ+ venue in Colorado Springs. Five people were murdered at Club Q’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event.
These attacks correspond with attempts to limit LGBTQ+ rights in state laws. Last week, Texas lawmakers introduced 17 anti-LGBTQ+ bills for consideration in the upcoming legislative session.
There have also been increasing attacks on LGBTQ+ venues globally. Earlier this year, two people were killed and 21 injured in an attack on a gay bar in Oslo, Norway, the day before the city’s Pride parade.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) are investigating the incidents as hate motivated crimes.
The Governor of New York state, Kathy Hochul, has announced plans for the NYPD to increase support for at-risk communities in the state, including online monitoring of social media accounts to try and better prevent hate crimes.
“It is a sad reality that in many parts of the country it’s easier to purchase an assault rifle than it is to seek gender-affirming care for your child,” said Brad Hoylman, a Democrat State Senator. “As we memorialize the victims in Colorado, we must continue our efforts in Albany to protect LGBTQ people from hatred, gun violence and discrimination.”