LGBT New Yorkers rally after the murder of Mark Carson

A Brooklyn man was gunned down in the Village on Friday night; New Yorkers took to the streets Saturday and will again this afternoon.

UPDATE: A TONY staffer on the scene reports that Sixth Avenue has been closed by the NYPD. Anyone wishing to join the rally should enter 8th Street from Fifth Avenue.

On Friday night in Greenwich Village, 32-year-old Brooklyn resident Mark Carson was shot in the face at point-blank range moments after a group of men were seen taunting him with homophobic slurs. Carson bled to death around midnight near the corner of Sixth Avenue and 8th Street, just a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay-rights movement began more than 40 years ago. This shocking attack was the latest of several recent high-profile crimes against LGBT people in Manhattan.

At a candlelight vigil on Saturday night (see video, above), organized by TONY staffer Adam Feldman, hundreds gathered at the scene of the crime. Prominent community members, including Assemblyman Micah Kellner, State Senator Brad Hoylman and artist Justin Vivian Bond, were in attendance, and speakers—including performers Justin Sayre and Dan Fishback, and members of Queer Rising—expressed everything from sorrow to rage that something like this could happen anywhere, much less at one of the busiest intersections in what is considered to be the safest neighborhood in the city for gay people. As we move into Pride Month, this crime has clearly led to an enough-is-enough moment for NYC's LGBT community.

Today at 5:30pm, there will be a March and Rally Against Hate Violence, moving from the steps of the LGBT Community Center to the site of the murder. City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn and other elected officials and community leaders are expected to be there. All New Yorkers who want to see an end to violence in our streets are encouraged to attend.

Anyone able to do so should consider donating to organizations that work to end violence against LGBT people; the Anti Violence Project and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project are good places to start.

Stay safe—and remember the name Mark Carson.