Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell are putting forth legislation that looks to further safeguard LGBTQIA+ hangout spaces.
The bill would expand the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program to include gay and transgender bars and nightclubs, allocating funds to provide necessary safety measures for the business’ at-risk patrons and allowing them to hire additional security personnel.
“LGBTQ bars and nightclubs are meant to be safe spaces for our community. But as we’ve seen, they’re under attack across the nation,” Hoylman and O’Donnell said in a joint statement.
This call to action comes hot on the heels of mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, during which a gunman killed 5 individuals and wounded dozens more.
“The recent mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs brings to mind the massacre of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, which was the deadliest anti-LGBT crime in United States history. With the Supreme Court’s radical rollback of common sense gun violence prevention laws and the extreme right’s homophobic and transphobic fearmongering, New York’s LGBTQ community is extremely vulnerable,” Hoylman and O’Donnell charged.
The Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program was created in 2017 and provided grants to institutions that are vulnerable to hate crimes due to the identity of their members or those they serve based on faith, sexual identity, or other factors.
According to the politicians, the program is currently limited only to non-profits. Grant recipients can receive up to $150,000 and as of November 2022, the program has awarded $83.1 million to 600 organizations supporting about 1,700 projects.
Governor Kathy Hochul recently unveiled that the State is accepting applications for a further $50 million in grants. Both Hoylman and O’Donnell want to see this also expanded to bars and nightclubs that could also be at risk.
“LGBTQ bars and nightclubs are struggling to keep their patrons safe during these perilous times. As recent tragedies have shown, our community is vulnerable. I strongly support Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember O’Donnell’s efforts to expand the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program to include LGBTQ bars and nightclubs,” Bill Morgan, the operator of the Stonewall Inn said.