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CB 10 condems gay attacks, bullying

Community Board 10 passed an anti-bullying measure at its last full-board meeting of 2010, taking a firm stand on the issue of discriminatory violence and bullying.

The issue came to the floor because of a resolution passed by the Municipal Services Committee in a vote of 7 to 3 at a meeting on November 9, proposed by board member Lewis Goldstein.

The original resolution’swording was changed at the full board meeting on Thursday, November 18 to exclude specific references to different types of groups that may face discriminatory violence and bullying, except to mention recent attacks against the gay community itself.

The discussion included a lively debate on the wording of the final resolution.

Goldstein proposed the resolution after three gay youth were allegedly attacked and tortured in Morris Heights on Sunday, October 3. Kearns categorized a debate by the board on bullying of all groups, including members of the LGBT community, as basic function of the board.

“It was a well-intentioned resolution that some board members had concerns about,” Kearns said.

“It is standard procedure where people have concerns about the wording of the resolution to work through the process of what specific language will be used for a resolution. The purpose of the resolution was to stop bullying against certain groups, which is a laudable action.”

The original resolution, passed by the Municipal Services Committee, condemns acts of recent violence against gays in the Bronx and elsewhere, and called upon all schools, civic organizations, and city agencies to work with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and all organizations to combat violence and bullying of gay youth, and acts against any one else based on disability, race, religion, national background, gender, height, weight, and other body features.

The final resolution, passed the board on November 18, in a vote that included most but not all of the board members present voting in favor of the resolution which called for the condemnation of recent acts of violence against gay youth and acts of discriminatory violence bullying against all affected groups.

The vote was 22 in favor, 4 opposed and 1 abstaining.

Goldstein stated that he believed that the board was able to capture the spirit of condemnation of the attacks on the LGBT community, as well as stopping discriminatory violence and bullying against all.

“I am very satisfied with the final wording of the resolution,” Goldstein stated.

“It recognizes hate crimes not only against the LGBT community but bullying, discrimination, hate and violence against all groups. The hate crimes against gays were specifically condemned.”

Goldstein went onto state that he believes that while the growth of social networking sites like Facebook and others have been a positive development in terms of bringing people together, it has made it easier for youth to be bullied, and that is another reason why the resolution was needed.

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