Expressing the LGBTQ community’s grief and outrage following the murder of Mark Carson in the West Village on Friday, several LGBTQ groups are co-sponsoring a rally held at the LGBT Community Center tonight. Speaker Christine Quinn jumped on the rally as well–and the Facebook page for the event lists Quinn as the only politician involved.
Still, not all of New York City’s queer community feel that Quinn has her heart in a sincere place. That’s why they’ll be taking their vigil for Carson outside what was St. Vincent’s hospital at 5:30 p.m., when activists and mourners will ask whether Carson could have been saved if the hospital hadn’t been shuttered.
“A lot of people are agreeing that Christine Quinn is trying to politicize today’s march,” says Louis Flores, an organizer with Queers Against Quinn and a St. Vincent’s activist group. Flores also wonders whether Carson, who was shot through the cheek, would have survived had he been taken two blocks away from the scene of the crime to St. Vincent’s, rather than Beth Israel, which is located across town from where Carson was shot and lacks a Level 1 trauma center.
Earlier this year, a TV attack ad blasted Quinn for her role in St. Vincent’s closure. Funded by the New York Is Not for Sale PAC, the ad argued that St. Vincent’s wouldn’t have been shut down without Quinn’s support of a zoning alteration and luxury condo development.
Flores acknowledges that Quinn has become a divisive figure in the LGBTQ community, and that he’s gotten flack for choosing to oppose the first openly gay candidate for mayor.
“There’s a lot of peer pressure to support Christine Quinn. Whether we’re just criticizing Speaker Quinn or standing firm on an issue, we’re looked at like we’re trying to damage Speaker Quinn’s mayoral chances,” he says.
Still, Flores wants to highlight cross-sectional issues affecting the LGBTQ community–in this case, the former West Village hospital. “How can [Quinn] participate in today’s march and rally and denounce homophobia and not examine how much her own role in the closing of that hospital?” he says. “I think that’s disingenuous.”