Is Hoboken anti-gay?
Should Hoboken be responsible for bigotry in the community?
Hoboken resident Matthew sent this message to city director of public safety Jon Tooke.
Being gay, he believes that the city should know about some apparent anti-gay sentiment that’s going around and something should be done about it.
Letter: Gays are harassed in Hoboken, NJ
“Dear Director Jon Tooke,
As you are well aware of, there is a large contingency of gay and lesbian citizens living in Hoboken, all of whom came to this town to live perfectly quiet lives in this historical and fun town.
Recently, several close friends, and myself, all on different dates, have been harassed and or followed for several blocks with anti gay slurs and profanity.
I have loosely mapped out that the majority of occurrences happen starting at 14th street, proceed down the entire length of Washington Street, loop around at the PATH and go up both River street and Pier A Park, stopping at Stevens Institute.
With our proximity to NYC, and their recent overwhelming increase in hate crime/anti gay attacks, combined with the fact that Hoboken has the largest bar per street ratio in the country, I do not think that this should be ignored.
Hoboken should show solidarity with NYC in their stance on bigotry, hate crimes and intolerance. Public safety is a prime concern in Hoboken, especially when bars let out and when people return from the city late at night (prime hours 1-3 am, and 4-6 am).
As a survivor of hate crimes and a gay man living in Hoboken, this subject can not be ignored.
Residents need to know that they can be safe at all hours walking on the streets of Hoboken.
Hoboken is known to be the home of many cultures, races, and ethnicities. To ignore the safety of a group that branches into all the communities of Hoboken would be irresponsible.
A public display of solidarity with NYC on this subject Would be a great start. A follow up should be a window sticker promoting tolerance, making a statement that bigotry and hatred are not welcome in Hoboken.
I have noticed that many business owners do not put up gay pride door stickers showing support because they are afraid of the communities response. This is a falsehood that needs to be erased. Ignorance, hatred, and bigotry should not be cultivated by fear, but fought with support and love in your community.
Please take what I have said to heart and address this issue of public safety.”
Do you think the city should be responsible for controlling societal behavior?
Or should government stay out of the way of individuals?