Dan Contarino

Within days of a hate crime murder of a gay man in New York City, two more homophobic attacks have taken place in the traditionally gay friendly metropolis.

On Monday night, former party promoter Dan Contarino (45) was attacked in the East Village area by a man who reportedly yelled out “faggot” as he kicked and beat him.

The suspect has not yet been apprehended. Contarino later posted a picture of his battered face on Facebook. Reports suggest that Contarino may have known his attacker.

On Tuesday morning, a gay couple in their early forties were walking in the Soho neighbourhood when two men began yelling anti-gay slurs at them. This led to a physical altercation that left one of the victims with an eye injury.

Two men have been arrested for the attack and have been charged with third degree assault and a hate crime.

These incidents bring the number of violent homophobic attacks in the city this month to seven.

The most serious was the murder of 32-year-old Mark Carson in the early hours of Saturday morning in Greenwich Village. Suspect Elliot Morales was apprehended by police minutes later.

On Tuesday night, thousands turned out for an anti hate crime rally and march. Anger and shock continues to grow as the tally of incidents continues to mount in the city that was the birthplace of the gay rights movement.

At a press conference, also on Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg described Carson’s murder as “despicable”.

“He was murdered because of his sexual orientation, and only because of his sexual orientation,” said Bloomberg.

He added: “New York City has zero tolerance for intolerance. We are a place that celebrates diversity, a place where people come from around the world to live free of prejudice and persecution.”

There have been 29 anti-gay attacks this year in city compared to 14 over the same period last year.

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