August 19, 2013 at 10:20 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Christine Quinn reportedly receives anti-gay death threats
Gay News, Washington Blade, New York City, Christine Quinn

Kim Catullo and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn exchange vows in Manhattan in May 2012. (Photo by William Alatriste.)

The wife of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said her spouse has received anti-gay death threats.

“Chris has gotten threats about being gay,” Kim Catullo told the New York Daily News in an interview published on Monday during which she discussed Quinn’s mayoral campaign. “It’s hard to accept and we live in a place that is the most tolerant.”

Quinn’s campaign spokesperson Mike Morey declined to provide additional comments to the Washington Blade on Catullo’s claims.

“We don’t have any more to add on that,” he said.

The Daily News published its interview with Catullo less than a week after a group of men attacked Michael Felenchak and Peter Nortman as they held hands while walking home from a movie theater in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The New York Police Department has not made any arrests in the alleged anti-gay attack but officials on August 16 released sketches of the suspects.

“This kind of anti-gay attack is unacceptable anywhere, but for it to happen in Chelsea which has such a large LGBT population is particularly shocking,” Quinn said in a statement. “What’s worse is that this is happening after a summer of repeated attacks on members of the LGBT attack just because of who they are.”

Quinn, a former executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project who married Catullo in a high-profile wedding in May 2012, told the Blade during an interview earlier this month she would set a goal of the five boroughs “becoming a hate crime-free city” if voters elect her mayor. She said she would accomplish this objective through working with the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force, expanding the city’s anti-bullying curriculum and partnering with faith-based organizations.

Quinn’s comments to the Blade came less than three months after Elliott Morales allegedly shot Mark Carson, a gay man from Brooklyn, to death on a Greenwich Village street during what the NYPD said was a hate crime.

“That’s the work we have to keep doing until we get to the place where we get to zero as the statistics of hate crimes against any community,” Quinn said.

Catullo discussed recent anti-gay attacks in the city with the Daily News.

“When you have strides like marriage equality, you tend to think prejudice has panned, then things like that happen,” she told the newspaper. “It wakes you up again.”

A Quinnipiac University poll released on August 13 shows Quinn, who would become the city’s first female and first openly LGBT mayor if she succeeds Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Gracie Mansion, has lost ground against New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio is leading Quinn by a 30-24 percent margin in the poll, compared to the six point lead the New York City Council speaker had over her main Democratic rival in a survey Quinnipiac University released on July 29.

Former New York City Comptroller William Thompson, Jr., had 22 percent in the August 13 poll. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner had 10 percent, while New York City Comptroller John Liu had 6 percent.

The Democratic primary will take place on September 10.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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