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Las Cruces, N.M. LGBT community center vandalized

Sunday, March 18, 2012
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Police in Las Cruces, N.M. are investigating an act of vandalism that occurred at the LGBT community center.

According to a spokesperson at the center, an unknown person heaved a gear shaft from an automobile transmission, smashing one of the center’s front windows. The incident took place in the overnight hours when the center was closed.

“We have been open for two years, and this was the first example of homophobia that we have experienced. Actually, I had expected it sooner, and I think it’s a good sign that it hasn’t happened sooner,” the spokesperson said.

Center officials estimate damages at $700.

“It’s unfortunate these things happen, but we’re not alone. Centers in Orlando, Long Island and Salt Lake City have had similar incidents in the last few years,” stated David Stocum, Executive Director of New Mexico GLBTQ Centers.

“The Las Cruces Center never closed and continued to serve the GLBTQ community uninterrupted,” continued Stocum. “The service we provide the community is too important to let something like this slow us down … we’re here to stay.”

Stocum notes that New Mexico GLBTQ Center’s mission is to reduce homophobia and enrich the lives of LGBTQ people individuals living in New Mexico through education, advocacy, support, example, and collaboration.

He said that the center provided services for 2,993 client visits last year.

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