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N.Y. gay rights leader, victim of brutal attack, dies after being removed from life support

Friday, October 26, 2012

QUEENS, N.Y. — A prominent figure in the local gay community died Thursday after being removed from life support.

Lou Rispoli, 62, died from injuries sustained in a savage, early morning attack last week. Police are continuing to search for his murderers.

Lou Rispoli
Photo courtesy: NYPD

Rispoli, who worked as an administrator at the Greenwich House Music School and lived in the gay neighborhood of Sunnyside for the past three decades, was attacked at around 2 a.m. on October 20 on 43rd Avenue in Queens.

According to a published account by New York’s Gay City News, Rispoli was hit in the head with a blunt object with such force that neighbors who heard the assault, but did not see it, thought he had been shot.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Sunnyside, said two men attacked Rispoli. A third man is believed to have kept watch at their nearby car.

Police are investigating whether Rispoli’s sexual orientation played a role in the attack.

“Lou was a proud gay man,” Van Bramer said Thursday. “He fought for full equality for our community. But I don’t know if he was attacked because he was a gay man. This is a good and safe neighborhood where gay men and lesbians can walk the streets and be who they are.”

“That such a man who’s life has touched so many of us so deeply should be struck down so violently is incomprehensible to us,” said the victim’s friend, Mark Horn.

Rispoli is survived by his husband, who he married in August 2001 — on their 31st anniversary — after same-sex marraige was legalized in New York. The couple met on the subway in 1980 and raised two daughters together.

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70 more reader comments:

  1. That is awful.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:49pm
  2. aww!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:49pm
  3. atrocious!!!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:50pm
  4. He will be missed

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:51pm
  5. I’m so sorry, my condolence to his family! I hope the catch whoever did this.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:52pm
  6. my prayers go out to his husband and their kids

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:52pm
  7. R.I.P…This is sooo sad

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:52pm
  8. Condolences to Rispoli’s husband, daughters and friends.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:52pm
  9. RIP Sir.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:53pm
  10. This pisses me off beyond belief!! RIP

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:53pm
  11. RIP, brave soul .

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:53pm
  12. :’(

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:54pm
  13. people disgust me :(

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:54pm
  14. :(

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:54pm
  15. … JUSTICE!!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:55pm
  16. This is truely sad!.. a lot of gay & lesbians get killed in ny..he’s in peace now!.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:56pm
  17. Rest peacefully dear man.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:56pm
  18. My condolence to his family. This is tragic and shameful.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:57pm
  19. May he Rest in Peace, and God Bless his family.

    Saddening.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:58pm
  20. So sad RIP!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 4:59pm
  21. We must justify this mans life and the only way can do him any justice is to secure equal rights for all Americans! Vote!!! We have an opportunity to make equal rights a reality!!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:00pm
  22. Hate is a bad thing And Disgusting, It has to stop.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:01pm
  23. WHY? Its is all so sad!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:01pm
  24. May he rest in peace and may justice be served!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:02pm
  25. This bullshit has to STOP!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:02pm
  26. Very sad… may he rip

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:04pm
  27. :-( RIP Lou

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:04pm
  28. very troubling

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:04pm
  29. RIP Lou Rispoli… My condolences to the family..

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:04pm
  30. My condolences.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:06pm
  31. Damn, ill keep his family in prayer, thats fucked up smdh

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:07pm
  32. How sad!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:08pm
  33. Tragic.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:11pm
  34. This bullshit has to stop. This is not what GOD wants. We are to love one another, be accepting to all. Love all creations… Very sad, prayers to the family.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:13pm
  35. {dislike} R.I.P.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:13pm
  36. I am beyond disgusted about this crime. I hope and pray the killers are brought to justice. They will pay!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:13pm
  37. Tragedy

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:14pm
  38. @Chad Abrams i thought you wear going to say beyond belief fact or fiction. -_-

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:19pm
  39. Condollences to family/friends.. I hope the killers can be brought to justice for this heinous act.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:20pm
  40. So sad :-( his poor husband

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:20pm
  41. Very sad, just when you think things are getting better.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:22pm
  42. & the GOP, & right wingnuts do not care!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:25pm
  43. How sad!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:26pm
  44. This has shaken me emotional even though I have seen this kinda stuff happen to friends first hand. I have not the words only condolences to his partner & his family.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:27pm
  45. Oh =’(

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:28pm
  46. So sad.my heart goes out to all his family and friends…

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:31pm
  47. So horrible.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:31pm
  48. I’m saying prayers for his family today!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:34pm
  49. Such sad news. My condolences and prayers for him and his family.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:34pm
  50. This is not only a sad day, but also marks the day we stand up and make all of our communities respect all human life, and we do it for all of those who came before us. We do it for those who have left this earth before us. This labeling and hatred must stop! I didn’t ever know or meet Lou, but he was obviously someone special. He gave all he had, to include his life. We must now all give all we have to remember Lou and all the others who died only for being who they are. I hope Lou’s family and friends get to see this, because with these words I promise that somehow, some day, all humans will be equals and all will have the right to be who they are without anyone interfering or committing hate crimes to force their beliefs on others!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:35pm
  51. This is so sad

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:37pm
  52. This is why equal rights is so important! Because there are people out there that are truly evil. They believe we are second class citizens and without a change in each state and a change at the federal level we will always be treated as such. My condolences to his family and friends.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:41pm
  53. Amber, u r so right, and if Romney gets in we will see more hate crime. But we will not take it anymore, I can tell you the time has come for America to hear us LOUD….NO MORE HATE!!!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:43pm
  54. RIP

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:55pm
  55. At least he’s not suffering. I wish the best for his family. Know that he is finally at peace

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 6:06pm
  56. Senseless

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 6:14pm
  57. So sad. My thoughts are with his family.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 6:23pm
  58. This makes me so angry. No one has the right to end someone else’s life just because they have different beliefs.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 6:42pm
  59. …………………. so sad ! …….. omg man cant believe people

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 6:53pm
  60. So incredibly sad.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 7:28pm
  61. Very sad…RIP

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 7:31pm
  62. So, sad!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 7:49pm
  63. It doesn’t seem like this was motivated by his sexual orientation.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 8:21pm
  64. So sad.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 8:32pm
  65. This makes me mad as hell. His killers I hope will pay. I guarantee it’s time to say enough! And fight back any way you can, cause apparently no one else will!

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 8:56pm
  66. OMG, This is just horrific. I hope there are angels who are embracing him.

    Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 8:57pm
  67. R.I.P. what a senseless act….

    Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 7:01am
  68. No! {sighs} Rest In Peace my friend. The thread of your life was cut far too short.

    Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 10:33am
  69. Find the killer and ask him if it was worth it??

    Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 10:47am
  70. Im looking for a real girl. If youre from jersey or near the area add me<3

    Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 3:32pm