New York Man Gets 30 Years For Threats Against LGBTQ+ Communities

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Students gather to protest after Florida's House of Representatives approved a Republican-backed bill that would prohibit classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity, in Winter Park, Florida, U.S., March 7, 2022 in this still image obtained from a video posted on social media.

A New York City man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for mailing 60 threatening letters to LGBTQ+ affiliated individuals, groups and businesses Wednesday.

Robert Fehring, 74, pleaded guilty in February to mailing the letters, which threatened to kill, shoot or bomb recipients. The threats were mailed from 2013-2021 and come amid a string of additional threats to the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S.

“Fehring made heinous threats against members of LGBTQ+ communities in locations throughout New York, including Suffolk County, for nearly eight years,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said in a statement.

Among his threats, Fehring sent a letter to the owners of the Stonewall Inn, the prominent LGBTQ+ bar in Manhattan that served as the location of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

In his letter to Stonewall, Fehring wrote, “we will blow up/burn your establishments down. We will shoot those who frequent your dens of [expletives].”

Another letter addressed a water ferry service from Sayville to Fire Island, New York. In his letter, Fehring wrote ferry workers should “screen everyone coming on board with a metal detector.”

In another letter, Fehring wrote to a Black-owned barber shop associated with LGBTQ+ communities. The letter addressed to the barbershop was from “People Who Hate Gays ... and In Particular [n-word] Gays.”

He wrote, “your shop is the perfect place for a bombing ... or beating the scum that frequents your den of [expletive] into a bloody pool of steaming flesh.”

On top of the rest of his threats, he threatened to attack on an LGBTQ+ event in Huntington, New York. In his letter, he referenced the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Another venue in Long Beach, New York that hosted an LGBTQ+ event also received a threatening letter from Fehring.

Along with mailing letters, investigators who searched Fehring’s home found “20 LGBTQ+ Pride flags that were stolen from flagpoles in Sayville, New York, in July 2021.” Investigators found he also took “reconnaissance-style photographs from the Eisenhower Park Pride event.”

Authorities recovered two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and two stun guns. They also found “a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird.”

Many LGBTQ peopleworry their community will be further stigmatized and that monkeypox will become a 'gay disease' in people's minds
Many LGBTQ peopleworry their community will be further stigmatized and that monkeypox will become a 'gay disease' in people's minds
Photo: AFP / Kena Betancur

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