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Martina Navratilova Blasts NYC's 'Cruel' Horse-Drawn Carriage Industry After Anti-Gay, Racist Incident: VIDEO

Carriage

EXCLUSIVE

HorsePETA spokeswoman Martina Navratilova has sent a letter to NYC City Council speaker Christine Quinn on the group's behalf condemning the horse-drawn carriage industry following a disturbing incident over LGBT Pride weekend which was captured on video in which a group of women leafleting near the carriages were verbally assaulted with homophobic and racist slurs by one of the drivers.

Navratilova says the incident is just further proof that the NYC horse-drawn carriage industry, given recent accidents which have led to horse and human injuries, needs an overhaul, and urges Quinn to change her position on the issue.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP....

NavratilovaNavratilova's letter to Quinn:

July 16, 2012
 
The Honorable Christine Quinn
New York City Council Speaker
 
Dear Speaker Quinn:
 
I'm writing to ask that you shift your position on the city's horse-drawn carriage problem, not just because of the danger and the cruelty endured by the horses in midtown traffic but also because of the aggressive homophobia exhibited by carriage drivers.
 
As any animal lover will tell you, the carriage drivers you support spew hate when anyone expresses concern for the horses they force to work in all weather extremes, and during Pride weekend it was captured on video. "You have a big dyke convention here?" shouted the driver at a small group of women, mostly seniors, who were peacefully leafleting near where the carriages line up. "F**king ni**er," he said to a black woman in the group. How can you support such a scurrilous industry that spouts racist and homophobic vitriol?
 
Many PETA advocates, including me, are gay. We share a heightened sense of responsibility in fighting the callous disregard that many have for animal suffering because we have experienced a similar disregard for the cruelty that we ourselves have faced. You are a champion of gay rights; won't you extend your compassion to the city's beleaguered working animals? These animals have been stripped of all their rights and have been denied the opportunity to fulfill their natural instincts. And for years, there have been accidents resulting in horse deaths and human injuries, the most recent occurring just last month when an SUV collided with a horse, which I hope you read about. That's why I urge you to support Intro. 86A, the bill seeking to replace the archaic horse-drawn carriages with eco-friendly classic cars. At the very least, won't you green-light the pilot program to test the viability of this savvy idea? It doesn't cost the city a cent or any jobs and is sure to be a hit with tourists. All eyes are on you to make the right move.
 
As evidenced by the hateful, bigoted carriage driver in the video, everything about this industry is stuck in the 19th century. Help us move into a more civilized future. I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
Martina Navratilova

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

An UPDATE to the story HERE.

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Comments

  1. Is he one of those Catholic Irish men?

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 17, 2012 12:19:53 PM


  2. The whole thing is upsetting. I used to live next to the dirty parking garage where the horses live when they're not working.

    My friend Donny has a great synopsis of Quinn's involvement with the carriage industry here: http://www.blindersthemovie.com/

    Posted by: JX | Jul 17, 2012 12:32:30 PM


  3. Trying to combine these two separate issues doesn't make sense. It weakens the argument.

    Either the horses are mistreated or they're not, but that doesn't have anything to do with whether the driver is homophobic or racist. If the driver waved and blew kisses at Pride marchers it still wouldn't change conditions for the horse, so make the case for that separately.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 17, 2012 12:53:44 PM


  4. Martina is a wonderful person. I've met her twice and, despite maintaining a travel schedule that would fell someone half her age, is extremely gracious and generous.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 17, 2012 12:55:49 PM


  5. Caliban, it's difficult to raise awareness of the conditions of the horse-drawn carriages arbitrarily. Martina, who is fabulous, is simply using the press created by this gross event to raise the issue of the conditions.

    Posted by: JX | Jul 17, 2012 12:59:51 PM


  6. I agree. If I have a fight with a homophobic taxi cab driver, it doesn't mean we should ban taxis. The argument can be won on its own merits.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 17, 2012 1:05:11 PM


  7. Christine Quinn not only killed the very popular bill to ban horse-drawn carriages for political reasons, but she has also blocked every meaningful animal protection bill introduced at City Hall since she became Speaker. To rub salt into the wounds of the animals and their advocates, she has fast-tracked phony bills that give the impression of helping animals while hurting them, such as a bill in 2011 that overturned a law mandating a (much needed) animal shelter if every borough. A few years ago, she killed a bill that was co-sponsored by 45 Council Members (out of 51). It would have required pet stores to install sprinklers (after a several pet store fires killed hundreds of animals). Her real estate donors didn't want to retrofit their retail spaces with sprinklers, so she killed the bill for them.

    Posted by: Donny Moss | Jul 17, 2012 1:11:22 PM


  8. @ MIKE :

    I'm ashamed to see that this small little piece of bigoted $hit is Irish. He shames us all.
    Maybe he supports those bigots who won't let us march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade....The Ancient Order of Hibernians.....which we denounce, including our president who refused their invitation to lead it without gays.
    He is certainly not representative of his home country....and we should tar and feather him if we get our hands on him.

    I don't think that the people running these horse drawn carriages have the interests of the horses in mind......they are only interested in profit.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 17, 2012 1:38:19 PM


  9. Martina honey, I think you are trying to merge 2 different issues to advance your views. The homophobia/racism of that one driver deserves to be called out but it has absolutely nothing to do with carriage driving and is not a reason to call for an end to the carriage trade in NYC.

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | Jul 17, 2012 1:45:47 PM


  10. I was one of the volunteers from NYCLASS who was there. We were just handing out flyers to passersby when this insane drivers went bonkers. Whatever, we'll be back out there again this weekend.

    Posted by: Joan P | Jul 17, 2012 1:49:51 PM


  11. Horrible incident and the carriage driver deserves the bad publicity; HOWEVER, PETA is another group that likes to shanghai LGBT rights and use it for their cause (Martina should not blur the issues). PETA does not speak for me or anyone in my gay community.

    Posted by: William | Jul 17, 2012 2:14:55 PM


  12. What an angry little leprechaun that man is, oh my!

    @CALIBAN, while I agree with you in theory, my experience with people expressing completely offensive and hateful language are often hiding something...

    Keep on fighting the good fight and get these horses off our streets and the animals that drive them out of our city.

    I am not a big PETA supporter, but I do strongly agree with their efforts here.

    Posted by: Xavi | Jul 17, 2012 2:25:48 PM


  13. I could not agree more. And this gay man will not vote for Quinn. She facilitated Bloomberg third term.

    Posted by: Monrob | Jul 17, 2012 2:45:16 PM


  14. Not anyone, William?

    Posted by: John Normile | Jul 17, 2012 3:02:47 PM


  15. As a person of color and also one of the person in the small group handling out fliers, the two issues are interrelated. This is why I feel for animals because they are exploited They didn't pick their specie ad I didn't chose my color. We must have compassion and this industry lacks it!

    Posted by: Latina | Jul 17, 2012 3:20:45 PM


  16. As a person of color and also one of the person in the small group handling out fliers, the two issues are interrelated. This is why I feel for animals because they are exploited They didn't pick their specie ad I didn't chose my color. We must have compassion and this industry lacks it!

    Posted by: Latina | Jul 17, 2012 3:20:47 PM


  17. Here we go again with PETA trying to hijack anything possible for cheap publicity and to stir up controversy.

    This driver is a homophobic, racist, whatever you want to call him. That has NOTHING to do with PETA, it's issues, or it's constant attempts to create headlines.

    PETA may have a few worthy goals, but mixed in with those goals are a plethora of dishonest tactics, extreme rhetoric, and outright lies. One example is PETA running ads in publications that children would see, telling the kids that Daddy is a murderer if he goes fishing.

    Martina, do not invoke the gay community when promoting PETA, you will find many of us despise PETA and its tactics, even if we support some of its goals. The animus PETA has created with its money wasting efforts,including trying to get memorial markers for animals killed on highways, and having sea mammals legally declared as "people", has created a large anti-PETA group of people.

    So now Martina Navratilova has joined PETA, when there are much more worthy organizations out there., sad.

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 17, 2012 4:12:08 PM


  18. Maybe they were after his Lucky Charms.

    Posted by: milou | Jul 17, 2012 4:15:49 PM


  19. Why is it when a white man is homophobic, people are allowed to lash out on his race? When a black man is violently homophobic, we're not allowed to comment on their race? Reverse racism much?

    Posted by: Truth | Jul 17, 2012 4:36:09 PM


  20. I was just going to comment, how come no one is commenting on the racist comments above directed at a caucasian Irish man? Notice how no one except one poster above has corrected it. Now if we so much as mention homophobia in the black community- it's the worst evil. But the Anti Irish comments above are not making anyone bat an eyelash. Interesting

    Posted by: IonMusic | Jul 17, 2012 4:38:17 PM


  21. The two issues of animal cruelty and bigotry are connected. Both make an unjust unfair treatment of living beings. I sincerely cant believe anyone would not see how they correlate

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Jul 17, 2012 4:40:00 PM


  22. Well this gay man completely allows animal rights groups to use me, my name and my sexualitu to further help their cause and the rights of all animals. The same motives and disdain that goes in blocking my rights and respect is what motivates people to harm animals. In both cases insecurity, lack of civilty, and bullying is in place to *control* someone or something else. I will stand up to everyone and living creature being valued with respect, not just rights that effect me or my skin color. Shame on anyone who only wants to help injustices that serves them

    Posted by: Kyle Ohten | Jul 17, 2012 4:43:35 PM


  23. The underlinning principle behind animal cruelty and homophobia are the same

    Compassion, or lack thereof.

    Most common sense folk can recognize that

    Posted by: Amber | Jul 17, 2012 4:46:31 PM


  24. The two issues aren't being merged but simply the parellels between the two are being drawn, and that's not a bad thing at all. From my life experiences, decades upon decades, one thing that I've consistently noticed is those I've met who are animal lovers (be it volunteers in shelters, rescues, those with non profit organizations devote to helping mistreated animals) animal lovers have been the most unwavering loyal supporters of equal rights and acceptance of LGBT in my life. It's almost as though they get pain and suffering, and the importance of love & nurture.

    Now conversely, the people I've known who make insensitive and flippant comments like "it's just an animal. animals are not people. Who cares someone abused them? What about all the people who are hurting?" are the SAME people who turn and make comments like " why do you have to announce your gay and shove it down our throats? Keep that crap behind closed doors where it belongs. We don't want to see that nastiness"

    Both cases equate to no conscience or empathy.

    Posted by: 2EastCoastDudes | Jul 17, 2012 4:55:05 PM


  25. The two issues aren't being merged but simply the parellels between the two are being drawn, and that's not a bad thing at all. From my life experiences, decades upon decades, one thing that I've consistently noticed is those I've met who are animal lovers (be it volunteers in shelters, rescues, those with non profit organizations devote to helping mistreated animals) animal lovers have been the most unwavering loyal supporters of equal rights and acceptance of LGBT in my life. It's almost as though they get pain and suffering, and the importance of love & nurture.

    Now conversely, the people I've known who make insensitive and flippant comments like "it's just an animal. animals are not people. Who cares someone abused them? What about all the people who are hurting?" are the SAME people who turn and make comments like " why do you have to announce your gay and shove it down our throats? Keep that crap behind closed doors where it belongs. We don't want to see that nastiness"

    Both cases equate to no conscience or empathy.

    Posted by: 2EastCoastDudes | Jul 17, 2012 4:55:07 PM


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