Queens Gay Activist Taken Off Life Support After Attack

RispoliNew York City police confirmed that long-time New York City gay activist Lou Rispoli (pictured, left) was taken off life support after being attacked last night. 

Andy Humm from Gay City News says 62-year old Rispoli was walking with two men in Queens at about 2 am last night and was soon hit in the head with a blunt object.

"He 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," Humm reports. He was on life support but has now been moved to the hospice wing at Elmhurst Hospital. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference about the attack today and said, "[Rispoli] will not survive, and this will be a homicide".  The councilman described Rispoli's fate as “a tragedy for our neighborhood and our city." There's no confirmation one way or the other on whether this was an anti-gay attack.

Joe notes that Rispoli married partner Danyal Lawson after same-sex marriage was made legal last summer. The men met 31-year ago on the subway. "It was kind of a cheesy line," Rispoli told the New York Daily News last year. "We got off at the same stop and we both also smoked, so the line was, 'Have you got a light?'" The men have two adult daughters, the paper said.

Image via NYDN.


  1. Francis says

    So senseless. So tragic. Thoughts go out to his husband, daughters and all those grieving.

    There must be surveillance camera video somewhere that could at the very least identify the car the thugs came out of and trace it to the owner. The report said Mr. Ripsoli may have been in and gotten out of the car with them. Given the info as well that there was a lookout and no robbery took place, it’s pretty clear Mr. Ripsoli was targeted.

    I’m hopeful detectives will get to the bottom of it and the three savages are all caught and removed from the streets.

  2. Billy Crytical says

    Heterosexuals want control of gay people’s lives. One moment he was alive, the next dead without any warning. You can bet his attacker is heterosexual, much younger, probably in his 20s, and a total stranger. That is the pattern of most anti-gay attacks.

  3. Isaac says

    This is a terrible tragedy and underlines the great dangers we all face by just going out in public. My condolences to his husband and children. The world has lost an honorable human being and I greatly appreciate all the work he did for our community.

  4. Nelson says

    2 A.M. walking with 2 Men ? Well. he probably picked up these young men for some “sexual tryst” and things went wrong since these men ( supposedly straight , preying on older Gay men ) probably wanted to rob him.

  5. kevin says

    Nelson, if you live in the outer boroughs of New York City you often find yourself taking the train in to and out of Manhattan for social events. This means that you have to walk the 8 or 9 blocks home from the nearest subway stop.

  6. MikeInQueens says

    There has lately been an increased police presence in the areas around where I live here in Queens. There had been reports of unprovoked gay bashing over in Jackson Heights and in Woodside.

    It wasn’t enough to prevent this horrific act of violence against one fine, decent, honorable, courageous man.

    It just doesn’t end, does it? This is what happens when @$$holes like a Tony Perkins or a Brian Fischer can spew their hatred and not worry about the consequences of what that hatred causes.

    God! This is so awful. My heart goes out to Danyal. It is so damned sad that Lou and Danyal were finally able to marry. And now this.

    God bless you, Lou. You were a fighter and you did so much for all of us. God! This is horrible!

    @NELSON: To you, I will say this: you had better hope and pray for the rest of your miserable, f*cking life that our paths never, EVER cross.

  7. ratbastard says

    Mr. Rispoli apparently liked taking walks around the neighborhood at night. It does appear he was randomly assaulted and murdered. Very sad. One minute your contemplating how you’re going to spend your remaining years together as a couple, next this happens.

    They didn’t rob him, so it appears he was targeted [for being gay?]

  8. Francis says

    Nelson, very disrespectful. Yes, Mr. Rispoli was looking for a hookup, although nothing like this had occurred to him, before he was tragically murdered. Yup. All of a sudden he started walking around looking for a trick. He brought it on himself.

    BTW, did you read the part of the report where it states there is no indication of a robbery? Mr. Rispoli wasn’t robbed. Most likely because he had nothing on him to rob.

    There wasn’t a robbery. He was targeted and seemingly kidnapped, then killed.

    The trolls on this site are insufferable.

  9. ComeOnYo says

    How terrible, whatever it was, robbery, assault for being gay, a failed hookup, etc.. We will know later after the investigation, even if it doesn’t change a bit that it is always so dangerous to go outside by night alone. Remember that some crooks try to “punish” you if you failed to have enough money on you, if that was the case, and maybe he tried to prevent the offense by arguing that it could become a hate crime once he told them that he was a gay activist. And that infuriated the thugs even more. Hope the police catch them.

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