Woman Attacked at Anti-Gay Rally by Head of Catholic Citizenship Group
On Saturday December 16, in front of Worcester city hall there was an Anti-Gay rally promoted by VoteonMarriage.org in which a woman was attacked by Larry Cirignano, the executive director of Catholic Citizenship Group. According to eye witnesses that have given their statements to police, Mr. Cirignano became enraged when he saw a woman protesting his rally was in a group of his supporters, he then "ran into the crowd, grabbed her by both shoulders and told her, “You need to get out. You need to get out of here right now.” Mr. Cirignano then pushed her to the ground, her head slamming against the concrete sidewalk. The visibly shaken Mrs. Loy was helped to her feet by witnesses who came to her aid, and although she was rattled she was able to declare to no one in particular, "That's what hate does!"
“It was definitely assault and battery,” said Ronal C. Madnick, director of the Worcester County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Police interviewed Mr. Madnick and several others moments after the incident." ~Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
Being at the scene of the attack I was there to hear Worcester police sargeant Wells tell Mrs. Loy "We cannot arrest him right now because the law states we have to actually see the attack, and none of my men did. You will have your day in court though." A visibly shaken Mrs. Loy and her husband Brian Loy say that they are outraged that a man of Mr. Cirignano's position would act so hatefully, and they plan on pursuing this in court as advised.
Here is a quote from Chris Mason's blog TakeMassAction from someone who posted to his blog:
"At 10:46 PM, pdmt99 said...
I spoke with Cirignano after the rally and asked him his side of what happened, “That lady came up to the podium and I escorted her back into the audience.” Given what had transpired, I followed-up to make sure I heard correctly, “Escorted?”, “Yes, escorted”, he replied. Asked if he felt he assaulted her he shot back without hesitation, “Hell, no!” adding,“She’s an actress, she’s a professional actress.”
I have photos of the police interviewing Cirignano after the assault, as well as the rest of the rally and demonstration.
FYI, others have not covered this, but Sarah Loy who was assaulted is a member of the Board of Directors of the Worcester Chapter of the ACLU."
Here is what Cirignano now claims in the Boston Globe as reported By James Vaznis:
"In a telephone interview last night, Cirignano acknowledged guiding the woman away from the event with his arm on her back, but said he had a portfolio in his left hand and did not knock her down.
He said he did not see her fall. "I promise you, I did not throw her to the ground."
It seems that Ambassador Flynn is already distancing himself from Mr. Cirignano, ans his written comments come just short of a reprimand:
"I didn't see any incident, but nobody has the right to push anyone. The marriage issue is very important and everyone is entitled to protest and demonstrate peacefully."
The story that Mr. Cirignano paints leaves more questions than it answers. If Mrs. Loy approached the podium like he said, why aren't there any pictures of this? If he "escorted" her to where she should be with the other protesters, why did she fall still in the middle of his supporters, and why did he not see that? I'll tell you why; because that is not the truth, and there are too many witnesses to this event to deny all their claims. If words are not enough, as they say pictures are worth a thousand words. Stay tuned as more evidence becomes available you can be sure it will be kept current on QueerToday.com
Additional links for this story are:
Live, Love and Learn
Updated December 18, 2006: Since this story was released Mrs. Sarah Loy has in fact filed a criminal complaint against Larry Cirignano. I expect we will see very little further information on this issue since all invovled are being told to remian silent and wait for the court hearing.