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Anti-Gay Letter Targets Buffalo Businesses

Jim Burroway

December 15th, 2008

Several Buffalo businesses reported receiving an anonymous anti-gay letter last month. The businesses, located in the trendy Elmwood Village area, are believed to have been targeted because they advertised in a local weekly newspaper supporting the Gay Pride Center of Western New York’s discount shopping program.

A number of businesses received a copy of the letter just before Thanksgiving, which criticized their support for the program and threatening a boycott of their business. The exact contents of the letter hasn’t been released, but the “threatening language” has prompted city officials to launch an investigation. And yet despite all that, one business owner found a silver lining:

For [Elmwood Framing and Interiors' Michael] Gillis, there was one encouraging consequence to the whole affair. A large number of people — judges, lawyers, ministers and more than a few customers — made a point of calling him to offer their sympathy and support. “One nut case,” he said, “made me realize what a great place Buffalo is.”

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