Eyewitnesses in Brooklyn say that at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, three black men got out of their car shouting anti-gay and anti-Latino epithets at two brothers from Ecuador walking home from a local bar. Neither brother is gay.

The brothers?Jose Sucuzhanay, 31, the owner of a real estate agency in New York City, and Romel Sucuzhanay, 38, visiting from Ecuador?were not dressed warm enough for the cold, so they left the bar walking arm in arm with a jacket over their shoulders.

Jose was severely beaten with a broken beer bottle and a baseball bat, which resulted in extensive brain damage and skull fractures. Romel was able to escape to call for help. Jose was in a coma and put on life support, then died two days later.

This sad story is yet another reminder that gender identity and expression need to be included in all LGBT civil rights legislation at all levels of government. Jose was not gay, but his gender expression that night prompted this hate crime.

Click here to download this map of LGBT hate crime laws from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:


UPDATE: An arrest has been made in this case, The Daily News reports.