The New York City Police Department's hate crimes task force is investigating after a theater journalist was badly beaten.
Police say Randy Gener was found unconscious with severe head trauma near 54th Street and Seventh Avenue shortly after leaving a party in the early hours of January 17.
Family and friends lit candles in his honor Sunday night.
They say they can't understand why anyone would hurt him.
"I have no idea why somebody would be so upset with him to cause that much pain," said Jessica Blair-Daiessler, the victim's sister.
"He's the nicest, kindest person, one of them, in the world, and I think that's true. That's what I fell in love with," said Steve Nisbet, the victim's partner. "So the irony of this, that somebody so loving could be a victim of something like this, is tough."
Gener is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Daily News and other publications.
He remains hospitalized.