Robert Mormando, a former reputed Gambino hitman, yesterday announced that he's gay and renounced the mob life at his sentencing hearing in a federal court for his role "in the shooting of Queens bagel store owner Angelo Mugnolo, who was wounded in the driveway of his Howard Beach home in 2003" as reported by John Marzulli for the Daily News:
The rubout was ordered by Vincent Gotti, the younger brother of late crime boss John Gotti, who suspected the baker was fooling around with his wife. Mormando became a government informant shortly after the shooting. He did not have have to testify against accomplices Vincent Gotti, his nephew Richard Gotti and Angelo Ruggiero Jr., because they pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy charges last year. Sources said Mormando's cooperation was kept a closely guarded secret until he came out Monday. * * * Defense lawyer Nancy Ennis told the judge Mormando was given the contract a month after he was inducted into the crime family in 2002. "He was summoned to perform an act that he found totally unacceptable afterward," Ennis said. "He did follow through, but he found the incident to be so disagreeable shortly after that he started having strong thoughts about leaving the mob. * * * Ennis' biggest bombshell was announcing that Mormando is out of the closet. "He has been openly gay since he left the mob," Ennis said. Mormando's partner has refused to enter the witness protection program, but they have relocated and together they "live a peaceful working life," she said.
Of course, Mormando is not the first wise guy to like the guys, and Marzulli further writes:
Former DeCavalcante crime boss John D'Amato was whacked in 1992 for being gay. A burly gay hit man named Vito Arena was a member of the murderous Roy DeMeo crew. He, too, became a mob informant, but he returned to a life of a crime and was shot dead in a botched armed robbery.
Alan Feuer for the New York Times reports that Mormando "had a close personal friendship with Richard G. Gotti, Mr. Gotti’s nephew, who is currently in prison on a federal racketeering charge": "while there is no suggestion that the friendship was anything more than that, the mere fact that an avowed gay man was once 'inseparable' from a member of the Gottis is 'an intolerable stain on their name,' said the person who has knowledge of the case."
For decades the Mafia -- particularly the Gambino and Genovese crime families -- have been behind many gay bars and sex clubs in New York City, and some mobsters did mix business with pleasure. In Christopher and Gay: A Partisan’s View of the Greenwich Village Homosexual Scene (Saturday Review Press, New York: 1973), Wallace Hamilton writes:
The headquarters of the Gay Activist Alliance was an old firehouse on Wooster Street in SoHo. Dances were held there on Saturday nights as a manifest of "Our Place" as opposed to the Mafia-run gay bars in other parts of the city. * * * I was also interested to note a considerable lavender streak running through the lower levels of – of all things – the Mafia, an organization I had been led to believe was given to firm hetero domesticity. But members of the Mafia had interests in various gay bars and soda joints around town, and an equally keen interest in some of the customers, who happened also to be guys who hung around my place. So I developed a rather strange interchange with Godfather types. It reached a climax of a sort one summer afternoon when some of my egghead neighbors were assembled outside the house. A long, sleek black Cadillac pulled up in front of the house with two white-on-white types in the front seat. Out of the back seat came one of my Cherished, duly delivered, and the Cadillac purred away. The expression on the neighbors' faces was something to behold.
And let's not overlook those who have sampled the merchandise at the tranny brothels.