10/03/2014 03:14 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Philly Gay Bashing Victims Release Statement At 'Love Over Hate' Rally

The victims of an alleged horrific anti-gay attack in Philadelphia have spoken out for the first time since the attack through a statement read by organizers of a rally called "Love Over Hate."

The rally, which drew an estimated 200 people, was reportedly an opportunity for individuals to lend support to the victims, as well as offer lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender high school and middle school students an opportunity to talk about the bullying they face in school.

On September 11, two gay men were allegedly the victims of an anti-gay attack by a large group of "well-dressed" individuals. Online activists later successfully identified the alleged attackers through the use of multiple social media platforms and a photo the group had taken at a restaurant shortly before the attack. Three suspects, Kathryn Knott, whose father is a police chief, James Kerrigan and Philip Williams, are now slated to stand in a preliminary hearing for the attack on Dec. 16.

Here is the statement released by the couple as reported by The Intelligencer:

Everyone keeps saying that they are sorry this happened to us. But the truth is, we’re sorry. We feel sorry for our attackers — people who believed it was OK, cool, maybe even funny, to use two innocent individuals as their punching bags and not even have the decency to apologize. Words are powerful. A simple, I’m sorry, would’ve went a long way with us ...

“You butchered my boyfriend’s beautiful face. You violated our rights. You jeopardized our health and safety in a city that we love and during a time where so much progress around human rights has been made. ... We are also determined to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else again.”

The men said they haven’t released their identity because the story is not about them, but everyone who lives in fear. They called for passage of a hate crime bill in Pennsylvania. “It stops here. It stops today. It stops now.

Check out a video from a supporter at the "Love Over Hate" rally below.

(h/t Towleroad)