The 27-year-old male victim was walking with a friend about 3 a.m. on New Year's Day near First Avenue and 15th Street when they got into a verbal altercation with the three men captured in the surveillance images.
Police say the three men began hurling homophobic slurs at the victim and his friend. That is when things turned physical and the alleged victim was attacked and suffered bruises to his head.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes task force is investigating the incident, and earlier on Friday, New York's Anti Violence project issued an alert about the assault.
In January, police busted a Brooklyn man for a series of "knockout" assaults that victimized mainly Jewish women. Back in September, the Hate Crimes task force investigated a 31-year-old man who police say vowed to attack the first white person he came across. He then punched several people in Union Square, critically injuring one man.