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Gay Rights Archive

October 26, 2009 @ 11:11 am

Michael Bloomberg v. the People of New York City: The Spin v. The Facts

Filed under A Good Manager?, cynical, Education, Gay Rights, Housing, News, Reading List, term limits · 2 Comments »

October 21, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

Not Seeing Progress with Bloomberg, Gay City News Endorses Thompson

The Village Voice reported earlier today that the Staten Island Advance and the Observer (which it called a “snooty weekly”) endorsed Bloomberg for mayor. The Advance considered Thompson “too nice” and the Observer didn’t mention a single thing about considering the issue of Bloomberg overturning term limits in its endorsement.

Fortunately, Gay City News has evaluated Bloomberg’s campaign and has seen politics, not progress. The publication has decided to endorse Bill Thompson for mayor:

Bloomberg’s actions regarding gay marriage are at sharp odds with his words, a disjunction all too common in his LGBT record. Thompson is clearly the superior candidate on our issues.

See the endorsement at Gay City News.

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October 2, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

More Flip-Flopping From Mayor Bloomberg

Yesterday’s reports of the Bloomberg campaign producing a four-page brochure attacking Democratic Mayoral Challenger Bill Thompson’s management of the City’s $80 billion pension system, also showed the mayor making a U-turn to say that he actually believed Thompson has done a solid job as comptroller.

On the road to marriage equality, Bloomberg has made another U-turn. Two weeks ago, Bloomberg told Gay City News that he put the chances of passing a gay marriage bill this fall at “zero, zero.” Yesterday, he told a crowd of LGBT supporters (and voters): “I actually think in my heart of hearts that this is going to get done.”

Obviously, the mayor is looking to recoup some votes from the gay community he might have lost after he made his previous comment. Thinking about passing a marriage equality bill in your heart is one thing. Bloomberg has been saying a bill should be passed ever since he appealed a court decision legalizing gay marriage in 2005, so will he even try to get a bill through now? We’d put the chances of that at zero, zero.

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October 1, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

Reading List: Bloomberg Attacks (Sort of), Dems Livid at Markowitz for Backing Bloomberg

* Bloomberg is on the attack, spending a good amount of money on TV ads and mailers in an attempt to dismantle Thompson’s record, reports the City Room. Sol Stern from City Journal writes that Thompson needs to step up and tell Bloomberg to quit flip-flopping.

* Here’s some flip-flopping for you: Azi Paybarah reports that when asked about his mailer attacking Thompson for his handling of the City’s pension fund, Bloomberg said: “He is an honest human being, a classy human being and somebody, all kidding aside, I thought should have stayed on as comptroller.”

* Several Democratic leaders are mad at Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz for endorsing Bloomberg, reports Elizabeth Benjamin. They’re holding a press conference tomorrow to show their anger.

* The Villager reports that a victim of false gay prostitution is suing the City, naming Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and other officials as defendants in the case.

Filed under Gay Rights, News, Reading List, term limits · 2 Comments »

September 25, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

Democratic State Sen. Duane and Mayoral Challenger Thompson Slam Bloomberg’s Gay Marriage Comments

Via Gay City News:

In the wake of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s comments pegging the chances of gay marriage moving in Albany this fall at “zero, zero,” and charging that his Democratic opponent in the November 3 election is “afraid to go near any of these issues,” Senator Thomas K. Duane and City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., have struck back hard.

“Once again Mike Bloomberg is talking out of both sides of his mouth,” Thompson’s campaign argued in an email to Gay City News. “The fact of the matter is Mike will stand up in press conferences and talk the talk but at the end of the day he never walks the walk. Mike Bloomberg has consistently supported the Republican Party and its anti-gay marriage agenda.”

Duane, an out gay Chelsea Democrat who is leading the efforts to win Senate approval for Governor David A. Paterson’s marriage equality bill, already passed by the Assembly, was more specific in his critique of Bloomberg.

“As far as I know, the mayor hasn’t been in on any discussions with Senate Democrats or with Senate Republicans on strategy for getting marriage passed,” he told Gay City News on September 24. “There have been people involved with his administration that I’ve talked with and others may have spoken to, but I don’t know of the mayor personally speaking to anyone.”

Duane said he continues to believe that the marriage equality bill has “an excellent chance” to move quickly. “I remain confident it will get done this fall,” he said.

Duane and Thompson were responding to comments Bloomberg made in a September 17 interview with Gay City News published online on September 20.

Duane challenged a central tenet of the mayor’s appeal to LGBT voters — that his strong financial backing of the State Senate Republicans, whose campaigns he has supported to the tune of as much as $2 million in the past two election cycles, allows him the leverage to round up GOP votes in favor of gay marriage.

Advocates across the board acknowledge that some Republicans will be needed to win approval in a closely divided 32-30 Senate in which Democrats have control by the smallest of margins.

“His offer to come testify is the easiest political commitment to make, but the time for hearings is past,” Duane said. “I held hearings on the bill years ago. I can’t say he’s expended much political capital on this.”

In casting doubt on the mayor’s commitment to the issue, Duane recalled that Bloomberg appealed a Manhattan district judge’s 2005 pro-marriage equality ruling, at the same time he first voiced support for the right of gay and lesbian couples to wed.

In his comments last week, Bloomberg said he “suspect[s]” Republican Senators Frank Padavan of Queens and Martin Golden of Brooklyn, who have aggressively fought movement toward gay marriage in the past, would vote yes “if it came down to it.”

Asked about the prospects of changing the minds of these two Republicans, Duane said, “I have everybody on my gettable list, however those two particular senators are not on anybody’s top priorities list.”

Bryan Gorman, Padavan’s director of public affairs, said that the mayor has not had any conversations with the senator about the marriage equality issue. A call requesting comment from Golden’s office about any discussions he has had with Bloomberg was not returned as of press time.

Thompson was responding to a different argument raised by the mayor — that the comptroller is avoiding discussion of his support for gay marriage as he focuses instead on pulling out his base in the African-American and other people of color communities. Several times during the September 17 interview, Bloomberg pointed to what he said is the social conservatism of the black and Latino communities.

The statement from the comptroller’s campaign distinguished Thompson’s record from the mayor’s by emphasizing his support for more comprehensive AIDS education, including classroom condom demonstrations, and his advocacy for two bills passed over Bloomberg’s veto, but never implemented — one that would require contractors doing significant business with the city to offer their gay employees the same partner rights given to married couples, and another establishing anti-bullying policies in city schools protecting specific groups, including gay, lesbian, and transgendered students. (Last year, the Bloomberg administration rolled out its own program to combat harassment in the schools.)

The Thompson campaign also noted the comptroller’s success, as head of the city employee pension funds, in forcing 75 companies in which New York invests to adopt workplace fairness policies encompassing sexual orientation and gender identity, an effort for which he received the Champion Award from Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, an LGBT non-profit.

Duane’s optimism on the prospects for enacting the marriage bill this year was echoed by other advocates.

“We don’t agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s statement that marriage equality does not have a chance of coming up for a vote this fall,” Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, the LGBT community’s lead lobbying group in Albany, told Gay City News in an email message. “The mayor is focused on New York City and his race for re-election, and not on the details involved in moving the marriage bill forward in Albany. We know from the work that we do daily on this issue that marriage equality is still very much in play in 2009.”

Van Capelle’s comments included a hint of pique at the mayor for talking down marriage equality’s prospects at a critical juncture in the legislative process.

“The mayor’s statements were disappointing,” he wrote. “Nobody ever thinks we will win and in the end we always do.”

Duane sounded less concerned about the impact of Bloomberg’s words.

“Regardless of what the mayor says, we will move forward full steam ahead and his comments won’t change that,” the senator said.

Christine Quinn, the out lesbian speaker of the City Council, who has traveled to Albany several times this year to lobby senators on marriage equality, told Gay City News, “I disagree with the mayor. I do believe that there is a real potential and a very real potential in the near future.”

Quinn was cautious, however, about making a specific prediction of favorable Senate action this year.

“If I knew exactly when” the measure would move, “I would probably know who was going to win the trifecta at Belmont,” she said, but added, “I don’t see any reason to think that there is not potential to have this vote.”

Quinn said she recently met with John Sampson, the Brooklyn Democrat who now heads up the majority caucus in the Senate.

“He was overall very supportive of the issue,” she said. “Obviously in the position he’s in, he’s counting votes.”

Asked whether Bloomberg offering a negative assessment concerned her, Quinn said, “People have to answer questions honestly.”

Filed under cynical, Gay Rights, News, Reading List · 1 Comment »

September 21, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Reading List: Poll Shows New Yorkers Mixed on Bloomberg, The Mayor Uses Fuzzy Math in Mailers

* According to a Daily News/Marist poll, 47 percent of registered voters say they’re tired of Bloomberg while 46 percent say they’re looking forward to having him around for four more years. The poll shows Michael Bloomberg leading his Democratic mayoral challenger Bill Thompson 50 percent to 39 percent, with 10 percent of voters undecided.

* Adam Lisberg reports that Bloomberg is using fuzzy facts to attack Thompson in his mailers, citing misleading sources and incorrect data about Thompson’s education record.

* The City Room is giving readers the chance to ask Joyce Purnick, the author of Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, about the mayor’s life.

* Gay City News reports that Bloomberg puts the chances of a gay marriage bill being pushed through this year at “zero, zero.” Since 2005, Bloomberg has said he’d like to push a marriage equality bill through — despite appealing a State Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage — and has yet to make any progress on it.

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September 7, 2009 @ 9:20 am

Reading: State Senate shelves key tenant-protection bills

Why aren’t we surprised?

Tenants cannot hope to get meaningful protection from Albany or New York City until they depose Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn, and by doing so, send the message to all the other real estate-financed politicians that they finally understand the game that’s being played at their expense. They won’t understand the game until some tenant “leaders” retire and are replaced with those who tell tenants the truth.

Speaking Truth to Power is far less important than speaking truth to the powerless: The powerful already know the truth.
Read rest of story…

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July 29, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

Photos From Last Night’s Quinn Protest

Christine Quinn Protest

From Donny Moss, creator of the Christine Quinn: Behind the Smile video:

Last night, seven of us held an anti-Quinn demo in front of Barnes & Noble on 82nd and Broadway. Quinn was introducing an author. [Ed. Note: The author just so happens to be a Bloomberg aide who wrote a book about, of all things, democracy.]
Read rest of story…

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July 1, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

Reading: Bloomberg’s LGBT Suppporters Should Know His Anti-Gay Record (Part One)

Here’s Allen Roskoff’s column in the New York Blade about Bloomberg’s anti-gay record. It’s a good read.

By Allen Roskoff

Mike Bloomberg recently unveiled his list of LGBT supporters—a list of people willing to make disgraceful misrepresentations of his abysmal record on LGBT rights and AIDS issues. There are few credible LGBT activists on the list, and those that are will lose credibility as a result of associating with this man who is more responsible than anyone for stopping same-sex marriage in New York.

Richard Socarides is front and center on the Bloomberg list. He worked for the Clinton White House that gave us “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act. He now has the nerve to publicly criticize President Obama for moving too slowly to repeal Clinton’s hateful anti-gay laws.

Perhaps if Socarides had quit his federal post he’d have an iota of credibility to make a claim. Socarides calls Mike’s support for marriage equality “outstanding, and without his help we would not have progressed as far as we have in New York City.” This is a laughably deliberate lie, more worthy of the collection of out-of-towners who dot Bloomberg’s list of supporters. I am not at all surprised that Socarides is ringmaster for the “hanging judge” candidate for Manhattan District Attorney Leslie Crocker Snyder. Is he looking for another post, perhaps in the D.A.’s office if she wins?

Mike appealed a judge’s 2005 order to issue licenses to same-sex couples and went to court quoting Leviticus to overturn the judge’s order successfully. Mike claims his Corporation Counsel told him he had to, but my reliable sources in that office say they told him directly he certainly did not have to and shouldn’t. Thousands of gay couples from all over the world could have legally married in New York. All other appeals around the state could have been dropped, according to civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, who was handling one of them, and we wouldn’t have to leave the state now to get married.

If Bill Thompson or virtually any other Democrat had been mayor in 2005, there would have been no appeal. This action alone on Mike’s part—which he still defends—should be enough to disqualify him from LGBT support.

Beyond that, Mike is the biggest individual donor to State Senate Republicans in history—the very people blocking votes on gay rights. Has Mike produced a single Republican vote for any gay issues for his millions in donations? No. Does Socarides care? Apparently not.

See the rest of the story here: Opinion: Bloomberg’s LGBT Suppporters Should Know His Anti-Gay Record (Part One)

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June 22, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

Bloomberg Attempts to Get the Gay Vote

(Photo Credit: albany tim)

“It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt.”

No, that isn’t us describing Michael Bloomberg, it was Thomas Paine (1737-1809) talking about former President John Adams, whose presidency was marked by intense disputes over foreign policy.

But the great patriot could have been talking about the mayor-in-waiting. The man who sent his lawyers to the highest state court to appeal a lower court ruling that upheld same sex marriages, which cited no less an authority than Leviticus, is now everywhere, buttonholing anyone who will listen.
Read rest of story…

Filed under cynical, Gay Rights, News, Reading List · 1 Comment »

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