Earlier this week Upper West Side Sen. Tom Duane, the only openly LGBT member of the State Senate, told supporters that he was taking his name off as co-host of a fundraiser for David Weprin in wake of comments the Assemblyman gave to an Orthodox Jewish news site in which he alleged that the State Senate vote to legalize same-sex marriage should be investigated due to procedural irregularities and “coercion.”
The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic club, an LGBT political club, followed suit and others are said to be considering doing the same.
“It is astounding that someone could try to walk that kind of line on something like that,” said Allen Roskoff, head of the club. “If he has to be made an example of, so be it.”
Reached by phone today however, Duane reversed course and said that he was putting his name back on the fundraising invitation.
“We all make mistakes, and we all say things we wish we hadn’t,” Duane said. “I am cutting him some slack.”
Duane said that no one lobbied him to come back to the Weprin fold.
“I just thought it over,” he said.
The fundraiser came about because Weprin, the Democratic candidate for the Congressional seat vacated by Anthony Weiner, appeared last month before a meeting of the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, another LGBT political club, and lamented that “everybody is after me,” for his vote on marriage equality, according to one person present.
In response, LID endorsed the Assemblyman in his bid against Republican Bob Turner, and some members tried to organize a fundraiser.
Joe Hagelmann, the head of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York, said that his club was still supporting Weprin and agreed with Duane that one stray comment should not undo Weprin’s record.
“As far as I know, David is a pretty good guy,” he said. ”He voted the right way on our issues both in the Council and in the Assembly, so it’s a little shocking to see things in the blogs that are contrary to what we believe [about Weprin.]“
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