Mayor Bill de Blasio will not stop uniformed city workers from marching in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, despite calls from a flurry of lawmakers who want a boycott of the event, which bars the participation of openly gay groups.
Last Friday, Gay City News reporter Andy Humm printed a column accusing Councilwoman and likely candidate for Public Advocate Tish James of defending “KKK access to schools.” The story was based on a testy exchange about the controversy over whether churches should be allowed to hold worship services in public schools when class is not in session that took place between Ms. James and Ms. Humm after a public forum on stop-and-frisk at the LGBT Community Center where both were speaking. Ms. James, who supports allowing religious organizations access to school buildings, gave her side of the story to The Politicker and clarified her position on the controversial issue.
“The comment was made in jest, and apparently, it was taken very seriously by a reporter who obviously was very disappointed in my position regarding allowing access to organizations of faith, who have used and want to continue to use public schools on days that schools are closed,” Ms. James said.
Separate from the interview with Cuomo, the governor’s office declined to respond to hypothetical questions about the exemptions language (which will also be explored in greater detail in next week’s issue), but [Donna] Lieberman [of the NYCLU] said she saw nothing there that would not pass “constitutional scrutiny.” As a result, she said, the NYCLU has no concerns about the bill’s “non-severability” language that would invalidate the entire law if any part were struck down in court.
“There is no reason to look back,” Lieberman said. “This is a victory for us.”
In his response to questions about the exemptions issue, Cuomo added, “I will say, gratuitously, that it’s a trap for the gay community. There is no reason for the gay community to alienate the religious community.”