In his State of the Union address this evening, President Barack Obama addressed several hot-button political issues including climate change, immigration reform and gun control. Overall, the president’s speech struck a populist tone, but when bringing up his proposals to address some of these more controversial issues, he characterized them as making good business sense.
While selling his book at Princeton University earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia defended moral opposition to gay marriage by asking, “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?” According to the Associated Press, Mr. Scalia said he wasn’t equating murder and homosexuality but rather making a logical argument entitled “reduction to the absurd,” but Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an openly gay candidate for mayor next year, wasn’t remotely satisfied with his explanation.
“It’s offensive!” Ms. Quinn exclaimed on Hardball yesterday evening. “Sexual orientation is who we are as people, it’s how we’re created if we’re the LGBT [community]. To compare that–even in a way you want to say was some philosophical exercise–to a heinous, horrible crime of murder? It’s just wrong. He can say it’s a slip of the tongue and that’s fine and we all of them; God knows I have. Just apologize. But don’t compare me to a murderer because I’m a lesbian. Just don’t do it. It’s wrong.”
Drugs & Marriage
A rally hosted by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network this morning that was ostensibly held to discuss the situation in the State Senate featured all of the likely Democratic mayoral candidates blasting the New York Post for a cartoon the tabloid published in response to Politicker’s story about Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray’s, past as a lesbian activist. Mr. de Blasio, with Ms. McCray by his side, was the last of the candidates to speak. Mr. de Blasio began by thanking Ms. Sharpton for supporting him and his wife in the days since the story came out, which he said had been “painful and challenging for us.” He went on to talk about meeting Ms. McCray.
“Twenty one years ago Chirlane and I were working in City Hall for Mayor Dinkins. I met this beautiful, strong woman. And I’ve said many times, for me it was love at first sight. It may have taken Chirlane a little longer,” said Mr. de Blasio. “I got to know her and I saw a human being that I fell deeper and deeper in love with, a human being. And I am so proud of the years of struggle and activism, of what she did for women, for the LGBT community, for people of color and the anti-apartheid movement. I am so proud of this woman and the good work she did.”
doma in a coma
President Barack Obama was clearly the biggest winner last night with his victory over Mitt Romney, but there were two other notable victories in this election. Same-sex marriage and openly gay candidates won in multiple states as did initiatives to allow for medical and recreational marijuana.
hating the haters
This afternoon, a New York federal appeals court struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, which excluded federal benefits from same-sex couples in states recognizing such marriages. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, both loud advocates in favor of gay marriage, blasted out a rare joint statement approving the legal decision.
“Today’s decision affirms that DOMA deprives same sex couples of equal protection under the law,” Mr. Bloomberg said.
rudy to the rescue
Veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel joined his New York colleague Nydia Velázquez and twenty-four other members of the U.S. House today to speak out against homophobia worldwide, and for gay marriage legislation, of course.
“I believe that hatred of any kind has no place in America. I’m proud to participate in a campaign that promotes the progress that our country has made over the past few years with regard to the rights of the LGBT community,” Mr. Rangel said in a press release announcing his participation. “This is a wonderful way to support their struggle for equality and to discourage discrimination based on who people love.”
Love & Marriage
Later this afternoon, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be holding a press conference on the steps of City Hall to specifically condemn a controversial campaign advertisement sent out in the Republican primary for a Queens State Senate seat.
The mailer, produced by attorney Juan Reyes’s campaign, accused his GOP rival, Councilman Eric Ulrich, of being hypocritical on gay marriage because, among other things, he has dinner with an openly gay colleague on the City Council and has hired gay staffers in his government office. New York State, of course, has a statute that would forbid this type of discrimination in hiring.
CHARLOTTE, NC — Evangelist leader Gary Bauer told Politicker his pro-Romney super PAC, Campaign for American Values, won’t just be running one ad attacking President Barack Obama for supporting same sex marriage. Mr. Bauer says the “New Morning” ad is only running in North Carolina during the Democratic National Convention, but that commercial just the beginning of a larger campaign aimed at using the President’s position on gay marriage to drive votes to Mitt Romney in several crucial swing states.
“We plan on running that ad and others like it in a number of swing states,” said Mr. Bauer.
New York’s only branch of the controversial fried chicken sandwich chain Chick-Fil-A is located in an NYU cafeteria, but if a self-proclaimed Tea Partier running for State Assembly has his way the restaurant will soon set up shop in South Brooklyn. As a response to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s letter asking NYU to close the campus Chick-Fil-A after the owner of the chain declared his opposition to same-sex marriage, Mr. Gallo sent a letter of his own. Mr. Gallo wrote to Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-Fil-A, saying, “I would like to invite your company to consider opening a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in southern Brooklyn.”
“I want you to know that Ms. Quinn does not speak for all New Yorkers. I and many of my neighbors agree with your views on traditional family units. But more importantly, I’m sure we all could agree that no one in government should tell anyone what to believe, who to support and how to spend our money,” Mr. Gallo wrote.
Mitt Romney made a speech via satellite at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Saturday morning in which he reiterated his view that children are better off growing up with hetereosexual parents.
“We need to strengthen the commitment that exists in this country to family. I hope to be able to talk to young people and tell them how important it is to get married before they have children because the opportunity for a mom and a dad to help guide the life of a child gives them such an enormous advantage in their lives going forward,” Mr. Romney said.
The Politicker reached out to the Romney campaign to see whether they felt a child could equally benefit from the guidance provided by a gay couple. Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Mr. Romney, said it is the candidate’s long held belief children are better off with straight parents.