Drugs & Marriage
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.
doma in a coma
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.
hating the haters
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.”
rudy to the rescue
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.
Love & Marriage
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.
don't send her the invite
The three candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand debated last night and several interesting moments came up when discussing the same sex marriage New York enacted last year.
Notably, when one of the candidates, Wendy Long, faced a question as to whether she would, on principle, refuse to attend a same-sex wedding, she answered with a firm “yes.”
The line of questioning appeared to move on before George Maragos could answer the question, but for his part, Bob Turner said, “I would not refuse, no.”
At a news conference taking place later today to push for reforms to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, a plethora of LGBT elected officials and candidates will be sending their support as well. Joining advocates at the historic Stonewall Inn will be Council Speaker Christine Quinn, representatives from every gay or lesbian council member in the city, and Assemblyman Matt Titone.
The press conference in many ways represents the expanding base of support advocates against stop-and-frisk have been able to accumulate. Previously, support for changing the NYPD tactic was generally confined to elected officials in — or seeking to represent — the black and Latino communities that are most affected by the policy.
Ron Paul’s official campaign website published a copy of a Minnesota Star Tribune op-ed by “Ron Paul activist and delegate” Craig Westover yesterday in which Mr. Westover argue media coverage of the “fringe of the Ron Paul movement” is akin to focusing on “the remnants of the gay-rights fringe,” which he describes as “shirtless hunks in leather tutus and motorcycling ‘Dykes on Bikes.’”
“Shirtless hunks in leather tutus and motorcycling ‘Dykes on Bikes’ are no longer the point of the gay-rights spear,” Mr. Westover wrote. “It’s the gay lawyer/gay accountant, lesbian legislator/lesbian physician–same-sex couples with kids and fundamental concerns about faith, family and freedom–who are now the face of the movement. Focusing commentary on the remnants of the gay-rights fringe is something the media would never do.”