Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, an all-but-officially announced mayoral hopeful, has prominently featured his wife Chirlane McCray in his campaign literature and on his web site. Despite Ms. McCray’s front-and-center role in his campaign, for which she also serves as an unpaid advisor, one aspect of her life has thus far remained out of the public eye.
Prior to meeting Mr. de Blasio, Ms. McCray identified as a lesbian and had several long-term relationships with other women. In a seven-page essay she wrote for the September 1979 issue of Essence magazine entitled “I am a Lesbian” she frankly discussed her sexuality and expressed gratitude that she came to terms with her preference for women before marrying a man.
“I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman” Ms. McCray wrote. “Coming to terms with my life as a lesbian has been easier for me than it has been for many. Since I don’t look or dress like the typical bulldagger, I have a choice as to whether my sexual preference is known.”
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had been to the Democratic National Convention three times before, but this year’s event was different. These days, Ms. Quinn is widely seen as the front-runner in next year’s race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In May, just 10 days after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, instantly making it one of the hottest topics of this election cycle, Ms. Quinn married her longtime partner Kim Catullo in a wedding that received almost Kardashian-esque coverage from New York’s political press corps and made her one of the highest-profile married, openly gay politicians in the country.
With her newfound notoriety, it would seem, the stars are aligning for Ms. Quinn to follow Mr. Bloomberg’s footsteps as the most prominent mayor in the country. However, she will first have to cut her path to City Hall through a crowded field of opponents and a Council that may include members eager to exact revenge on the outgoing speaker, while also battling the persistent impression she is a political stand-in, a Medvedev to Mr. Bloomberg’s Putin.
Love & Marriage
GASTONIA, NC — A super PAC with ties to evangelist leader Gary Bauer is trying frighten would-be Obama supporters in at least one Southern swing state by raising the specter of the President’s support for gay marriage. The “Campaign for American Values” has launched a pro-Mitt Romney television campaign with an ad warning viewers that ”Obama trying to force gay marriage on this country.”
In the commercial, which is entitled “New Morning,” a couple wakes up to coffee and the threat of legalized same sex marriage as they peruse the morning paper.
“Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s not the change I voted for,” one of them says,
“That’s not the change I voted for either,” the other agrees.
The ad closes with a narrator advising the couple to ward off this potential onslaught of married gay couples by voting “for someone with values” as the words “VOTE ROMNEY/RYAN” appear on the screen.
Lesbians now have their very own super PAC. LPAC, a super PAC dedicated to giving “lesbians a real and meaningful seat at the table” launched this morning.
Love & Marriage
In a commencement speech at Liberty University this morning Mitt Romney praised anti-gay pastor Jerry Falwell and the founder of Chick-fil-A, a fast food chain that has donated millions to anti-gay groups. Falwell, who passed away in 2007, was the founder of Liberty University and an outspoken opponent of homosexuality.
“In his 73 years of life, Dr. Falwell left a big mark,” Mr. Romney said today. “The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.”
Love & Marriage
Evan Wolfson, the founder of the same sex marriage advocacy group Freedom To Marry, issued a statement responding to President Barack Obama’s announcement he supports the legalization of same sex marriage. Mr. Wolfson described the announcement as a major victory for the movement, but he also said “there is much left to be done.” Read More
At the daily White House press briefing this afternoon, Press Secretary Jay Carney spent over 20 minutes fielding questions about Vice President Joe Biden’s comment he’s “absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights” as heterosexual couples. Mr. Carney reiterated the point made by the President Barack Obama’s campaign advisors that Mr. Biden’s remarks don’t represent a departurefrom the president’s policies on same sex marriage.
“The president is comfortable with same-sex couples, as the Vice President said, being entitled to the same rights and the civil rights and civil liberties as other Americans,” Mr. Carney said. “The record has long been clear that the president opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples.”
House of Representatives
Several members of New York City’s Congressional delegation released an “It Gets Better” video today in an effort to stop Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth from committing suicide. Congressmen Jerry Nadler, Joe Crowley, Ed Towns, Eliot Engel and Jose Serrano and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney all appeared in the video.
All of the members Read More
Proposition 8, the ban that ended California’s brief, four-month-long flirtation with same-sex marriage in 2008, was struck down today by a federal appeals court. The three judge panel of the ninth circuit court ruled 2-1 in favor of overturning the voter-approved measure.
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in the ruling.
On Sunday, as Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer and over 400 other guests looked on, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell married John Banta, his partner of over three decades. For Mr. O’Donnell, the wedding was the culmination of a more-than-four-year fight—which included numerous lawsuits and the introduction of five bills to the State Legislature—that finally resulted in same-sex marriage’s finally being legalized in New York last June.
“I began this battle when Eliot Spitzer was elected governor,” Mr. O’Donnell told The Observer. “I used to wake up every day thinking about how many votes I had or didn’t have. Now it’s like, what do I do now?”