At a fundraiser at Chelsea Piers yesterday evening, First Lady Michelle Obama urged supporters to back her husband’s re-election bid because his Supreme Court picks will allow succeeding generations to “love whomever they choose.”
While not expressly mentioning the legalization of same-sex marriage, it is hard not to read Ms. Obama’s comments as anything other than putting more pressure on the president to publicly endorse gay marriage.
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?”
After introducing five bills to legalize same sex marriage over the past four years, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell is marrying his partner, John Banta, on Sunday now that New York State passed the marriage equality law. Their invite contains a reference to their long wait for a wedding.
Casting the decisive vote in the State Senate legalizing gay marriage last June evidently paid off for Stephen Saland. According to newly released campaign finance disclosures, Senator Saland raised a whopping $425,202.50 in contributions since last summer. During the same period last year, he raked in only $5,684.41.
Openly gay Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, who introduced five bills to legalize same sex marriage over the past four years, is marrying his partner of more than three decades now that the state passed the marriage equality law in June.
Assemblyman O’Donnell announced his impending nuptials on former Governor David Paterson’s talk radio show yesterday. “I’m here on your radio show today to announce that I’m getting married. John and I have decided to get married, we’ve been together for 31 years and our wedding will be on January 29th at Guastavino’s on the East Side of Manhattan, which is a beautiful, beautiful locale,” said Assemblyman O’Donnell.
One more highlight from State Senator Dan Squadron’s forum on LGBT issues, now that same-sex marriage is legal in New York: the opening remarks by City Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn.
“I stand strong with the LGBT community because they are a part of me and I am a part of them,” said James.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand emerged from the fight to abolish Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as arguably the upper chamber’s most ardent spokesperson for gay rights.
It also helped her get out from under the large shadow of the state’s ubiquitous senior senator, Chuck Schumer (who also supports the repeal but has focused more of his attention on the economy and the fiscal woes of the middle class).
At a LGBT-themed forum in Manhattan last night — her umpteenth event that day — Gillibrand quickly knocked down a question about Michele Bachmann’s plans to undo some recent gay rights victories on the federal level.
State Senator Diane Savino is furious with fellow Democrat David Weprin after he agreed with an interviewer who said there should be some type of inquiry into whether the State Senate violated its rules when it voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
“I was this close to writing a check to him and I tore it up,” Savino told me. “He knows damn well” rules were followed, she said. “He should just defend his vote.” Weprin, as a member of the Assembly, voted for the bill.
“I am calling on him to rethink” his comments, she said, referring to Weprin’s interview with the
conservative Orthodox Jewish news outlet, Voz is Neias.
Critics of New York State’s recent bill legalizing same-sex marriage have been arguing that the State Senate violated its own procedural rules when they voted on it last month.
Most of their complaints are tenuous at best (yes the bill didn’t age for three days as required by rules, but that’s because Cuomo signed an “order of necessity” so, it’s legit). But the complaints give critics of the bill a foothold on the public perception battle over which side was acting on behalf of “the people.”
In an interview with the major Jewish news organization, Vos is Neias, Democratic congressional candidate David Weprin agreed with the outlet’s assertion that that some violations may have taken place in the State Senate and that the matter deserved some type of investigation.
Weprin is running in the 9th congressional district, where there is a sizable Orthodox Jewish constituency which opposes same-sex marriage. His opponent, Republican businessman Bob Turner, has already called attention to this issue.
Here’s footage of Christine Quinn, from inside
Andrew Cuomo’s closed-press the LGBT center’sevent yesterday celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Quinn took a shot at unnamed opponents of the new. “They’re calling for a referendum,” she said. “Not for nothing, but they weren’t calling for a referendum when they won in 2009.”
[Note: The headline was changed from an earlier version.]