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NY’s latest Gay Marriage push (on Cuomo and more)

 

The state Conservative Party, Mike Long Chairman,  has now codified its threat

that any lawmaker who votes “yes” on gay marriage will be politically punished, passing a resolution that states “any elected official or potential candidate who does not support marriage as defined between one man and one woman” won’t get Row C “in any election”.

 

 

 

(EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED IN NY) ‘Don’t say gay’ bill advances in Tennessee, would ban teachers from discussing homosexuality

BY Aliyah Shahid  ashahid@nydailynews.com
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, April 22nd 2011, 11:23 AM

A Tennessee Senate committee has given the green light to a bill that would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality with elementary and middle school students.

The legislation, dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill, states teachers cannot “provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”

Republican Stacey Campfield, the bill’s sponsor, has argued the move is “neutral,” according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

“We should leave it to families to decide when it is appropriate to talk with children about sexuality – specifically before the eighth grade,” he added.

But gay rights activists are blasting the legislation, which passed 6-3, as a form of discrimination.

It “limits what teachers and students are able to discuss in the classroom,” Ben Byers of the Tennessee Equality Project told LBGTQ Nation. “It means they can’t talk about gay issues or sexuality even with students who may be gay or have gay family.”

The bill will now head to the full state Senate.

The latest vote was split along party lines, with Democrats opposing the legislation.

Cuomo focuses on gay marriage but nothing deters a the chase for millions of dollars

Adam Lisberg

Sunday, May 1st 2011

Gov. Cuomo says he wants to clean up Albany ethics and bring gay marriage to the state.

It’s not always easy for him to do both at the same time.

In the gay marriage battle, Cuomo and his team pushed four organizations to unite this month under one banner and message – and then they hired one of his best friends.

New Yorkers United for Marriage, as the group is called, hired veteran Cuomo adviser Jennifer Cunningham as their strategist, barely six months after she got out of the lobbying business so as to avoid conflicts of interest.

Six days after the groups announced their coordinated push, Cuomo happened to hold a fund-raiser for deep-pocketed gay and lesbian backers.

Held on Tuesday at the swank SoHo loft of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and his fiance Sean Eldridge of Freedom To Marry, the event raised an estimated $250,000 for Cuomo’s next election – which is 3-1/2 years away.

“In our community, we’ve had so many elected officials that talk a good game and don’t deliver,” said one gay supporter. “People are genuinely thankful that the governor has made this such a top priority.”

It’s not that gay and lesbian money suddenly turned Cuomo into a believer on the issue: He has steadfastly called for gay marriage and made it a top issue.

“You can’t accelerate a commitment that’s already at the top level,” said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto. “He laid out his agenda on the first day of the campaign, including making marriage equality a reality.”

And Cuomo isn’t just singling out gay and lesbian donors for special attention: He’s raising money from everybody.

On April 13, the governor raised $220,000 mingling with business figures at the apartment of uber-publicist Howard Rubenstein.

Two days later, he called together his fund-raising committee at a Regency Hotel breakfast to set goals for how much they will raise for his 2014 campaign.

“He recognizes that he’s got to do it while he’s on a roll,” said one person who deals with Cuomo regularly. “His poll numbers are at an all-time high, and everybody wants to be his friend.”

Cuomo started the year with $4.2 million in the bank, but he’s not necessarily saving it all for 2014 – he’s said he may spend on off-cycle ads to push his reform agenda, and to counter any attacks he may face before then.

Still, nothing deters a challenge like millions of dollars sitting in the bank. So he has a major fund-raiser with women later this month, he’s targeting labor – and he’s using a June performance of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” on Broadway to sell tickets up to $15,000 a head.

Cuomo isn’t the only pol raising cash years before he needs it, of course – just the most powerful.

Four years ago, Gov. Eliot Spitzer started his first term by raising over $3 million in the first six months of 2007, said NYPIRG‘s Blair Horner.

We won’t know how much Cuomo raised in his first six months until July.

But we know the most powerful man in Albany is tackling big issues at the same time he’s raising money from people involved in them.

“They’re all out shaking the money tree as soon as possible,” Horner said. “The line between policymaking and fund-raising has largely been erased.”

April (27), 2011

NYS CONSERVATIVE PARTY AND CHAIRMAN MIKE LONG STANDS FOR TRADITIONAL VALUES

UPDATE: “I think the voters deserve to know where their senators stand – both Democrat and Republican,” the Chairman Long said.

“Let them know where they stand…There’s a lot of Democrats that voted the other way the last time. They may vote with us again, and I would hope they do because they could be in swing districts that could make a difference in their election or in the primary.”

“They’re under a lot of pressure and I understand the addition of the governor in this whole move makes it even more uncomfortable for them. And that’s why I would hope that Governor Cuomo really doesn’t push this too far and force the issue and stays focused on bringing New York State back into the status of the Empire State.” … 

While the Gay Marriage lobbies are marshaling their forces en masse, yes! this is a war, other than NYS Conservative Party Mike Long many of the high profile names who believe in Christian values & traditional marriage are silent.

I expect the votes are not in the State Senate to pass the “Marriage Bill”. However, we must be diligent in our public response too the growing voices around the State in favor of the Marriage Bill (Abortion), esp. from the entertainment community & NYS media. 

The Catholic Church continues to look the other way. Catholics in name only like Governor Andrew Cuomo, who in such a public way support the Marriage Bill (Abortion), are still able go to Church on Sunday & receive the Catholic Sacraments. An insult to God Himself, this must end. The Church must respond. We must respond!

04-23-2011

CBS NEW YORK: Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, whose endorsement is important to Republicans, same-sex marriage is “a line in the sand.” Long notes one finding lost in much of the public debate: Just 6 percent of New Yorkers in this month’s Quinnipiac poll said same-sex marriage should be the top issue in Albany.“This is nothing but a political issue,” Long said. He said gays are part of a “very well-heeled community” that can achieve its rights under existing laws through the courts and contracts. “No one in the Conservative Party wants to take away any rights away from anybody,” Long said. “But nobody wants to see the institution of marriage destroyed to give more rights to some people.” Full story

Joe Illuzzi

Conservative Call to Action!

Those of you who read this blog know the importance of taking action!

We need YOU to help save traditional marriage in New York State.

Traditional marriage is under assault. It is extremely important that those of us who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman let our elected official know this is settled law. Despite what you may read — that more and more people are open to changing the definition — the fact remains that every state that has given voters the privacy of the voting booth — traditional marriage has been reaffirmed!

We may never have the opportunity to vote on the definition which is why it is important for you to make your voice heard now.

Call your Senator and Assemblyman and tell them to stand strong for traditional marriage.

NY Times Editorial April 25, 2011

With Mr. Cuomo’s encouragement, the state’s most influential gay-rights groups have banded together to form a united front. Working under the guidance of high-level Cuomo aides, their coalition is getting ready to mount an intense and well-financed campaign — including field organizers and a major media blitz — that would focus on about 15 Democratic and Republican lawmakers whose votes are thought to be in play. A seasoned labor and media strategist with close ties to Mr. Cuomo, Jennifer Cunningham, has been tapped to oversee the coalition’s political and media efforts

Same Sex Marriage to Be Big Issue in Albany This Year…Bigger than WIGS

With the budget decided and issues like the official state vegetable unlikely to see legislative action, the attention of official Albany will turn this spring to same sex marriage….aka ‘marriage equality.’
Its not something that’s a big issue in upstate districts, but polling data shows increasing acceptance of the change. Two years ago the matter failed in the Senate by a 38-24 vote with a handful of Democrats joining all the Republicans in opposing it.
This year Governor Cuomo is fully behind the change and the LGBT, or whatever the acronym is, is a big deal in NYC politics. Its sort of like the NRA in rural districts as lawmakers seek the endorsement.
Of course I am in no way equating guns and gays. Its just that certain interest groups are important in certain areas……
The composition of the Senate is similar to two years ago, and to pass this will take a couple GOP votes.
I suspect our Senator will not be as quick to post on Facebook about this issue as she was chili or kickball. A lot of people surely favor the change up here too or at least are ambivalent…..A lot are against too.
Where as polling showed support for kickball was north of 90%.
One voice for same-sex marriage – Times Union

at 9:41 AM Posted by Jeff Graham

Labor Hosts Gay Marriage Strategy Breakfast

RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum forwared this invite to an upcoming breakfast meeting he’s hosting with AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes at which labor leaders will strategize for and discuss the “upcoming fight” over same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues.

The event is being held on May 11 in Manhattan.

Appelbaum, as you’ll recall, is an outspoken advocate who came out in a very public fashion back in June 2009.

He was also a very early supporter of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was the first labor leader to publicly call for then-Gov. David Paterson to step aside and clear the way for Cuomo to avoid a potential nasty – and racially charged – intra-party battle. (We all know how that one ended).

The labor community was divided – rather deftly – by Cuomo during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, with the trades coming out early and strong in support of him and the publics rather reluctantly coming along – or not, in the case of CSEA and NYSUT.

There was a similar divide during the budget battle, which sidelined 1199 SEIU and arguably tanked the pro-millionaire’s tax push in the process.

But Cuomo’s progressive post-budget policy agenda clearly is providing a rallying point for the left, including the more liberal labor unions.

It remains to be seen whether all of this coordination and unity has any impact on the Senate vote, particularly when state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long has made it clear this is a line-in-the-sand issue for him – a potential problem for the Senate Republicans as they gear up for the next fight for the majority in 2012.

April 25, 2011 12:31 PM

New York Labor Leaders To Meet Empire State Pride Agenda On Marriage Equality Issue

BY Celeste Katz

As Gov. Cuomo ramps up his efforts to drive through the legalization of marriage between same-sex couples, the union movement is meeting up with the Empire State Pride Agenda to discuss not only marriage, but how LGBT issues affect its members.

“Marriage cannot be seen as just an issue for the LGBT community,” RWDSU chief Stu Appelbaum told me. “It is a union issue as well, as demonstrated by the support that has been shown by New York’s labor movement. And most importantly it is an issue of importance for anybody who cares about justice. Justice is indivisible. You cannot be for justice for some, and not be for justice for all.”

Whether this is the year gay marriage becomes a reality or gets stalled out again in the state Legislature, of course, remains to be seen…
Labor Breakfast With Empire State Pride Agenda

Denis Hughes                               Stuart Appelbaum

President                                                              President,

New York State AFL-CIO                                   RWDSU, UFCW

 

Invite

unions affiliated with

 

the New York City Central Labor Council

and

the New York State AFL-CIO

to

a breakfast meeting with leaders of

 

the Empire State Pride Agenda

(New York’s leading LGBT organization)

 

to discuss the upcoming fight over Marriage and other

LGBT issues and their impact on union members

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

8:30 a.m.

 

Campanile

30 E. 29th Street

Between Park and Madison Avenues 

RSVP to Jane Thompson

(212) 684-5300

jthompson@rwdsu.org

 

Same-Sex Marriage: Some Yes votes in Assembly have departed. [Stephanie Lee]

Votes for same-sex marriage at risk?

Catholic conference says Assembly support wanes as advocates depart

By STEPHANIE LEE Staff writer slee@timesunion.com

Published 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 29, 2011

ALBANY — With Gov. Andrew Cuomo and public opinion indicating support of same-sex marriage, advocates are hopeful 2011 will be the year it becomes legal in New York.

But leaders of the New York State Catholic Conference, which opposes the change, says its chances in the Democrat-dominated Assembly are shaky.

Its analysis of legislators’ voting records shows that several Assembly Democrats who once backed the bill have resigned, left office or voted no on a version of the bill at least once — enough to cast doubt on the passage of a same-sex marriage bill this year.

“There’s a sense that because it’s passed three times, it’s a given it’ll pass again,” said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the Catholic group. “But they’re not taking into account the fact that the speaker lost 10 seats in the election.”

The organization also is taking into account the departures of Democrats Nettie Mayersohn and Darryl Towns, and the pending departures of Audrey Pheffer and RoAnn Destito, all of whom voted for the bill in 2009.

A same-sex marriage bill passed twice in the Assembly in 2009: 89-52 in May and 88-51 in December. The votes showed a slightly wider margin than its 85-61 passage in 2007. In all cases, the Senate soundly defeated the legislation.

Advocates say the tide is turning. A Siena College poll found 58 percent of New Yorkers would back the legislation. Cuomo added staff support to pass the bill.

Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, an openly gay legislator who carried the bill in 2009, acknowledged a number of votes are in question. But he said he believed the bill would go forward in the heavily Democratic chamber, as it has in the past.

“There are still 12 or 14 undecided votes out there who I have not contacted,” said O’Donnell, who says he keeps a weekly color-coded chart of Assembly members and their stances on the issue. “Now I know we have enough yeses to pass it. A number of undecided votes I will either begin to work on or continue to work on.”

The political climate is conducive to legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011, said Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda.

“Given all that has changed in the last few months or as much as a year,” he said, “it is not necessarily safe to say that the way somebody voted last time or even the position they took last fall is necessarily indicative of what they will do this time.”

Levi said the same thinking should apply to the Senate, where Republicans hold a 32-30 majority. “We have an extremely popular governor on our side, we have the people in a super majority solidly on our side, and we have a unified community and strong allies working with us,” he said. “The environment is strong.”

Same-Sex Marriage: Business leaders to release letter in support. [Nick Confessore]

Business Leaders, in Letter, Will Urge Albany to Legalize Gay Marriage

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

Published: April 28, 2011

Two dozen high-profile New York business leaders plan to release an open letter on Friday urging state lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage, arguing that the measure would help companies attract and retain employees.

The letter’s release comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and gay rights advocates prepare what they say will be a major push to pass legislation this spring that would make New York the sixth state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed. The letter’s signers, from the legal, financial and real estate worlds, include Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; Jerry I. Speyer, chairman of Tishman Speyer Properties; and Paul E. Singer, a prominent hedge fund executive.

“In an age where talent determines the economic winners, great states and cities must demonstrate a commitment to creating an open, healthy and equitable environment in which to live and work,” the letter reads. “As other states, cities and countries across the world extend marriage rights regardless of sexual orientation, it will become increasingly difficult to recruit the best talent if New York cannot offer the same benefits and protection.”

The letter reflects efforts by gay rights advocates to broaden their coalition after an embarrassing defeat in Albany, where a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage lost in the State Senate in 2009. This year, advocates are focusing on a few Democrats and Republicans who are thought to be open to switching their votes.

Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, said she hoped the letter would “provide an opportunity for legislators who may not have heard the voice of business to feel that they’ve got some cover to rethink their position on this issue.” Ms. Wylde helped collect signatures for the letter at the urging of Christine C. Quinn, the speaker of the City Council, who has been lobbying the Legislature to approve a bill.

In an interview, Ms. Quinn said, “I knew there was support out there, yet when you talked and did lobbying in Albany, there was no way to show that to people.”

One prominent supporter, John J. Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, said that he believed legalizing same-sex marriage would help attract more talent to New York, but that he saw the issue chiefly as one of fairness. “It’s that simple,” Mr. Mack said. “I grew up in North Carolina. I’m 66 years old. I grew up when there was segregation. It makes an impression on you.”

Some of the executives who signed the letter are well known in political circles, including Alan J. Patricof, a venture capitalist and major Democratic donor, Mr. Mack and Mr. Singer, who is active in Republican politics. Others venture more rarely into the political spotlight, including the corporate lawyer Martin Lipton.

Some of the business leaders are close to the Senate Republican caucus, which voted unanimously against the marriage bill two years ago. Mr. Speyer, for example, is an influential voice among the city’s real estate developers, whose financial support was decisive in helping Republicans take control of the Senate in the election last fall.

From NYDailyNews.com

Conjugal visits allowed for inmates and partners in same-sex marriages, civil unions (NY Daily News)

The “Fabulous Beekman Boys” Campaign For New York State Marriage Equality: Updated | New York Daily News (The Daily Politics)

State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. “Affronted” By Gov. Cuomo’s NY Gay Marriage Legalization Push | New York Daily News (NY Daily News)

Cuomo’s hiring of Christine Quinn liaison may be major step in push for gay marriage

Paladino rages against ‘disgusting’ gay pride parades

 

League Of Women Voters Join Fight For Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by: Joseph Spector – Posted in Uncategorized on Apr 25, 2011

It’s a bit of a different direction for the League of Women Voters of New York State, but they have joined with the newly formed New Yorkers United for Marriage to support the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York.

The League of Women Voters largely focuses on good government issues, but is now wading into the same-sex marriage debate.

“The time to allow loving and committed couples to marry is long overdue, and we are thrilled to lend our support to this effort,” Betsey Swan, president of the League of Women Voters of New York State, said in a statement. “The League has always advocated for fundamental fairness and equal protection under the law. It hurts all New Yorkers when some families are denied the respect, protections and responsibilities of marriage. We are very pleased that the majority of New Yorkers now agree.”

New Yorkers United for Marriage said the “the announcement by the League of Women Voters of New York State, a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed civic participation, reflects the widespread support and bipartisan nature of the effort to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

“For many years, the League of Women Voters has been a nonpartisan voice working hard to ensure that legislators in Albany hear and respond to the concerns of New Yorkers,” said Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Ross Levi in a statement. “The League’s endorsement of legislation to permit marriage for same-sex couples and its support for the efforts of New Yorkers United for Marriage reflect the fact that an ever-increasing majority of voters—from all parts of the state and across the political spectrum— believes that it is time to allow committed, loving lesbian and gay couples to wed in our state.”

 

 

State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. “Affronted” By Gov. Cuomo’s NY Gay Marriage Legalization Push

April 20, 2011

BY Celeste Katz

State. Sen. (and minister) Ruben Diaz, Sr. of the Bronx is not happy about reports today that Andrew Cuomo is amping up his efforts to keep the promise he made to be the governor who signs a bill legalizing marriage between same-sex couples in New York.

Among other things, Diaz says in a statement this afternoon, “I am deeply offended that during this Holy Week, which is a most sacred time to millions of New Yorkers, Governor Andrew Cuomo is working hard to mobilize elected officials to legalize homosexual marriage in New York.”

The NYT reported this morning:

“Gay rights groups, which suffered the stinging defeat of a same-sex marriage bill in New York State in 2009, will publicly mount a new campaign for the legislation starting this week, relying on the popular Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, to overcome Republican resistance and their own history of poor coordination.

“Under the supervision of the governor’s staff, the groups intend to raise more than $1 million for a media blitz, hire a powerful political consultant close to the Cuomo administration and deploy field organizers to the districts of more than a dozen key lawmakers to drum up support, according to interviews with those involved in the effort.”

You can read a full statement from Diaz below. I know Team Cuomo will be getting back to me momentarily, so I will update the instant that happens.

State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. On Cuomo and Marriage

“I am deeply offended that during this Holy Week, which is a most sacred

time to millions of New Yorkers, Governor Andrew Cuomo is working hard

to mobilize elected officials to legalize homosexual marriage in New York.

We all know that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget, which was done in

haste to beat the clock, will cause tremendous suffering to countless New

Yorkers – especially Black and Hispanic communities. His cuts will hurt

students, senior citizens, the sick, the poor and the needy.

Now Governor Cuomo is targeting communities of faith in an effort to

redefine marriage. The most basic tenets of New York’s largest faith

communities include defining marriage as between one man and one

woman. These religions that cherish these values include Catholic,

Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

I must ask, if Governor Cuomo is ethically allowed to use public resources

during these serious financial times to raise funds (by having his staff raise

money) and to use his staff (who are paid for with tax dollars) and his office

(for weekly meetings) to promote a radical agenda, then shouldn’t we all be

able to use our offices and staffs to raise resources for issues that matter to

us?

I implore my colleagues in New York’s government and my fellow religious

leaders in New York State to oppose Governor Cuomo’s blatant and

shameful attack on New York’s people of faith. I encourage all New

Yorkers of faith to raise your voices in prayer and in action to prevent

Governor Cuomo from redefining marriage.”

 

Gay Marriage Effort Taps GOP Strategists

In the midst of a re-energized campaign by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a coalition of gay-rights activists to legalize gay marriage in New York, a trio of Republican consultants is playing a quiet but pivotal role in the push for passage.

Under the direction of a political advocacy group backed by Colorado software mogul Tim Gill, two former top Senate Republican aides and a former legislative adviser to the Log Cabin Republicans are working behind the scenes to capture crucial votes in the GOP-led Senate.

The Gill Action Fund, a national group with an expansive donor network, has recruited lobbyist Michael Avella, a former chief counsel to ex-Senate majority leader Joe Bruno and current leader Dean Skelos, and John McArdle, a consultant who ran GOP Senate communications under Messrs. Bruno and Skelos. The two are also working with Jeff Cook, who was a lobbyist for the Log Cabin Republicans.

The debate over gay marriage has again intensified in Albany two years after gay-rights advocates and donors suffered a lopsided defeat on the Senate floor. A new coalition of gay-rights groups, with the backing of Mr. Cuomo, is leading the latest charge. They plan to raise $1 million for a media campaign and have hired Jennifer Cunningham, one of Mr. Cuomo’s closest political advisers, to help direct the effort.

But that momentum alone, say some advocates, may not be enough to split apart the nucleus of opposition to the bill in the Senate. The Democrat-led Assembly has twice voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

While polls indicate that a clear majority of New Yorkers support gay marriage, the bill is still a hard sell for a number of Republicans, even those in more moderate districts. An important factor is pressure from the state Conservative Party, a small but influential third party that has given a number of vulnerable Republicans a decisive boost in tight races.

Conservative Party chairman Michael Long said the state party wouldn’t endorse any Republican who votes for the bill. “I feel very strongly that we will prevail. We consider it a line in the sand and very detrimental to a legislator if he or she votes to destroy marriage as we know it,” he said.

Advocates behind the coalition, who are working in tandem with the Republican strategists, say they’re confident that they can persuade enough Republicans that a vote for gay marriage doesn’t pose the political risk it once did.

“We will obviously be disappointed if the Conservative Party decides to make a position of conscience a litmus test for electoral support, especially since marriage equality is supported by a super-majority of New Yorkers,” said Brian Ellner, an advocate for the Human Rights Campaign, one of the organizations involved in the coalition. The coalition also includes the Empire State Pride Agenda.

Still, the targeted outreach in the conference is a recognition that celebrity appeals, radio and television commercials, rallies and Mr. Cuomo’s influence have the potential to swing public opinion but not necessarily enough Republican votes. Legalizing gay marriage was a campaign promise of Mr. Cuomo’s.

Advocates say they’ll need at least three Republican votes to get to the 32 needed for passage in the Senate. But they may need more than that if they don’t pick up the support of three Democrats—Shirley Huntley and Joseph Addabbo of Queens and Carl Kruger of Brooklyn—who voted against the measure in 2009. Calls to the three weren’t returned.

No Republican has voiced support for same-sex marriage, while at least two have indicated that their position isn’t settled.

Last week, a Republican whom gay-rights groups have mentioned as a potential ally, signaled he was a no vote. Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo, who was elected in the fall, told a public forum that he won’t vote for a bill that uses the term “gay marriage,” a spokesman said. The senator said he supports civil unions but thinks the notion of “gay marriage” has “too many undetermined legal implications,” the spokesman said.

Mr. Skelos has said he would bring a gay-marriage bill to a vote if he gets the go-ahead from his conference.

Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous of Binghamton said he would vote against a measure. “At the end of the day, an elected official has to decide what’s in the best interest for their district. It’s no different than any other tough issue.”

 

 

Conjugal visits allowed for inmates and partners in same-sex marriages, civil unions

BY Glenn Blain gblain@nydailynews.com
DAILY NEWS BUREAU

Saturday, April 23rd 2011, 4:00 AM

ALBANY – State prison officials are allowing conjugal visits for gay inmates involved in same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Recent regulation changes will also allow gay prisoners to take leave from their cell when their loved one is terminally ill.

“If they seek a furlough based on the partner, it’s likely it would be granted,” said Peter Cutler, spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services.

“We’ve been doing it,” Cutler said of the leave policy, which previously applied to only traditional marriages.

Cutler said the regulation, which appeared in the state Register this week, formalizes a policy change initiated in 2008 by then-Gov. David Paterson, who ordered New York State agencies to recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states and civil unions.

Cutler could not explain why it took so long for the regulation to be finalized in the Register, which lists recent rule-making activities by state agencies.

Cutler was unaware of any inmate in a same-sex relationship who has had a conjugal visit, known officially as family reunions.

About 20 of the state’s 67 correctional facilities allow conjugal visits.

Gay marriage advocates welcomed the move, saying any recognition of same-sex relationships is a positive step – even when it occurs in the prisons.

“The more the state is consistent with that status of law the better off we are,” said Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda.

The Pride Agenda recently joined forces with the Log Cabin Republicans, the Human Rights Campaign and a handful of other advocacy groups to form New Yorkers United for Marriage.

The group is coordinating its efforts with Gov. Cuomo’s office in a bid to win approval of gay marriage before the end of the state’s legislative session in June.

Cuomo has said legalizing gay marriage is a priority for his administration. Advocates hope his support will translate into enough political pressure to win over the GOP-controlled state Senate.

The Senate soundly rejected legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. The Democrat-controlled Assembly has repeatedly approved the measure.

A recent Quinnipiac Poll showed 56% of New Yorkers support legalizing gay marriages.

“We continue to believe the environment for legalizing same-sex marriage remains strong,” Levi said.

Cuomo’s hiring of Christine Quinn liaison may be major step in push for gay marriage

Celeste Katz  ckatz@nydailynews.com

Monday, January 17th 2011, 4:00 AM

Andrew Cuomo said during his campaign that he wants to make gay marriage legal in New York and a new appointment may signal he means business – even if it’s still an uphill battle.

Cuomo is naming Erik Bottcher, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn‘s liaison to the gay community, to the newly created cabinet post of special assistant for community affairs.

“Erik’s intellect and experience will be an invaluable asset in the fight to restore New York as the progressive capital of the nation,” Cuomo said of Bottcher, who served as his liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the 2010 race.

It’s fair to ask whether Bottcher’s appointment sends a message about how serious Cuomo is about gay marriage or whether it’s just a nod to his liberal base.

Legalizing marriage could be a heavy lift: In 2009, the state Senate, then controlled by Democrats, defeated it by a clear 38-to-24 vote.

New GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos has said he’ll allow the measure to come to the Senate floor again this year, although he doesn’t support it.

Cuomo gave a nod – of exactly one sentence – to gay marriage during his State of the State address.

And as he has brought his reform agenda around New York, same-sex nuptials have taken a backseat to job creation and dredging Albany‘s ethical quagmire.

As the Daily News first reported Friday, Cuomo is raising war funds to take on the unions as he pushes for a one-year pay freeze, a property tax cap and other measures distasteful to labor.

Business interests are also pushing his agenda through an ad campaign funded by the Committee to Save New York.

Gay marriage is already legal in Iowa and New Hampshire – the two bellwether states in presidential campaigns – as well as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Plenty of people – gay and straight – have been asking for years what is taking New York so long.

The historically liberal Cuomo has to walk a tightrope on gay marriage: If he pushes it ahead of economic issues in the current climate, he could develop an “Obama Problem” of the kind that forced the President’s course correction from a focus on health care reform to “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

On the other hand, the new governor risks angering his left-leaning base if he allows a civil rights issue like this one to languish indefinitely.

Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, argues there is “a clear and credible path” to legalizing same-sex marriage as soon as this year.

Levi points to polls showing New Yorkers increasingly supportive of legalization and a study by former city Controller Bill Thompson that says the lack of legal gay marriage costs New York money. The economic impact argument may influence some moderate or conservative lawmakers who are socially squeamish about gays marrying, he says.

What exact role Bottcher – whose statewide work won’t be limited to LGBT issues – and Cuomo play in this battle remains to be seen.

But as Levi puts it, “The more the governor needs to act as a fiscal conservative, the more I think he will be having to live up to that plank in his State of the State to make New York a ‘progressive’ state again.”

Bad Romance: State Sen. Mark Grisanti, Lady Gaga, the NYS Dems And Gay Marriage

BY Celeste Katz

This is one of those perfect-storm posts where I get to sum up a bunch of incremental stuff on a serious topic in one (hopefully) tidy package AND make a semi-gratuitous pop culture reference. I think I just won the blog lottery.

Susan Arbetter of The Capitol Pressroom blogs: “On yesterday’s radio show, I asked Sen. Mark Grisanti about his position on same sex marriage in light of the special treatment he was given by Lady Gaga over the weekend in Buffalo.  He told me he is against it, but apparently for semantic reasons: He is a Catholic and doesn’t believe marriage can be anything but a union between a man and a woman. That said, he would consider supporting a civil union bill should it come to the floor for a vote.”

Here’s the Grisanti quote that really set things off: “To me, ‘marriage’ is between a man and a woman. It’s a term that’s been around for thousands of years and [applying it to same-sex unions] is like calling a cat a dog. I don’t think that needs to be changed.”

Read More

Sam Waterston For Marriage Equality

BY Celeste Katz

Here’s Sam Waterston, formerly of “Law & Order” fame, on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign’s “New Yorkers For Marriage Equality” push. Sorry, no L&O “doink, doink!” sound effect at the end:

Lucy Liu For New York Marriage Equality

BY Celeste Katz

The headline says it all: The Queens-born star of “Kill Bill” and “Charlie’s Angels” is the latest celeb to shoot a video for the Human Rights Campaign’s push to legalize gay marriage in New York. Watch:

Mr. (And Mrs.) Bill Bratton For Marriage Equality

BY Celeste Katz

Here’s former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton of “broken windows”-theory fame and his wife, Rikki Klieman, in the newest spot in the Human Rights Campaign’s New Yorkers For Marriage Equality line-up.

“I believe in law and order. I’ve spent my life working to keep communities safe. Marriage equality under the law will make families safer and stronger,” Bratton (who, as Maghabe tweeted last night, is the choice of some for a 2013 mayoral run)  says in the 30-second spot.

For Marriage Equality: Schumer And Gillibrand

BY Celeste Katz

Next up in the Human Rights Campaign’s “New Yorkers For Marriage Quality” video series: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.

Gillibrand has become a political heroine to some in the LGBT community, including for her impassioned pleas to dismantle the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and Schumer has made his views on same-sex marriage clear as well, so it’s no surprise to see them both here. Whether it gives the state Legislature a push toward legalizing gay nuptials, which Gov. Cuomo says he wants to do, remains to be seen…

The “Fabulous Beekman Boys” Campaign For New York State Marriage Equality: Updated

BY Celeste Katz

The headline says it all!

Mayor Bloomberg was asked today about a report in City Hall News that he would be drafted to personally lobby the state Senate on this issue, and here’s how he responded:

Bloomberg: “I have said repeatedly I would go up and testify and urge, I’ve urged every time, and I’ve said I don’t think there’s any plans — maybe there are that I don’t know about — but I would be happy to. I’ve always said I would go up to Albany and lobby. I happen to think that it’s not the government’s business who you marry, and I don’t care whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat.”

Russell Simmons For Marriage Equality

BY Celeste Katz

Mogul of a million trades Russell Simmons is the latest “New Yorker For Marriage Equality” in the ongoing video series by the Human Rights Campaign. Coming to a Taxi TV near you…

The Ruffalos Support Same-Sex Marriage

BY Celeste Katz

One more vid for you: Here are Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo (the former probably best known for his spirited opposition to hydrofracking) lending their voices to the Human Rights Campaign’s gay-marriage legalization push.

Next Celeb Up In Marriage-Equality Campaign: It’s… Joan Rivers

BY Celeste Katz

Joining a star-studded cast that already includes Whoopi Goldberg, Julianne Moore and Moby, here’s Joan Rivers in the latest spot for the Human Rights Campaign’s push to legalize gay marriage in New York:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: I Support Gay Marriage

BY Celeste Katz

On the heels of a Quinnipiac Poll showing voter support for legalizing gay marriage at an all-time high, the Human Rights Campaign is releasing another video in their series of boldface names who back the idea. This one features Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who calls the barring of gay marriage “the last vestige of institutionalized bigotry that’s left in this country.” Watch:

Kyra Sedgwick And Kevin Bacon For Marriage Equality

BY Celeste Katz

I wonder how many degrees of separation there are between Kevin Bacon and same-sex marriage. I’ll have to check the Oracle Of Bacon (still one of the finest sites on the internet).

All joking aside, the Human Rights Campaign is out with yet another video featuring celebs (this time, Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick) in support of making same-sex marriage in New York a reality.

Same-Sex Marriage Fight On Tap In State Senate

BY Celeste Katz

January 18, 2011 11:48 AM

A column I wrote for yesterday’s print editions of the Daily News on same-sex marriage and Gov. Cuomo’s appointment of Erik Bottcher, former LGBT liaison for City Council Speaker Chris Quinn, seemed to roil a lot of emotions on both sides of the argument, which is far from over. Today, our Glenn Blain follows up from Albany:

The battle over same-sex marriage is about to heat up again in the state Senate.

Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan), the Senate’s biggest booster of gay marriage, said he’ll introduce legislation “within weeks” to legalize same-sex marriage — and will push for a vote before the end of June.

“I think everyone is aware that we have to make the lives of New Yorkers better in every way – economically, as well as to provide equality to New York families,” Duane said.

“GOOD CATHOLIC CUOMO”

MOBILIZING GAY MARRIAGE EFFORT

MASS EXODUS CONFOUNDS DIOCESE 

“We all know that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget, which was done in haste to beat the clock, will cause tremendous suffering to countless New Yorkers – especially Black and Hispanic communities. His cuts will hurt students, senior citizens, the sick, the poor and the needy. Now Governor Cuomo is targeting communities of faith in an effort to redefine marriage. The most basic tenets of New York’s largest faith communities include defining marriage as between one man and one woman. These religions that cherish these values include Catholic, Christian, Jewish and Muslim.During the highest Holy Days for both the Catholic & Jewish faith, contrary to Catholic, etc. dogma Cuomo continues to breach the infallible laws, e.g., a prohibition on homosexuallty & abortion, that govern the Catholic, Jewish, et al. faith. The Church, et al. continue to look the other way.” Senator Reuben Diaz

 

“Several gay rights and human rights groups have banded together to convince enough state Senators to vote yes on a bill to legalize gay marriage in New York State this legislative session. Ross Levi, with Empire State Pride Agenda, says advocates believe there are a number of factors in their favor, including, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s strong support for the issue as well as President Obama’s recent decisions to end the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in the military and his Justice Department’s decision not to defend DOMA- the federal Defense of Marriage Act, in court. Also, opinion polls from major outlets like Siena College and Quinnipiac University show 58% of New Yorkers now back the legalization of same sex marriage. Levi calls that a “supermajority”.

“Cuomo Helps Groups Mobilize for Gay Marriage Bill. Gay rights groups, which suffered the stinging defeat of a same-sex marriage bill in New York State in 2009, will publicly mount a new campaign for the legislation starting this week, relying on the popular Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, to overcome Republican resistance and their own history of poor coordinationRead this Buffalo News Sunday feature article; if weren’t so sad & the Catholic Church wasn’t in such denial it would be hilarious just how disingenuous the article really is.” Full story

 

Read this Buffalo News Sunday feature article; if weren’t so sad & the Catholic Church wasn’t in such denial it would be hilarious just how disingenuous the article really is. …

 

The Catholic Church is indeed sending mixed messages (scroll down) if not tacit approval for the gay life style & abortion as well. As long as the Catholic Church allows “Catholics In Name Only”, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, too receive the sacraments the homosexual “Marriage Bill” will continue to gain support in this very liberal state.  

  

The Catholic Church must signal to the faithful that it will not tolerate the unrepentant who hold these beliefs & act on them by precluding them, e.g. Cuomo, from receiving the Sacraments. The Church must  excommunicate Cuomo, et al. for his unbridled support of both abortion on demand & homosexual marriage.

 

The Church must respond unequivocally that this behavior & the promulgation of this behavior will result in eternal damnation. Otherwise the Catholic Church has lost its moral authority to refer to itself as genesis of the Christian faith, the Church of Jesus Christ..

 

What do the Bishops in NYS do, Dolan, Buffalo’s Bishop Kmiec, et al. have lunch the man? Quoting Kmeic, “It was absolutely delightful. It was very cordial, very comfortable”.

 

I do not believe Cuomo has the votes in the Senate to get the “Marriage Bill” passed. Assembly Speaker Silver will not take up the Bill until the Senate moves the Bill. ###

 

IS ANDREW CUOMO A CATHOLIC?

 

The words of God Old & New testament are clear & unequivocal, NO!

 

Andrew Cuomo seeks to make the Church in his image too accommodate his life’s choices rather then the image of God & His Son Jesus Christ.
UPDATE: I watched a feature on Arch Bishop Dolan on 60 Minutes Sunday; no question a wonderful man & devout Catholic. The Catholic Church would be better off losing half its congregations than allowing those Catholics in name only to continue too take part in the sacraments, etc. The Church is eroding from within. Let me continue to use Cuomo as an example. The problem with Dolan not excommunicating Cuomo, et al. for their position on abortion & gay marriage is they are NOT repentant. Meaning after the Bishops lunch with Cuomo & or he attends Mass he is going too, given the opportunity, express his continued support for abortion on demand, killing God’s innocents. Continue his outspoken support against the Biblical prohibition against homosexuality by extension gay marriage. To be redundant: Better the Church or any Church purge itself of these people the sooner the Church will regain its moral authority to speak on behalf of God & His Son Jesus Christ. … 

 
“A Cuomo Who Is Catholic but Hardly Theological. He goes to Mass, though not every Sunday. He considers himself a practicing Roman Catholic, yet avoids calling himself devout. He opposes the death penalty, as church leaders do. But he is divorced. And he supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights, stances sharply at odds with church teaching.

Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said the controversy (living together) did not arise during the governor’s “cordial” lunch with the bishops.

“Thank God it didn’t,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan told reporters after the meeting, “because it was a bit of a tempest in a teapot.”

Nonetheless, high on the list of concerns the bishops raised during the meeting, Mr. Zwilling said, were two issues of profound concern to the church: same-sex marriage and abortion rights.” Full story 

 

 

UPDATE: Cuomo has been meeting with gay marriage advocates to plan a strategy to push the Marriage Bill through the State Senate this Spring.

 

Speaker Silver will not have the Assembly vote on the issue again this session without Senate passage. Silver say the Marriage Bill is not on the front burner, paraphrasing. …

 

The Catholic Church does NOT resemble the Church of Jesus Christ. The meeting Tuesday was a farce. The Bishops should have brought a letter of Excommunication to Cuomo for his OVERT passionate support of abortion & gay marriage. This is a slap in the face to all “real” Catholics & Jews for that matter. Scroll down for full story …

 

 

SIDEBAR: Cuomo requests White House set up a meeting between his staff and senior members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In light of the catastrophe in Japan, New Yorkers must know the facts regarding Indian Point and its latest risk assessment, Indian Point 35 miles outside NYC. Exceprts from YNN report.

 

“After watching the events in Japan and having previously opposed the Indian Point plant, this past Tuesday, I requested the White House schedule a meeting between my staff and senior members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That meeting has now been scheduled for Tuesday, March 22 with, among others, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Director of State Operations Howard Glaser. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the risks facing Indian Point in the event of an earthquake, how prepared Indian Point is to handle an earthquake, as well as what risk assessments have been completed regarding Indian Point. We are looking forward to a productive dialogue with the NRC.” ### 
 

BISHOPS DISGRACE THEMSELVES & CHURCH

 

Andrew M. Cuomo at the city’s annual gay pride parade last summer.

 

 

UPDATE: “Wednesday’s meeting was one in a series of many meetings to discuss a marriage equality bill. Same-sex couples deserve the right to join in civil marriage, and it is simply unfair to deny them the freedom to make this decision for themselves and their families. To me this is more than just a piece of legislation. This is about the lives of people who I have known for many years, who currently are without the rights to which they are entitled. I look forward to working with lawmakers and stakeholders to make sure that New York joins the growing number of states that allow the freedom to marry for all couples.” Governor Andrew Cuomo …
Shortly after meeting with Catholic Bishops Cuomo, in a gay marriage push, announced he will meet with leading supporters of the marriage bill.

 

Let me repeat: The Catholic Church does NOT resemble the Church of Jesus Christ. The meeting Tuesday was a farce. The Bishops should have brought a letter of Excommunication to Cuomo for his OVERT passionate support of abortion & gay marriage. This is a slap in the face to all “real” Catholics & Jews for that matter.

 

This quote from WNY Bishop Kmiec is the epitome of hypocrisy; this man is believed by some to represent Jesus Christ on Earth.

It was absolutely delightful. It was very cordial, very comfortable”

 

Cuomo over the next few days will vehemently defend the right of a woman to an abortion any time during gestation. The right of a man to mount a man & woman a woman in legalized marriage..

  

Bishop Kmiec, the man has sway over the KILLING of children anytime during gestation.

 

Just like the Catholic Church during the 40’s failed to condemn Hitler for the mass murder of millions of Jews, the Catholic Church Tuesday failed to condemn Andrew Cuomo for his support for the mass murder of tens of millions of children in their mother’s womb. Yes! It is the same thing if not worse. These tens of millions of children are true innocents as well, Biblical innocents, with NO way of defending themselves.

 

Yet, Kmeic characterizes his meeting with Cuomo as “delightful”.

 

How dare you sir!

 

NO time for “Civil Discourse” Bishop.

  

“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will hold a confidential strategy session with leading gay activists on Wednesday to discuss how to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, the latest sign that he is preparing to put the weight of his administration behind legislation that has divided lawmakers and voters across the country.” NYT

 

IS ANDREW CUOMO A CATHOLIC?
 
The words of God Old & New testament are clear & unequivocal, NO!
 
Andrew Cuomo seeks to make the Church in his image too accommodate his life’s choices rather then the image of God & His Son Jesus Christ.
 
 
 

UPDATE:
I watched a feature on Arch Bishop Dolan on 60 Minutes Sunday; no question a wonderful man & devout Catholic. The Catholic Church would be better off losing half its congregations than allowing those Catholics in name only to continue too take part in the sacraments, etc. The Church is eroding from within. Let me continue to use Cuomo as an example. The problem with Dolan not excommunicating Cuomo, et al. for their position on abortion & gay marriage is they are NOT repentant. Meaning after the Bishops lunch with Cuomo & or he attends Mass he is going too, given the opportunity, express his continued support for abortion on demand, killing God’s innocents. Continue his outspoken support against the Biblical prohibition against homosexuality by extension gay marriage. To be redundant: Better the Church or any Church purge itself of these people the sooner the Church will regain its moral authority to speak on behalf of God & His Son Jesus Christ. …
 
 

“A Cuomo Who Is Catholic but Hardly Theological. He goes to Mass, though not every Sunday. He considers himself a practicing Roman Catholic, yet avoids calling himself devout. He opposes the death penalty, as church leaders do. But he is divorced. And he supports
same-sex marriage and abortion rights, stances sharply at odds with church teaching.

Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said the controversy (living together) did not arise during the governor’s “cordial” lunch with the bishops.

“Thank God it didn’t,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan told reporters after the meeting, “because it was a bit of a tempest in a teapot.”

Nonetheless, high on the list of concerns the bishops raised during the meeting, Mr. Zwilling said, were two issues of profound concern to the church: same-sex marriage and abortion rights.” Full story 
 
 
UPDATE: Cuomo has been meeting with gay marriage advocates to plan a strategy to push the Marriage Bill through the State Senate this Spring.
 
Speaker Silver will not have the Assembly vote on the issue again this session without Senate passage. Silver say the Marriage Bill is not on the front burner, paraphrasing. …
 
The Catholic Church does NOT resemble the Church of Jesus Christ. The meeting Tuesday was a farce. The Bishops should have brought a letter of Excommunication to Cuomo for his OVERT passionate support of abortion & gay marriage. This is a slap in the face to all “real” Catholics & Jews for that matter. Scroll down for full story …
 
 
SIDEBAR: Cuomo requests White House set up a meeting between his staff and senior members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In light of the catastrophe in Japan, New Yorkers must know the facts regarding Indian Point and its latest risk assessment, Indian Point 35 miles outside NYC. Exceprts from YNN report.
 
“After watching the events in Japan and having previously opposed the Indian Point plant, this past Tuesday, I requested the White House schedule a meeting between my staff and senior members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That meeting has now been scheduled for Tuesday, March 22 with, among others, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Director of State Operations Howard Glaser. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the risks facing Indian Point in the event of an earthquake, how prepared Indian Point is to handle an earthquake, as well as what risk assessments have been completed regarding Indian Point. We are looking forward to a productive dialogue with the NRC.” ###  
 
 
BISHOPS DISGRACE THEMSELVES & CHURCH
 
Andrew M. Cuomo at the city’s annual gay pride parade last summer.
 
 
 
UPDATE: “Wednesday’s meeting was one in a series of many meetings to discuss a marriage equality bill. Same-sex couples deserve the right to join in civil marriage, and it is simply unfair to deny them the freedom to make this decision for themselves and their families. To me this is more than just a piece of legislation. This is about the lives of people who I have known for many years, who currently are without the rights to which they are entitled. I look forward to working with lawmakers and stakeholders to make sure that New York joins the growing number of states that allow the freedom to marry for all couples.” Governor Andrew Cuomo …

Shortly after meeting with Catholic Bishops Cuomo, in a gay marriage push, announced he will meet with leading supporters of the marriage bill.
 
Let me repeat: The Catholic Church does NOT resemble the Church of Jesus Christ. The meeting Tuesday was a farce. The Bishops should have brought a letter of Excommunication to Cuomo for his OVERT passionate support of abortion & gay marriage. This is a slap in the face to all “real” Catholics & Jews for that matter.
 
This quote from WNY Bishop Kmiec is the epitome of hypocrisy; this man is believed by some to represent Jesus Christ on Earth.
 
It was absolutely delightful. It was very cordial, very comfortable”
 
Cuomo over the next few days will vehemently defend the right of a woman to an abortion any time during gestation. The right of a man to mount a man & woman a woman in legalized marriage..
  
Bishop Kmiec, the man has sway over the KILLING of children anytime during gestation.
 
Just like the Catholic Church during the 40’s failed to condemn Hitler for the mass murder of millions of Jews, the Catholic Church Tuesday failed to condemn Andrew Cuomo for his support for the mass murder of tens of millions of children in their mother’s womb. Yes! It is the same thing if not worse. These tens of millions of children are true innocents as well, Biblical innocents, with NO way of defending themselves.
 
Yet, Kmeic characterizes his meeting with Cuomo as “delightful”.
 
How dare you sir!
 
NO time for “Civil Discourse” Bishop.
  
“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will hold a confidential strategy session with leading gay activists on Wednesday to discuss how to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, the latest sign that he is preparing to put the weight of his administration behind legislation that has divided lawmakers and voters across the country.” NYT

 

Lesbian Insults Get Comic Fined

Updated: Thursday, 21 Apr 2011, 8:48 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 21 Apr 2011, 8:48 PM EDT

(NewsCore) – VANCOUVER — A Canadian comic has been ordered to pay CA$15,000 (US$15,745) to a woman he taunted along with her same-sex partner during a show in a Vancouver restaurant three years ago, the Vancouver Sun reported Thursday.

Stand-up comedian Guy Earl was ordered to pay the money to Lorna Pardy, 32, while the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal also ordered the Vancouver restaurant owner, Salam Ishmail, to pay her $7,500.

Pardy said Earle directed homophobic and sexist insults at her when she was a patron, and he was the master of ceremonies at an open mic comedy show at the restaurant in 2007.

Earle said he will appeal the ruling and that all he did was insult audience members who insulted him first. He also denied that he said some of the things he has been accused of, said Pardy threw a drink in his face and argued that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

Tribunal member Murray Geiger-Adams said Earle repeated vulgar language in public and attacked Pardy’s identity and dignity as a woman and a lesbian and ordered the payment for lost wages and for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect.

Read more: Vancouver Sun

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