Saying Mayor Bloomberg’s actions on gay marriage “are at sharp odds with his words,” NYC’s sole remaining LGBT newsweekly, Gay City News, has endorsed City Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor. One of the reasons for the snub of Bloomberg is his support for upstate Republicans who may have blocked progress on marraige equality.
In 2005, at the same time the mayor decided to appeal a Manhattan district court judge’s pro-gay marriage ruling, for the first time he announced his support for marriage equality and pledged to lobby Albany to secure that right. That December, he told Gay City News, “When I say I’ll do something, I’ll do something.”
Yet since that statement, Bloomberg has contributed nearly $3.4 million to support the state Republican and Independence Parties, the bulk of those dollars directly funding State Senate Republican incumbents, at a time when that party’s majority refused to bring marriage equality to a floor vote. A $1.2 million Bloomberg contribution to the Independence Party last year was used to support the three most stridently anti-gay Republican senators. The mayor’s support for one of them, Frank Padavan of Queens, helped him squeak out a victory over Democratic City Councilman James Gennaro, a vocal supporter of equal marriage rights.
It’s fair to note that there are marriage equality opponents among the Senate Democrats, too, and that even after gaining the majority last November, their party did not deliver a floor vote. But it’s a good bet that had Gennaro and perhaps another Democrat or two prevailed in 2008, the two disgraceful senators who this past summer crippled a body riven by a 32-30 split would not have had their opportunity. The best information available to Gay City News indicates that without that disruption, Senator Thomas K. Duane would have gotten the marriage equality vote he seeks.