Would ‘Governor’ David Paterson be a Boon for NY LGBT Rights?

Quite possibly. In the wake of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal that went down yesterday, The Advocate looks at how the rise of the state’s first legally blind and African American governor, David Paterson, might work in favor of gay rights legislation:

Spitzer_paterson“If Spitzer were to resign, Lt. Gov. David Paterson would assume the responsibilities of governor, which most LGBT activists guessed would be the best-case scenario for gays and lesbians in the state. Paterson, who is legally blind and represented Harlem in the state senate, has typically been ahead of his time on gay issues over the years. ‘David Paterson is a terrific, progressive guy — extremely LGBT-friendly,’ said Ethan Geto, a Democratic analyst and LGBT activist. ‘He is somebody who would absolutely follow through on the commitment of the senate Democratic conference to pass gay marriage.’ Paterson has been on record in support of marriage equality as early as 1994. When Paterson was asked if he would take part in pushing through the marriage bill following his inauguration in January 2007, he told the New York Blade, ‘I’m not going to be in that fight — I’m going to be in front of that fight because my first day as [senate minority leader] was the day we passed the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act. One of the reasons we need same-sex marriage is because the statistics for heterosexual marriage are so bad; that might be a way to upgrade some of the success rates.’ As far back as 1987, Paterson refused to pass a state hate-crimes bill that didn’t provide protections for gays and lesbians. ‘He was willing to let everything go down rather than to exclude us,’ Sherrill recalled.”

In related news, it’s looking more and more likely that a resignation from Spitzer is in the works. WCBS: “Eliot Spitzer is not expected to continue as governor of New York and may resign in the coming days, sources told CBS 2 HD on Monday shortly after it was reported that he was linked to a prostitution ring. State Assemblyman James Tedisco (R-Schenectady) told CBS 2 HD that he spoke with Lt. Governor Paterson Monday evening and that the two discussed Paterson taking on a new role of leadership, leading Tedisco to believe that action was ‘forthcoming.'”

Could Spitzer’s Woes Have a Silver Lining? [the advocate]

Report: NY Governor Eliot Spitzer Linked to Prostitution Ring [tr]


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    Even though I’m excited about the prospect of David Patterson becoming governor of New York, Spitzer’s “demise” is still sad. Was Spitzer a hypocrite? Yes, but not evil–just weak when it comes to his personal, secret desire. Larry Craig & Senator Vitter were/are evil–they attack those who are vulnerable in this society–blacks, gays, poor people, physically disaled, etc. Spitzer couldn’t control himself. Lord, how many times did I unwisely give into desire–‘course I don’t have $400 to spend on a piece of trade (well, I guess at that price, he’d be an “excort”).

    Sptizer has to face his wife and family. I didn’t think about that yesterday. Am I allowing partisan politics to influence my feelings about this Democrat in trouble? Yeah.

  2. daveynyc says

    I don’t think he should resign either but I think he will with pressure from democrats, the quicker this gets settled the better.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Sorry, I guess an “excort” is cheaper than an “escort”. I don’t hold public office, so I’ll take either one. I could swear I hit that “s” key.

  4. Sebastian says

    Anyone dumb enough to pay five grand for sex and, in the way he did it, should resign, for being a fool, no sex is that good. And, the total hypocrisy of all involved, they harp on marriage as this great institution, yet, deny it for a whole lot of people, and, yet, they can’t keep it in their pants. Sorry, resign for the good of the party. Sounds like Jerry Springer when he wrote the check for his escort , so full of himself, that he wanted to be caught, these politicians with their sense of being above the law are amazing. maybe they should just make sex workers legal, and, stop busting them for what has been gong on forever.

    That said, America is getting better all the time, the possibility that a blind black man could be governor of a state is amazing when you really think about it, even though its under such tawdry circumstances.

  5. Zeke says

    I’m really glad to hear this about Lt. Gov. Paterson.

    I like Spitzer but I do think he should resign.

    And I have to co-sign with SEBASTIAN on this one. What the heck was he doing paying $5,500 for ONE HOUR with a whore from Washington DC when men and women all over New York York would have done him for free.

    I want to see this $5.5K/hr prostitute! I can’t imagine ANYONE is that hot or that good.

  6. noah says

    Spitzer has done a GREAT deal for Americans, championing the rights of the little guy and gal. I hope that he’ll be able to overcome this situation.

    Obviously, I am more concerned about his family and the pain that his wife and children feel.

    Sometimes very intelligent, good men do incredibly stupid things. I don’t think of Spitzer as a hypocrite since he was not a moralizer. He fought corruption. When the federal government didn’t look out for students being ripped off by loan companies, Spitzer stepped in to battle for the students.

    Spitzer was also, from what I’ve read, a friend of the GLBT community.

    So, I don’t think anyone should be smug or take satisfaction in his political troubles.

    One thing I would have thought Spitzer would have been smarter about was the movement of cash between accounts. As a prosecutor, Spitzer should have known that all banking transactions are monitored, as are phone conversations. Constantly shifting cash above a few thousand dollars automatically triggers a red flag, especially because of post 9/11 procedures.

  7. rudy says

    It is going to be extremely difficult for Spitzer to retain his elected position. Schadenfreude is a bitch. The long knives have been waiting for this opportunity and he has provided a perfect target.

    Pointedly, Spitzer’s problems are of his own making, both the catalytic event (breaking the law) and the pertinent standard of judgment, his self-created reputation as “Mr. Clean”. Had he merely hired a prostitute, he might have been able to survive, seriously damaged in his ability to get anything done, but he might have been able to survive. Allegations of (1) conspiracy to (2) cross state lines to (3) engage in prostitution, (4) by using money laundering and (5) fraud to conceal his identity, however, are going to be much more difficult to defend against.

    He honed his reputation on fighting corruption–including prostitution rings–and used public shame as a weapon to cower alleged criminals, against whom many thought he had insufficient evidence. Moreover, he angered many career prosecutors and judges by bringing cases by “boast and media spotlight” rather than evidential case building. Others were left to pick up the pieces as he moved on to another spotlight.

    It would not be surprising to see him indicted on multiple counts by a less than sympathetic prosecutor and made to come before a less than sympathetic judge. Rest assured that the rich and powerful on Wall Street–those he shamed and intimidated with a broad brush of corruption–will be lining up to exact their revenge.

    Spitzer is about to be hoisted upon his own petard. This country loves little more than seeing hypocrites unmasked. In contrast, scoundrels like Bill Clinton are easily forgiven by the public because he never claimed to be a choir boy. Spitzer, however, spent too much time polishing his public halo. He set himself up for the fall that is likely to occur.

    Zeke, I think that one tends to judge those with whom one agrees less harshly than those with whom one disagrees. Hence, the sympathies of most Towleroadies tend to be with Dems rather than Repubs. Blame that natural inclination, and that experience has shown Repubs to be sanctimonious in their hypocrisy whereas Dems usually do not make the mistake of highlighting their failings by claiming “moral” superiority. It is the difference between “I am the judge and you are the sinner” versus “we are all sinners” mentalities. Unfortunately for Spitzer, he set himself up as the moral standard bearer and, therefore, will not be allowed to complain in the court of public opinion when he is held to that standard.

    [Re-post from previous thread.]

    It never ceases to amaze me how men who are otherwise intelligent consistently think with the little head instead of the big one. Moreover, the interstate machinations in which Spitzer engaged appear to be designed to set a trap for himself. Did he want to get caught? Why does he think he needs to be punished? Yikes! Way too much psychodrama. It is almost Shakespearean in his tying the noose with which his enemies will hang him. The scale and scope of his impending fall will gladden the evil hearts of those he has long accused of moral corruption. According to the wiretaps and seized documentation, Spitzer was a long-time and frequent customer. How especially sad that a man with three daughters would mistreat women so.

    Fortunately, however, it appears that the Lieutenant Governor is prepared to take up the mantle and work with the Legislature to address the civil rights of gay people.

  8. MCnNYC says

    Lets just forget about marriage issue in this DECADE with Bruno moving into Lt Gov if or should I say when Sptzer steps down.

    And if he stays on he will not be must help on this issue.

    Truly sad.

  9. Derrick from Philly says


    your comments really helped me to understand what I was TRYING to say, especially your last paragraph where you hint at the anguish Spitzer must have felt. “Did he want to get caught?”

    No, he is not a self-righteous hypocrite. He’s far more complex than those right-wing, Christian fanatic liars who preach “fire & brimstone” while they tap on men’s room stalls.

    I think his daughters will understand that he doesn’t hate women. Is paying for the services of a prostitute in itself a mistreatment of women? I’m not sure. I don’t think Spitzer hates women. He has a wife and daughters whose love is probably priceless to him, but privately he needed something else. That something else was so powerful a drive that he risked everything for it.

    Spitzer reminds me of the Russel Crowe character in “LA Confidential”. He wants to save women so badly that he doesn’t know how to treat them.

  10. Zeke says

    Someone on another blog said something I thought was funny:

    “If for no other reason, Spitzer should resign for committing the unforgivable sin of acting like a Republican!”

  11. Zeke says

    When a woman is being paid five grand for an hour in the sack with a good looking man, really, who’s taking advantage of whom?

  12. soulbrotha says

    What is wrong with some of you people? He didn’t have an affair, folks! He BROKE THE LAW! Hello? Remember that little thingy we all are supposed to abide by? If any common man had done it, if his SON had done it, he would have been arrested and charged for illegal solicitation. There are sting operations all over the place entrapping (sometimes innocent) men. Why should Spitzer get a pass? That’s bullshit! He used taxpayer’s money for $5,000 hookers, SEVERAL times!

    No, he shouldn’t resign…he should be kicked the fuck out and put in prison. Period!

  13. Derrick from Philly says


    Well, brotha’, we’re Christians, we’re supposed to forgive…Democrats. Now, that Larry Craig and Senator Vitter–those mothas should be impeached and sent to HELL!

  14. patrick nyc says

    Lets just forget about marriage issue in this DECADE with Bruno moving into Lt Gov if or should I say when Sptzer(sic) steps down.

    And if he stays on he will not be must help on this issue.

    Truly sad.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Mar 11, 2008 12:49:21 PM
    Bruno is not going to be much of a factor. At age 72 he is being investigated by the FBI and Congress over some shady dealings. Chances are if he does run again and wins it will be not as majority leader, the dems only need one seat to take it away from him. Like Hassert I think he’ll bow out.

  15. nic says


    lol. excort and escort is one of those mistakes we all have made — in spelling and in life. but that does not make us stupid. god knows that i have made silly mistakes. stupidity is incurable and sometimes fatal, while silliness can often be cured by a bitch-slap.

    it takes effort to cure ignorance, and it takes a lot of time to gain wisdom. what makes us better is that our learning from our mistakes makes us less dumb and blind. being able to listen and learn ameliorates the ignorance (for, we never stop learning), and life experience is cumulative wise-wise (hehe).


    i am not familiar with the workings of NY state politics. spitzer, the narcissitic fuck, will resign. patterson will assume the governorship, and repug bruno will become lt. gov. control of the state senate hangs in the balance. what does all this portend for the NEAR future of the state and the nat’l election?