David Paterson | Gay Marriage | New York | News

NY Governor David Paterson and Gay Rights, Explored

The NYT explores how New York governor David Paterson's perspective on gay rights came to be:

Paterson"...Mr. Paterson said he believes deeply that gay men and lesbians today face the same kind of civil rights battle that black Americans faced. He acknowledged that this position put him at odds with some black leaders, who bristle at such comparisons. 'In many respects, people in our society, we only recognize our own struggles,' Mr. Paterson said. 'I’ve wanted to be someone in the African-American community who recognizes the new civil rights struggle that is being undertaken by gay and lesbian and transgendered people.'"

However, that perspective seems to have been formed at a very young age:

"Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald, he said, were a gay couple, though in the 1960s few people described them that way. They helped young David with his spelling, and read to him and played cards with him. 'Apparently, my parents never thought we were in any danger,' the governor recalled on Thursday in an interview. 'I was raised in a culture that understood the different ways that people conduct their lives. And I feel very proud of it.' ... 'All the time when I’d hear Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald and my parents talk, they were talking about the civil rights struggle,' Mr. Paterson said. 'In those days, I knew I wanted to grow up and feel that I could change something.'"

Exposure, once again, a force. Another example of why coming out and living openly is so important.

Meanwhile, NY state senate majority leader Joe Bruno weighs his options...

I've posted Paterson's press conference on the same-sex directive once again,
AFTER THE JUMP...

How Governor Set His Stance on Gay Rights [nyt]

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. simply lovely . . .

    Posted by: bp | May 30, 2008 9:52:21 AM


  2. Wow. Imagine that. A politician who is NOT full of shit. Bravo!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 30, 2008 9:58:22 AM


  3. I find it so amazing how the gay marriage debate always gets more press right before a general election. The sneaky straights strike again.

    Posted by: daveynyc | May 30, 2008 10:26:23 AM


  4. You're right, DAVEYNYC, but maybe anti-gay hate won't work for the Republicans this time.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 30, 2008 10:31:45 AM


  5. What a beautiful story; his conviction to support the rights for all people funded in the loving support of his family from generations past. Admirable. It's not about "My gay son/daughter has changed my mind", this man is about "This is the thread of my existence, get over it."

    It will be unfortunate that his message, his story will be lost on the crap-head "Christian" fundies who don't want to hear about love.

    Now to get him to run for President!

    Posted by: Rad | May 30, 2008 10:38:54 AM


  6. Love, love, love this man.

    DAVENYC, as they say in your neck'o the woods, "Don worry bout it". I think the scales have tipped and the "wedge issue" of marriage equality has lost its punch. It seems that only the right-wing (who wouldn't vote for a Democrat if they were the only person on the ballot) and screaming nelly fatalists on the left are the only people who seem to be in a tither about this.

    The reaction to this ruling has been NOTHING like the one in MA in 2003. There seems to be no visible "backlash" and so far the only "fallout" has been positive.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 30, 2008 10:42:00 AM


  7. David Patterson just gets more and more fantastic with each passing day. Frankly I'm glad Eliot slept with those whores.

    Posted by: Gregoire | May 30, 2008 10:43:07 AM


  8. Well, I guess that shoots down the theory that a more than a few posters here have that all blacks are homophobic.

    Posted by: Jeff | May 30, 2008 10:48:25 AM


  9. JEFF, I don't think there ever was any doubt about that! Most sane people know better than that! Tell that to that lunatic CHURCHILL-Y over @ queerty!!

    Go Paterson!!

    Posted by: Shabaka | May 30, 2008 10:56:59 AM


  10. Claiming all blacks are homophobic is just an easy way of denigrating them and making anti-black racism acceptable.

    Like "gay people," African-Americans are people, individuals with individual minds and different perspectives based on their experiences. Will and Jada Smith's children won't lead the life or see the world from the same perspective of the some kid, black, white, Asian, or Native American, from a poor neighborhood.

    I realize that this is heresy but I don't like Liza or Judy or Kylie or clubbing. I've never been to Fire Island. Nor do I like Al Sharpton or 50 Cent or baggy jeans. I don't spend money on Abercrombie or D&G or Versace. I like dogs over cats and would rather see "Iron Man" than "Eating Out."

    I say this because it bothers me how much we all stereotype each other and make assumptions or force each other to adhere to false standards.

    Posted by: noah | May 30, 2008 11:46:32 AM


  11. Andy: Just wanted to congratulate you on the DNC credentials. I've read that a few people elsewhere are projecting their 'bile,' but I'm glad you've been selected.

    Posted by: DAVID | May 30, 2008 11:57:09 AM


  12. Obama/Paterson '08!

    Posted by: crispy | May 30, 2008 12:02:28 PM


  13. here is a man of substance. in his heart, "something there is that doesn't love a wall".

    Posted by: nic | May 30, 2008 12:17:56 PM


  14. Question - is it possible for the governor's decision to be overturned, and if so, what would it take for that to happen?

    Posted by: JP | May 30, 2008 12:28:40 PM


  15. Why, oh why, can't this man be running for PTOUS?! I liked him before this statement.
    Awesome!

    Posted by: silverskreen | May 30, 2008 12:35:53 PM


  16. Three cheers for Paterson. His fond memories of his uncles makes me recall what Leonard Matlovich used to say:

    "They hate us [more] for our virtues, not our vices. If we were evil people, they
    wouldn't be afraid of us; they would assume that their children would not wish to be influenced by us. But it is precisely when we are at our most virtuous—as warm, loving, human beings—that they fear our influence."

    And the same is behind their Big Lie about "gay marriage" destroying marriage itself. They can still scare the horses with their mass circulated videos of nudity and whatever in Pride parades but when their children and open-minded adults see gay couples displaying LOVE—that most universal of needs beyond hunger and thirst—it's much harder for them to reduce us to insatiable walking erections.

    The same is true of the military ban. Every Purple Heart winner like Leonard or Eric Alva or military academy stars like Joe Steffan or respected Navy pilots like Tracy Thorne or Navy Reserve Commander Zoe Dunning or simply every out-to-his/her-fellow-soldiers-while-doing-a-good-job gay man or lesbian works against the Pentagon-perpetuated Big Lie about damaging "unit cohesion" or gropes across close bunks at night or shower assaults.

    And, again, the more of us who are out to our families and friends and coworkers the more WE help destroy the myths. The first person to open Leonard's eyes was a lesbian bank officer. David Paterson may be legally blind but his loving Uncle Stanley and Uncle Robert taught him to see what is truly important simply by being themselves.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 30, 2008 1:01:03 PM


  17. He is awesome

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 30, 2008 1:56:15 PM


  18. Bless you, Governor Patterson!

    Posted by: peterparker | May 30, 2008 2:23:57 PM


  19. Well said Michael.

    Posted by: tooboot | May 30, 2008 2:33:06 PM


  20. Screw Clinton and Obama... Patterson for President!!! This man has shown that he is human and not a hypocrite politician. He leads with his heart and brain!!

    Posted by: ray | May 30, 2008 5:17:34 PM


  21. The greater my exposure to this gentleman, the greater my respect and admiration is for him. I only hope that should Obama be elected in November, he is as honest and wise as Governor Paterson. Governor Paterson may be physically blind, but he sees far clearer than those with 20/20 vision. I wish him every success.

    Posted by: Bob R | May 30, 2008 10:28:44 PM


  22. David Paterson just became one of my heroes. One of biggest problems with gay Obama supporters is that they seem to believe that Obama is anything like Paterson when it comes to gay issues. He is not.

    I don't think anyone sane believes that all blacks are homophobic. I am angry that the traditional power structures for African Americans are so belligerent in their hostility to gay rights. I am angry at the black leaders in the DNC, like Donna Brazile and Leah Daughtry, who are working against civil rights for gay people (even the ones who are gay themselves). I am hurt that the most vocal African Americans are offended by comparisons of our struggles. I am frightened that Barack Obama has very close ties to bigots who are successfully blocking progress for gay people. I fear that as president he will be obligated to put people who are hostile to gay rights in positions where they will hurt us.

    My outsider status has always given me compassion for people who suffer bigotry for other reasons. I have fought against racism in my job and challenged friends on it whenever necessary. I do not understand why I am able to do make this connection and many black people are not. I have become obsessed with the relationship between the black and gay communities because it causes me great pains that members of a group that I like and care about either shout about how much they hate me or remain completely silent when others do.

    True, blacks are better friends to the gays than Republicans, Catholics, and white evangelicals. But I don't like any of those groups. I don't like them, they don't like me, no problem. I do care about the problems that black people face today, and I am appalled that people I regard as friends, and have treated as friends, regard me as an enemy.

    I understand least of all the gay black leaders like Jasmyne Cannick, who refuse to acknowledge that homophobia in the black community is an epidemic that hurts all gay people. I do not understand how intelligent people like Noah can claim that "Claiming all blacks are homophobic is just an easy way of denigrating them and making anti-black racism acceptable." That's ridiculous. It seems, however, to be the party line for gay black people. When I read about gay issues on black blogs, it is extremely unusual for gay people to write in and challenge people on the hatred of sexual minorities which dominates any mention of us in the black cyberword.

    As I have said before, I am not aware of any place where gay people are actively working against equal rights for African Americans. That being the case, it is absurd to compare homophobia in the black community with racism in the gay community.

    Paterson proves that it is possible for an African American man to fight homophobia and rise to a position of great power. Obama did not to cave in on Donnie McClurkin and Ralph Meeks. The DNC should not sacrifice us to make black bigots happy.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | May 31, 2008 2:21:21 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «Greek Isle Mayor Hopes to Conduct First Same-Sex Wedding« «