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New York Lawmaker Malcolm Smith Evasive on Same-Sex Marriage

At a press conference, yesterday, PolitickerNY reports that Senate Democratic leader Malcolm Smith took a question about same-sex marriage in the state and ran with it — to other topics:

Smith"When asked about same-sex marriage, Smith decided to switch topics completely and talk about the economy instead. 'First of all, let's talk about what important for the people around the state, two basic things. One is reviving the upstate economy,' he said. The other: 'We want to do something about property taxes around the state of New York.'...When pressed on whether he’d support the passage a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, Smith again avoided the issue. 'I can tell you our priority is about the state economy. That’s our number-one priority,' he said."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. He's black...what do you expect? Not to sound racist, but seriously. Finding an adult black person who is in favor of same-sex marriage is like finding a unicorn in a forrest. I live in "liberal" California, and the minority vote is going to probably going to pass YES on 8 here.

    Posted by: Jay | Oct 28, 2008 2:52:23 PM


  2. Ah, I love when black leaders sidestep same-sex marriage when it's not politically advantageous safe to do so.

    Let's try and pass laws prohibiting divorce and interracial marriage - and then punishing adultery by death - and let's see what happens.

    Posted by: DoITNOW | Oct 28, 2008 2:52:46 PM


  3. All right, fine you may have more pressing issues at hand, but just answer the damn question. Whether he intended to or not, he has now possibly raised a red flag among some in the GLBT community by being so evasive about gay marriage. I am however, going to censor myself and avoid a knee-jerk reaction on my part by judging him too harshly for now.

    Posted by: matthew | Oct 28, 2008 2:57:28 PM


  4. JAY,

    what color is Governor Patterson of New York? He's lighter than this Smith guy, but he's still black. You've found your unicorn.

    DOITNOW,

    Back in the 1960s some white gay men (or rather, white homosexuals) were NOT for black civil rights, and NOT for intergration, and NOT for interracial marraige. Many white gay men today are NOT for intergrated social venues (gay clubs, etc.).

    We've got black bigots and white gay bigots. Let's try to reach them...both.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 28, 2008 3:00:53 PM


  5. Oh, Jay, you poor misguided racist asshole.

    David Paterson. There's your elusive unicorn.

    Posted by: crispy | Oct 28, 2008 3:02:42 PM


  6. "integrated" dammit. I keep doing that.

    It should be spelled the other way. You know like "intermix" "interaction". Oh, well.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 28, 2008 3:04:07 PM


  7. Actually, to defend your point, Derrick from Philly, I live in Massachusetts where Govenor Deval Patrick (Massachusetts first elected black governor) when Mass Lawmakers in 2007 (if my memory serves me right) were deciding whether to put a ban on gay marriage on the ballot worked very hard by calling many of these lawmakers and persuaded them to vote it down. That's why we in Massachusetts still have gay marriage today, because of Deval Patrick.

    My conclusion is to some posters here, just because someone is black, don't just assume they are against gay rights. Deval Patrick is a prime example although there are many others.

    Posted by: matthew | Oct 28, 2008 3:12:04 PM


  8. When people avoid the question, it's usually telling what the answer would be. So... without answering the question, he did.

    Posted by: JAYDUB | Oct 28, 2008 3:14:22 PM


  9. Damn, Derrick, you beat me to it! We're gonna have to start coordinating our efforts to fight these bigots.

    Well, here's another "adult black person" who supports gay marriage: Charles Barkley

    Posted by: crispy | Oct 28, 2008 3:18:11 PM


  10. I made a pretty stupid typo in my previous I typed 2007 when I should have typed 2006. There wasn't even an election in 2007, where is my brain?

    Posted by: matthew | Oct 28, 2008 3:18:48 PM


  11. One black person doesn't answer a question and all black people are anti-gay?

    The prejudice of many people in America when it comes to race continues to amaze me. If black people aren't pro gay marriage, it somehow has to do with their skin color-- not religion.

    We don't talk about the race of religious, white voters that are anti-gay. The are labeled as right-wing, conservative, evangelical, etc. But socially conservative, religious black people, they are anti-gay because of their skin?

    It's patently ridiculous.

    Posted by: Brandon | Oct 28, 2008 3:22:10 PM


  12. Jay,

    Although initially, a lot of RELIGIOUS (read Christian, Baptist, etc.) blacks who identify as heterosexual seem to share those views, you simply must take into account that not ALL blacks share the same viewpoints.

    We come in various shades, have diverse outlooks and political affilations, tastes and opinions.

    'k?

    Posted by: banjiboi | Oct 28, 2008 3:23:56 PM


  13. I must say though, his obvious avoidance of the question at hand is certainly open to interpretation.

    Posted by: banjiboi | Oct 28, 2008 3:31:13 PM


  14. Brandon:

    Pay not attention to the race baiting on this site by some commenters. It used to phase the shit out of me too, but then I realized that as sad as it is to be confronted with black homophobes it is equally as sad to be confronted with white gay racists. Some commenters will continue to blame the African American community for ALL homophobia when they can place blame on their Caucasian counterparts as well. It's just easier to blame the Other.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Oct 28, 2008 3:32:43 PM


  15. Brandon:Thats because this country is still full of racist bigots,EVEN IN the homo-community some gay people can be real hypocrites.Im gay and blatino and my best friend of more than 7 yrs is white and s**t like this has been a topic of discussion between us since the election started.We are both very disgusted with the kind of BS we have been seeing.It seems that since this election started the bigots have really been coming out the woodwork.Even the racist homos,who wont admit to being racist.

    Posted by: JazzMan | Oct 28, 2008 3:33:22 PM


  16. Sugarrhill:I totally agree with you,very true

    Posted by: JazzMan | Oct 28, 2008 3:36:02 PM


  17. I am not racist, or an asshole. The majority of my friends are black, and they can contest to the fact that most black people are anti-gay marriage. So, name call all you want but it's the truth. I am not racist, or against black people, nor do I think every single black person is against gays and gay marriage, but the majority of them are against allowing gay people to legally marry and you can deny it all you want but it's the truth.

    Posted by: JAY | Oct 28, 2008 3:45:05 PM


  18. The bigot is always the first one to say "I have a friend whose...." Just to cover-up their own prejudices.We saw this Palin harpy,use that line when putting down the gay and les community.Jay you are a racist admit it.If you cannot see and admit the error of your ways,I suggest you crawl back under the rock you came from and continue your bottom-feeding.Granted I somewhat use that same line in my earlier post,but Im not and never have been racist.Im an international person.I dont judge by skin color I judge by a person's attitude,hense why I dont like very many people.

    Posted by: JazzMan | Oct 28, 2008 4:00:55 PM


  19. JAY,

    I don't believe you're a conscious racist, but your initial comment was racially incendiary. We've been through this discussion many times on Towleroad, and on other gay blogs. If you were to compare the feelings of Black Americans with those of White Americans from the same socio/economic & educational background on the issue of gay marriage rights, you may not see much of a difference.

    But I wonder, JAY, too many blacks are not pro marriage rights for gays, but a great many of them are pro civil rights for gays. THey make a distinction between the two issues... because of the religious connotations that go with "marriage"--I guess. It's unfortunate, but it is not a "black thing", JAY. Of all the white people in this country, who do blacks share most in common when it comes to religion? Southern whites, of course. And what are southern white folks' views on gay marriage, JAY?

    And remember, JAY, we've been told that African-Americans make up less than 8% of California's voters. If Prop 8 passes, it won't just be because of Black Californians.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 28, 2008 4:13:28 PM


  20. Um, I believe Coretta Scott King is black and an adult and in favor of gay marriage.

    Posted by: gay as life | Oct 28, 2008 4:20:19 PM


  21. Same old, same old, black is BAD...blah, blah, blah...

    Sigh, I'll never understand the 'hate' for someone because they are different to you in race...or...sexuality..

    Posted by: Rowan | Oct 28, 2008 4:25:22 PM


  22. Sugarrhill & Jazzman: thanks for your comments.

    Jay, I cannot speak for or about your associations. I also won't and have not resorted to calling you names.

    I will say that it is hardly scientific or statistically sound to validate your theory based upon what your set of black friends say.

    Additionally, I think you are in part responsible for the outrage that your post generated. If you make a statement like, finding a black person that is pro-gay marriage is like finding a unicorn in a forrest, you've all but said ALL black people are anti-gay marriage because unicorns DON'T exist. It's not unreasonable for people to challenge that statement.

    But more importantly, I'm not sure why it is relevant to point out that "black people" are anti-gay marriage.

    What's the nexus between being black and being anti-gay marriage? Is it "race" or is it religion?

    For me the prejudice in your comments isn't the "fact" about what the majority of black people think, but rather why we're talking about this in racial terms at all. Why isn't the discussion about how religious communities are generally opposed to same-sex marriage and how we can reach them to turn them around?

    Why did you immediately leap into a posting about black people and gay marriage versus simply addressing the comments this one, individual made? The guy, who happens to be black, side-stepped the question. It could be because he's anti-gay marriage. It could be because he thinks the issue is a political loser and doesn't want to address it for that reason. Or, he could be against gay marriage. Anyway you slice it, he's an individual, but you immediately lept from the specific to general.

    That's the prejudice.

    And the problem is that this type of prejudice is so deep and so endemic to America that it often goes unnoticed or unchecked.

    That's why I could not be silent. And why I ask that you could, just perhaps, reflect upon the statements and assumptions that you made.

    Posted by: Brandon | Oct 28, 2008 4:26:38 PM


  23. Commenters like Jay also like to conveniently forget that whites are the major proponents in anti-gay legislation in this country. But go ahead, blame the Black man. I'll admit that a majority of the African American community is against gay marriage. But they don't actively pursue legislation to deny or repeal the rights of the LGBT community, at least not with the same fervor as their white religious counterparts. They are, regrettably, just pawns in this political game.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Oct 28, 2008 5:28:52 PM


  24. This has nothing to do with race -- I don't understand why race even enters into this discussion.

    Malcolm Smith is trying to get the Senate into Democratic hands -- his focus is to do that by appealing to mainstream issues -- and not be weighed down by the gay marriage issue. While it would be nice for him to be like Gov. Paterson, who has become a rock star for gay New Yorkers, we have to cut Smith a little slack. Gay money is working behind the scenes to help get a Democratic majority in the Senate -- and I'm certain that ESPA has their pulse on how these issues will be handled once the Senate is in Democratic hands.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 28, 2008 6:02:12 PM


  25. And the biggest contributors and biggest activists against gay marriage in this country are the Mormons.

    Must be all them black Mormons!

    Posted by: KevinVT | Oct 28, 2008 6:07:55 PM


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