David Paterson | Democratic Party | Hillary Clinton | Kirsten Gillibrand | New York | News

Report: Paterson Picks Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to Replace Clinton


MSNBC, along with some local outlets, is now reporting that New York governor David Paterson has asked Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to come to his mansion in Albany tomorrow, which makes it look very likely that she'll be the choice to fill Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat. Gillibrand has served in the House for just two years.

Here's what Gillibrand said when asked about her position on same-sex marriage in a recent interview with InsideOut:

"What I’d like to do legislatively, on the federal level—and I think we’ll be able to do this with the new president—is actually make civil unions legal in all 50 states, make it the law of the land. Because what you want to fundamentally do is protect the rights and privileges of committed couples, so that they can have Medicare benefits, visit in the hospitals, have adoption rights. All [the] things that we give to married couples, committed gay couples should be eligible for. And then the question of whether you call it a marriage or not, what you label it, that can be left to the states to decide. [It’s] so culturally oriented. My mom’s generation, they want their gay friends to have every right and privilege that they should be eligible for as a married couple, but they feel uncomfortable calling it marriage. To them, a marriage is a religious word that they learned from the Catholic Church: It’s a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. So they feel uncomfortable with the word. But they don’t feel uncomfortable with the rights and privileges. I think the way you win this issue is you focus on getting the rights and privileges protected throughout the entire country, and then you do the state-by-state advocacy for having the title."

Gillibrand2Politicker NY notes: "On the issue of gay rights, Gillibrand received an 80 out of a 100 rating from the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign. That was the lowest score out of New York’s Democratic representatives. According to the Human Rights Campaign, she voted against the repealing of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' legislation, opposed legislation that would grant equal tax treatment for employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners, opposed legislation to grant same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents the same immigration benefits of married couples and opposed legislation to permit state Medicaid programs to cover low-income, HIV-positive Americans before they develop AIDS. That said, Gillibrand is not an ideologue. The positions she took were arguably necessary as a means of getting elected in a conservative-voting district. And there is a notion among political observers that if she represented the entire state, those positions would soften to better reflect New York’s more liberal complexion."

Watch the MSNBC report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Although I will never rest until our GLBT community is treated 100% equally, I agree with Rep. Paterson in her estimation of a practical "bridge" to acceptance of same-sex marriage in America. Change sometimes takes time, sometimes unfortunately, but this would be a HUGE step forward. It will take time, but we WILL be equal one day. This week has proven that to all of us.

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 22, 2009 10:03:00 PM

  2. I think this is a way to go about giving equal marriage to everybody in this country. I support it greatly- it makes a lot of sense.

    Posted by: lis | Jan 22, 2009 10:35:59 PM

  3. Finally someone who speaks clearly and "gets it."
    Government isn't in the business of sacraments; that can be left to the churches.
    Government is in the business of legalities and rights.
    It is about time we had only one class of citizen in the USA.

    Posted by: jessejames | Jan 22, 2009 10:50:12 PM

  4. Is your right to a definition more important than my right to equality?

    Posted by: Matthew | Jan 22, 2009 11:21:30 PM

  5. That is a very enlightened view. It's pragmatic, and responsible. It panders to both sides, while attempting to move us forward. It's a great platform.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 22, 2009 11:22:25 PM

  6. Pretty effin' sensible. It's the backroad way to equality. Once people see the sky hasn't fallen, nobody will care what it's called. Thing is, most aren't offering actual equal benefits under a different name. They're offering sub-par options and saying we get the same rights. If she's the choice, good for NY.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 22, 2009 11:26:43 PM

  7. "It’s a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. So they feel uncomfortable with the word."

    No....they certainly aren't uncomfortable with the word. That's why they get divorced and remarried so often. Is THAT what they learned from the Catholic Church?


    Posted by: PDQ | Jan 22, 2009 11:35:18 PM

  8. paterson only picked ths woman because she is an upstate democrat who has the added bonus of being roman catholic....all of which are going to be weak spots in paterson's campaign if he gets stuck running against giuliani in the next election (giuliani's stronger upstae, with roman catholics and of course conservatives)

    Posted by: tony the tiger | Jan 23, 2009 12:15:25 AM

  9. I am very suspicious of this kind of "equal rights, different terminology" talk. In fact, it is pretty much exactly the same as Ken Starr's argument here in California that Prop 8 is fine and dandy. Strange bedfellows ....

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 23, 2009 12:44:24 AM

  10. Oh, and Gillibrand's argument that we should give the same rights but call it something different is also pretty much the same as the "separate but equal" standard that was rejected in Brown v. Board of Education. But hey, other than that, I'm sure she's great.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 23, 2009 12:46:55 AM

  11. Sad that some gays can't recognize that some things take time and baby steps. They'd rather shoot for the moon, fail, and set themselves back a 100 years than patiently craft a strategy for success of the long haul.

    Black civil rights didn't happen overnight inspite of how some advocates would like to portray it. It took them 100 years, a million deaths, and countless heartache and rejection to get to the place they are today.

    And while we gays may not have it as bad as that (and we can thank blacks for not a small amount of that) it's still something we have work on slowly and persistently.

    It's like coming out in a way. No body does it overnight to everyone. It's more of a rolling process that inevitably picks up steam.

    I think she's got the right idea and strategy.

    Posted by: FrozenNorth | Jan 23, 2009 1:22:14 AM

  12. It's a start people. Gillibrand is on our side of this issue. Get all the same rights as marriage and the US Supreme Court will either say call it "marriage" because separate is not equal, or they will deny the rights to Gay Americans. Should they deny the rights, One hopes Gay-Americans would riot in the streets (but I won't bet on it).

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 23, 2009 1:35:31 AM

  13. This is off topic, but the AFA has issued an action alert for their sheep to e-mail President Obama/White House to complain about his support for women's rights and gay rights.

    We should probably counter with positive e-mails to whitehouse.gov


    Posted by: Josh | Jan 23, 2009 2:01:13 AM

  14. "Government isn't in the business of sacraments; that can be left to the churches.
    Government is in the business of legalities and rights."

    And marriage is a legal, governmental contract that confers a thousand different rights.

    Churches throw symbolic parties for marriages they like. These parties are called "weddings".

    Churches are not in the marriage business. Pretending that they are plays into their hands and gets nobody anywhere.

    You do not need a church to be married. You don't even need a church for a wedding. You don't even need a wedding to be married.

    Not all religions oppose marriage equality. Religions that do are not only stomping on the secular human rights of every American, but they're also stepping on the rights of other religions that get it right.

    Please, please, please stop believing what some churches tell you. They don't own marriage. At all.

    Marriage equality is, of course, the only acceptable outcome. I don't like getting there through appeasing idiots and I don't think it will be necessary to do so. But if it got us there -- quickly -- I wouldn't complain.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jan 23, 2009 2:22:28 AM

  15. I hope that we never lose sight of the fact that it is our right to define what our civil rights look like, and not that of some straight politicians.

    "Practical" is the just administration of the law, which stipulates that we are due the equal protection that it affords to all citizens of the U.S. Separate is not and has never been equal.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Jan 23, 2009 2:56:35 AM

  16. Since a "marriage" is a civil legal contract, civil unions should be what all couples should get. A "blessing" can be whatever that legally bound couple wants.

    I say everyone enter into their legal contracts at city hall and if they want that contract blessed they go wherever they want to have it done.

    No fuss. No muss.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jan 23, 2009 4:22:14 AM

  17. Derek, this is actually what they do in some European countries. This arrangement makes things much clearer.

    Unfortunately churches have been allowed to stand in for the state for so long in the US that I think this would be a really tough thing to pull off here.

    Posted by: Voet | Jan 23, 2009 7:01:04 AM

  18. She's a gun-loving whore who should not be selected to replace Hillary.

    Posted by: shane | Jan 23, 2009 7:17:40 AM

  19. GILLIBRAND? Replacing CLINTON?

    Oh. My. Word.

    Tina Fey, get to work on this one...

    Posted by: John Farley | Jan 23, 2009 8:17:30 AM

  20. We all know that we SHOULD have gay marriages. But the fact is, we will have to wait ar least 25 years for that. Gay civil unions we CAN have NOW. So we should grab them! Full civil rights for blacks were not won instantly at once either. The civil rights act barely passed at all at first and it would not have passed in the 60s if blacks had tried for 100% justice all at once.

    Posted by: hephaestion | Jan 23, 2009 8:31:09 AM

  21. "...opposed legislation to permit state Medicaid programs to cover low-income, HIV-positive Americans before they develop AIDS."

    I cannot read that and come away with a good feeling. What sort of person would deny care to a person to prevent the onset of AIDS? Not a good person. Not at all.

    Posted by: Timothy | Jan 23, 2009 9:14:04 AM

  22. "It’s a covenant between a man, a woman, and God."

    I yearn for the day that atheists can get marriage licenses... oh wait: they already can. It's called marriage too, you just go to a Justice of the Peace, get hitched by the magic words, and sign a marriage license.

    Si again, why can't same sex couples do this? And call it marriage, just like atheists do?

    Posted by: TikiHead | Jan 23, 2009 9:26:15 AM

  23. doh! "So again..." not "Si again..."

    Too dang early, eyes are still glued shut.

    Posted by: TikiHead | Jan 23, 2009 9:28:08 AM

  24. It is difficult for me to believe that an individual who showed this level of bigotry against any other community would have received this endorsement. Despite his history of support for the GLBT community, this represents a significant slap in the face for our community by Gov. Paterson.

    Posted by: silverkjk | Jan 23, 2009 10:14:51 AM

  25. OK, but aside from the marriage issue, she has the lowest score on LGBT rights of any representative, she was against repealing DADT, against equal tax treatment, against uniting families, and against expanding Medicaid? And that’s all OK?

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jan 23, 2009 10:23:31 AM

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