How Much Of A Friend Will Andrew Cuomo Be To Gay Community

The New York Times has published a piece on Andrew Cuomo's somewhat shaky record on gay rights. Though these days he can be found marching in pride parades, picking the brain of Christine Quinn and coming out in support of same-sex marriage, he apparently has had a shakier record in the past.

The article notes some instances when he worked on his father's failed attempt for the mayorship in the 70's against Ed Koch.

As the race entered its final weeks, supporters of the senior Mr. Cuomo plastered predominantly Italian sections of Brooklyn and Queens with posters that declared, “Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo.”

Both Cuomos denied being involved in or aware of the posters’ creation — claims that gay advocates, and Mr. Koch himself, found difficult to believe. 

And during the elder Cuomo's succesful run at the job:

During his father’s run for governor in 1982, Andrew Cuomo served as campaign manager and participated in tense negotiations with gay advocates, whose support his father was quietly courting.

In return for their endorsement, several gay leaders insisted on publishing a newspaper advertisement trumpeting the commitments that they had extracted from the Cuomo campaign, including his agreement to issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination against gay employees in state government.

Even as the elder Mr. Cuomo said he would issue the order, his son worried that publicizing the deal would alienate more conservative religious voters, those involved in the campaign said.

“We had great difficulty getting the Cuomo campaign to agree on the wording of an ad,” recalled Andrew Humm, a longtime gay-rights advocate. They were told, Mr. Humm said, that “Andrew was the problem.”

When the senior Mr. Cuomo signed the executive order in 1983 — a major milestone for the gay community — Andrew Cuomo seemed intent on playing it down to blunt any backlash.

Allen Roskoff, a gay state employee who pushed for the measure, recalled a telephone conversation at the time with the younger Mr. Cuomo, who asked for his reaction to the executive order. Mr. Roskoff, who did not think the measure went far enough, told him, “It’s terrible — it’s not worth the paper it was written on.”

The big question is how much does he really support marriage equality? Apparently enough for him to firmly state that he "will get it done."

Peter Yacobellis, Governor Paterson's Deputy Director of Administration, has released a supportive statement in response to the NY Times article:

"My parents — the two people who love me most, took 30 years to get to a place of understanding and further: wanting to fight for my rights. From that perspective I fully embrace individual evolution on our issues (so long as they get to the enlightened place when it counts). Andrew Cuomo unabashedly champions the full LGBT agenda.  I don't doubt the strength of his support nor his commitment to make marriage and other rights/protections a priority in his administration."


  1. says

    Politicians are not leaders. They are followers. They will do absolutely nothing to help ANYONE other than the rich, who out them in office to begin with.

    They haven’t done a damned thing for the LGBT community save pay us lip service and hold out their hands for a check. Everything we’ve won we’ve done for ourselves, and it’s stupid to pretend otherwise. Gay politics comes from the streets, not from the suites.

  2. Scott says

    What will I turn to, stuff he may or may not have done 30+ years ago, or what he actually says TODAY?

    I have no doubt he is 100% for gay rights/marriage equality. The problem won’t be him (nor was it with Paterson) — the problem is with the state senate. The governor is not a king, he can only do so much.

  3. TampaZeke says

    It’s TERRIBLY unfair to judge a person by his unwillingness to shout his support for gay rights from the rooftops in the 70’s and early eighties. No one is even claiming that he didn’t support and commit to gay rights back then; only that he didn’t want to make too big a deal about it. CONSIDER THE TIMES! I would take exception to a politician doing that now, ahum Mr. Obama, but not thirty to forty years ago.

    I’m very pleased with his very vocal support of FULL equality now. This is something that is still rare, even among Democrats, ahum Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, etc, etc, etc…

  4. Paul R says

    Count me in with those who don’t judge a person by what they felt or thought nearly 30 years ago, even if it is merely political calculation—and voicing support for full LGBT rights isn’t exactly calculated.

    It was a huge shame that Mario didn’t go further in politics, so even if Andrew has only half the brains and integrity of his father, NY will have a capable leader.

  5. Arthur says

    Enough with the dynasties. In a state as populous as New York surely there are plenty of candidates who would be more compelling leaders without banking on daddy’s legacy.

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