Towleroad Interview: Christine Quinn

In the spirit of Pride, what do you hope for the LGBTQ community?

I hope that we continue to move forward as we collectively have over the past few years, but also that we realize that as a community the work is never done. It's true that we have made major strides on marriage, but we can't get complacent. We have seen a sickening spike in hate crimes and Albany still hasn't gotten it together and extended statewide basic civil rights to the transgender community. Each night thousands of LGBT homeless youth are without beds on the street, LGBT seniors often live in isolation and we are seeing an alarming rise in HIV and AIDS, especially in poor communities of color. We have a lot to do.

The marriage victory is an incredible accomplishment and a real milestone, but it's also just a milestone. It's not a signal to rest on your laurels. This is why as mayor I will push every day on issues like hate crimes, homeless and runaway youth, seniors and transgender rights, HIV/AIDS care and services.


What member of the LGBT community has inspired you most?

Like many, I'm inspired every day by the advocacy of heroism of groundbreaking, larger-than-life figures. I put Edie Windsor and Robbie Kaplan in that category. Edie Windsor was just an everyday citizen. When she got that tax bill after her wife Thea died, she could have just paid the bill and given up, but she didn't. She took the United States of America to court and with Robbie handling her case, she won. These type of women not only inspire me but will inspire young women for generations to come.

To connect with Christine Quinn, follow her on Twitter or visit her website.


  1. 24play says

    No questions about why Quinn flip-flopped on term limits when she herself was about to be term-limited out of office?
    No questions about the slush fund scandal?
    No questions about why Quinn watered down a living-wage bill with so many exemptions that the passed law only applies to 0.16% of jobs in NYC?
    No questions about why she single-handedly blocked a paid–sick-leave bill for more than 3 years, a bill that was supported by a veto-proof majority of the council?
    No questions about why Quinn signed off on new NYPD regulations that make it illegal for any group of 50 people to gather without a police permit?
    No questions about why Quinn is the only major Democratic candidate who intends to ask Ray “Stop and Frisk” Kelly to stay on as police commissioner?

    Pride week or not, the middle of a hard-fought primary campaign is not a terribly professional time for a journalistic outlet to do an LGBT-questions-only interview of a mayoral candidate. All of the major Democratic mayoral candidates have excellent records on LGBT issues. I wonder if de Blasio, Thompson, Weiner and Liu will get such softball coverage from Towleroad?

    I know that Quinn is tanking in the polls and the campaign is desperately reaching out to anybody who can give her some good press. But I expect better than this blatant favoritism from Towleroad.

  2. Holamigo says

    @24play – what do you expect from the Andy Towle, David Mixner, Neil Giuliano, GLAAD, HRC, VictoryFund, if its gay its good, cabal? They cant see past gender politics, so these are the the kinds of pathetic, PR team written interviews we get. TRoad should have interviewed Edie Windsor, not this fraud…but then, Edie can’t do them any favors.

  3. bravo says

    This was a good interview for Christine Quinn. Lots of softball questions. (Insert lesbian joke here.)

    I missed the question about term limits and how we would have had Bill Thompson as our mayor if Christine Quinn did not collude with Mayor Bloomberg to revoke term limits and allow herself to be reelected and allow him to spend $100 million to buy a third tem (although with a bare majority of votes).

    For an LGBT voter to be able to vote against an LGBT candidate on policy = true success of the LGBT movement.

  4. says

    Disappointing puff piece about someone who has practically blazed a trail of destruction behind her in her effort to accumulate more power. Quinn is motivated by blind ambition, not by a guiding set of principles or a desire to serve. She doesn’t stand for anything except that which will advance her career. It’s no wonder that two anti-Quinn groups participated in the gay pride parade today.

  5. says

    What a softball game of an interview. I hope that this news site will have some truly journalistic interviews and coverage of the NYC mayoral candidates.

  6. Robert says

    Was this the best you could do? I am serious. A few generally topical questions of a person you identified as a candidate without any real follow up and answers she already gave in press releases does not seem worthy of your time or ours.

    What next, 10 ways to slim down for that rocking bikini body in 10 days?

  7. Roy says

    The only question you seemed to have missed here is, “What kind of gay tree would you be?” You had a chance to ask some REAL questions, and instead let her get away with speaking in press releases. Shame on you.

    I wouldn’t vote for this phony opportunist if she was the only one on the ballot.

  8. JONES says

    Absolutely agree that all politicians need to answer the hard questions.

    @bravo said it perfectly. You vote to put someone in a position of power because of their stance on issues and policy not their sexual orientation.

    I’ve not been able to look at Quinn without thinking that she colluded with Bloomberg to circumvent term limits. Yes, Quinn is Family and Bloomberg is an LGBT ally but to me that makes what they did even worse.

    If you get a chance to interview Quinn again ask her about her involvement in Bloomberg & term limits.

  9. Feral says

    I don’t care how gay she is, I will never vote for this mean-spirited, term limit-overthrowing, insecure slug. I’ll be voting for Thompson.

  10. bravo says

    For Speaker Quinn’s sake, I hope she also has access to supporters in an alternate universe, where potential voters applaud her deals with Mayor Bloomberg for both to remain in power a term beyond what the voters twice approved. And a universe where the premise of term limits is not that incumbents have a huge monetary advantage which can sway even well-intentioned voters, but a universe where LGBT voters will vote for her for being L and not think about their best interests.

  11. bravo says

    Whoops, I meant to say: For Speaker Quinn’s sake, I hope she also has access to supporters in an alternate universe, where potential voters applaud her deals with Mayor Bloomberg for each to remain in power a term beyond the limits which voters twice approved. And a universe where the premise of term limits is not that incumbents have a huge monetary advantage which can sway even well-intentioned voters, but a universe where LGBT voters will vote for her for being L and not think about their best interests.

    (Not that I have a favorite, but I’ll vote Thompson 2013, as Speaker Quinn deprived him of his rightful term in 2009.)

  12. bravo says

    Oh, and you forgot to ask her what her favorite color in the rainbow is?

    Answer: Green. Then her advisors gather to tell her that green represents Irish and money (not usually in the same place).

    She revises her answer: Latino/Latina.

  13. tuppy says

    Wow, I’m surprised by the vitriol of my fellow commenters. I’m a New Yorker looking forward to voting for Chris Quinn in September and, hopefully, getting her elected in November.

    We New Yorkers, not Quinn, are responsible for Bloomberg’s third term — we voted for him. And while Quinn shows actual leadership in negotiating successful budget deals and policy compromises (including, yes, the tempered paid sick leave bill), her more knee-jerk-progressive opponents bloviate or (in the case of Weiner) worse.

    Where differences with Bloomberg matter — schools, stop-and-frisk, attention to LGBT issues — Quinn is the loudest person in the room.

    I simply do not understand the depth of hatred from some members of our community to someone who could be both pathbreaking and unimaginably impactful as mayor. You can bet that Mayor Weiner won’t be making the same strides against HIV/AIDS, hate crimes, and LGBT homelessness.

  14. Jodi says

    I’ve been surprised by the hate, too. If you truly believe that reversing term limits is an unforgivable sin, then all the more power to you. From where I stand, it looks like you’re amazed to find out that a professional politician actually acted like a professional politician. Whether you like Bloomberg or not, it’s hard to imagine what good it would have done Quinn to fight him. We only have to look to the House to see how effectively the “I’ll take my toys and go home” approach to politics works.

    If you’re an activist, you get to remain ideologically pure. If you’re a politician, you have to play with the people who were invited to the dance.

    I envy you if you really believe that any of the other candidates will be as effective a leader on progressive issues as Christine Quinn. Say what you want about identity politics, but having a gay woman in the office in and of itself will do a lot more for women and gays than any of the men in the race.

    I feel like this is Hillary all over again. Instead of holding her up to some imaginary ideal of the perfect candidacy — and femininity — how about we look at what she’s done and what she can do as mayor?

  15. bleck says

    @Jodi – “how about we look at what she’s done and what she can do as mayor?”

    That’s the point. People have looked at her record and what she’ll do as mayor. That’s exactly why we don’t want her.

  16. Gb says

    Everybody love the heavy red haired girl. And she’s a lesbian? Sorry, she’s had too many sodas. Wouldn’t be the first time we elected a candidate on superficiality alone.

  17. JONES says

    Was that Quinn’s answer to why she helped Bloomberg negate term limits … that she’s a professional politician and she had to do that to be at the dance? Because the interviewer never asked that question and thus we don’t know her answer. That was my point.

    I’m surprised that you find that an admirable quality but as a hypothetical … if it was a Republican, or a corrupt mayor that did the same thing what would you say? Is it only OK when it’s a politician you approve of? As an activist my stance is you point it out when any politician does something that appears unseemly and evaluate their explanation.

    I don’t have idealized standards of femininity and agree with you that comments about Quinn’s looks are offensive. An imaginary ideal of a perfect candidate … In this race, Weiner & Quinn, you can’t be serious.

    I disagree with you also about other candidates concerns for LGBT issues. Being LGBT isn’t a prerequisite to caring about LGBT issues. Gillebrand is one of the staunchest allies in the country and she’s not Family.