Outgoing NYC City Council President Christine Quinn commented yesterday on the race to succeed her, with regard to one candidate who opposes gay marriage and abortion, Capital New York reports:
"I don't think that anyone should be elected to citywide office or statewide office, really any office quite frankly in the City of New York, who isn't pro-LGBT or pro-choice," said Quinn, the Council's first openly gay speaker, in response to a question from Capital during an unrelated press conference at City Hall.
Brooklyn councilman Jumaane Williams, who recently joined the seven-candidate race to replace Quinn, has been criticized by some of his colleagues for his opposition to abortion and gay marriage. In an interview with Capital last week, Williams described a nuanced view on both issues, saying his opinions were informed by personal experience.
Quinn didn't mention Williams by name in her comments on Tuesday, but made clear his views would be disqualifying for her support.
"Elected offices everywhere in this country but in this city, in New York, have tremendous power to move forward issues of equality, to move forward issues of recognizing family, to protect women, to protect a women's right to make their own decisions over their bodies. These are really important issues. They're issues in some areas where we're making progress, in some areas where we are terribly on the defensive. They're issues that have enormous impact on people's lives and they're ones that I feel strongly about and really push candidates for elected office that embrace those issues and those values."
The WSJ adds :
Mr. Williams supports Roe v. Wade, and believes a woman must have the right to do what’s best to protect her health and well-being, though he is personally opposed to abortion, said spokesman Nick Smith. Mr. Williams also believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but he thinks government should recognize everybody’s unions as equal, Mr. Smith added.
The council is slated to elect its next leader in January. The front-runners are Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dan Garodnick, both of Manhattan. Council Member Mark Weprin of Queens is considered the prime alternative to those two, and Mr. Williams is viewed as a long-shot.