Edie Windsor Hub
(Photo: William Alatriste)
BY COREY LAMBERT
In the spirit of LGBT Pride Weekend, Towleroad caught up with openly gay New York City mayoral candidate Christine Quinn to discuss how she'll celebrate, the recent Supreme Court victories and her plan to fight HIV/AIDS in New York City.
What are your plans for Pride this year?
I always go to the breakfast given each year by GOAL, the NYPD's Gay Officers Action League, and then it's straight to the parade. I'll be with my wife and my father and our extended family, as well as close friends, colleagues and staff. It's a rush marching down Fifth Avenue. I try to do the route twice. My favorite part is walking along the barricades talking to people and meeting folks who are there for the first time.
Do you have a favorite Pride memory?
I remember my first Pride like it was yesterday, even though it was over 20 years ago, and I will say that Pride 2011 was especially wonderful. Two nights before, New York had approved marriage equality, so there we were, about two million people lining Fifth Avenue and the streets of the Village, and the roar of pride and excitement was like nothing I had ever seen. This year's Pride is following the incredible wins at the Supreme Court, so I know we'll hear that roar again and that the roar will be heard across the country.
Speaking of the recent Supreme Court victories, can you discuss the LGBTQ issues that are most important to you?
The fight against HIV/AIDS is not over and as mayor I will establish an office of HIV/AIDS policy because we need to wage the fight out of City Hall, not the Health Department, so we can coordinate among city agencies. And clearly the issue of hate crimes has affected our community in a profound way. Despite the advances we’ve made, our community often does not feel safe and that isn't acceptable. When I was the Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Project I learned that hate crimes must be met with an overwhelming community response to let the world know that this will not be accepted. As mayor this will be a priority for me.
How do you think you've made a difference in the LGBTQ community?
From organizing against anti-LGBT violence as head of the Anti-Violence Project in the early 1990s to fighting to establish the HIV/AIDS Services Administration to playing an integral part in the fight for marriage equality and protecting funding for LGBT homeless and runaway youth as Speaker, I have delivered positive, affirming change for the community throughout my career in public life. But the work doesn't stop there. This week I'm releasing my LGBT policy plan detailing what my focus will be as mayor on behalf of the LGBT community. This includes eradicating anti-LGBT hate crimes, creating the first LGBT senior housing community, a focus on transgender civil rights, eliminating the waiting list for beds for LGBT homeless and runaway youth, the creation of the Mayor's Office for HIV/AIDS Policy and being a powerful presence in Albany and Washington. We also need to improve data collection as a city to ensure we are raising the level of community services for LGBT New Yorkers.
There's a saying that goes "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu." For LGBT New Yorkers, having a place at the table is key to ensuring that our issues are front and center. Standing up, being out, being visible and most importantly getting real results for the community you live in is how you make a difference.
CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...
Christine Quinn got the support of Edie Windsor at last night's SCOTUS celebration in front of NYC's historic Stonewall Inn, Politicker reports:
“I wasn’t going to announce who I was going to endorse until a decision was made … and it’s Christine Quinn!” said Ms. Windsor of the woman who–if elected–would become the city’s first female and openly gay mayor.
Ms. Quinn was about to begin her remarks in front of the thousands of people now gathered on Christopher Street to celebrate the ruling, when Ms. Windsor jumped up–as much as an 84-year-old woman can–and grabbed the microphone to make the endorsement.
Today, Edie Windsor appears in a new ad for Quinn's mayoral campaign.
Watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP...
Also making sure to be seen at the Stonewall rally (complete with traveling campaign sign held aloft by a devoted supporter) was Anthony Weiner, who has vaulted to the frontrunner position according to at least one recent poll.
Writes photographer Josh Koll, who snapped the photo below:
A few rally-goers were so upset by potential NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's appearance (campaign signs and all) that they were yelling "GO AWAY! IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!"
Beyond that, the Supreme Court, in a majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, declared that Congress's attempt to deny federal recognition to legally married same-sex couples was just another example of bald stigmatization of a disadvantaged group. DOMA "humiliates" and "burdens" and creates a "separate status" for gay couples and, therefore, violates due process and equal protection guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
That's the DOMA decision in a nutshell. And although we know complex questions remain, we cannot deny that the end of DOMA is momentous. For the first time, the Supreme Court advanced the inherent equality of gay couples and looked with favor on the legitimacy of those marriages, at least when it comes to federal recognition of state-sanctioned unions.
Let's take a moment to celebrate and then bury ourselves in the details. It will take time to go through the decision with the rigor it deserves and rest assured, we will be covering this case for some time. For now, here are my five initial take aways from the decision in Windsor v. United States:
1. Jurisdiction was a red herring. There is a controversy and disagreement here, and there is no connection between having jurisdiction here and lack of standing in Prop 8.
2. No heightened scrutiny. The Court didn't need it because DOMA was particularly irrational. Still, the Court used a level of scrutiny higher than rational basis. A clear statement of that standard is not the best outcome (which would have been heightened scrutiny), but it got the job done.
3. This was a very Kennedy-esque decision. The opinion striking down DOMA reads like Kennedy's opinions in Romer and Lawrence.
4. Federalism issues played a role, but the decision was not limited to those questions.
5. The importance of marriage. This will mean a lot for when a gay marriage case comes through the courts next.
CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...
The New Yorker reports on the moment Edie Windsor learned of the DOMA ruling:
Everyone at the apartment of Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who argued Edith Windsor’s successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, exploded in screams and sobs when the ruling came down. Kaplan called her mother and said, “Total victory, Mom: it couldn’t be better.” Windsor said, “I wanna go to Stonewall right now!” Then she called a friend and said, “Please get married right away!”
Photographs, of Edith Windsor and Roberta Kaplan, by Ariel Levy.