Michael Bloomberg Hub




NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Gives $250,000 to Fight for Marriage Equality in Maryland

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made the largest individual contribution received by proponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland, the NYT reports:

BloombergMr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who attended college in Maryland at Johns Hopkins, dipped into his personal fortune to help persuade New York lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage in 2011, and he has supported a similar effort in New Hampshire. His contribution came after discussions with Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who has spearheaded the effort to pass the referendum, known as Question 6.

“The fact that someone of Mayor Bloomberg’s national stature and recognition would care about our referendum campaign for civil marriage equality, I think, tells people all over our country that this is a serious and real campaign,” Mr. O’Malley said in an interview on Thursday evening from Kentucky, where he was attending the vice-presidential debate.

In related news, HRC added an additional $1 million to the state marriage battles:

 This brings HRC’s total contributions to the four ballot measures to $4.4 million and $7.3 million overall during this election cycle.

Today, Towleroad is joining with The Four to help raise money for the state marriage battles. If you wish to help out, please click HERE.


Cuomo and Bloomberg Back Embattled Pro-Gay GOP Incumbents

CuomomarriageNew York State Senators Stephen M. Saland and Roy J. McDonald, two of the four Republicans to vote for marriage equality in the Empire State, are currently in political limbo.

After last week's primary vote, both men are awaiting recounts to see if they've actually survived conservative efforts to oust them for their pro-equality politics. And with the ballots being reexamined starting today, the men are getting some vocal support from two big NY names.

First, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning threw his weight behind the embattled senators.

Saying their votes for "an act of political courage" that bucked their party's dominant thinking, Cuomo pointed out that lawmakers are not always meant to agree with their constituents; they're meant to do what's right, a point that's so often lost in the political back-and-forth.

“I don’t believe we elect officials to always agree with us,” Cuomo remarked, according to the New York Times. “We elect officials to use their best judgment and to be people of character and integrity, and I think this vote, which was a difficult vote, showed character and integrity. I hope it works out for both gentlemen. They’re in the middle of recounts now, and I hope it works out — I hope they get re-elected."

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg also came out for Saland and McDonald. "No matter what happens in the election, they’re going to have the satisfaction of knowing for the rest of their life they stood up and voted their conscience, and they did it in a world where that’s harder to do today maybe than it’s been in a long time," said Bloomberg, who gave $10,300 of his billions to each of three pro-equality state senators who ran for reelection. Mark Grisanti won by a landslide and the fourth supportive senator, James Alesi, retired.


NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Blocking Chick-fil-A 'Not Government's Job'

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on recent statements by the Chicago and Boston Mayors Emanuel and Menino, and city officials from Philadelphia, who have expressed  desires to block Chick-fil-A from opening in their city'sbecause of the company's discriminatory worldview and donations to anti-gay marriage organizations.

BloombergBloomberg spoke with Politicker, saying he would not take a similar stance:

“They’re all friends but I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Mr. Bloomberg said of his mayoral colleagues. “You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit, that’s just not government’s job.”

Mr. Bloomberg went on to argue that blocking a business based on their political beliefs opens a potential slippery slope where liberal cities block conservative establishments and vice versa with conservative cities.

“Freedom of speech — everybody’s in favor of it as long as it’s what they want to hear,” he explained. “Well the only way that you have your freedom of speech is if you give other people freedom of speech. … This is just a bad idea and it’s not going to happen in New York City.”

There is one Chick-fil-A in NYC, on the NYU campus.


NYC's Bloomberg And Quinn Join Big Apple In Asking SCOTUS To Review DOMA

QuinnBloomPride

In what may be the most high-profile "friend of the court" brief filed for marriage equality, the City of New York, including Mayor Mike Bloomberg and lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, came out against the Defense of Marriage Act and asked the Supreme Court to review the law's constitutionality.

From The Washington Blade:

[The brief asks] the justices to take up lesbian Edith Windsor’s challenge to DOMA, known as Windsor v. United States.

Windsor, a New York City widow, had to pay nearly $363,000 in federal estates taxes upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, in 2009 because of Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The 14-page brief calls DOMA “the last remaining obstacle to achieving legal equality between the city’s married couples” while making the case to strike down the anti-gay law.

"Solely because of DOMA, Edith Windsor was required to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate tax on her legal spouse’s estate," the brief states. …

"As a result of DOMA, thousands of legally married same-sex couples in the New York City are being subjected to this type of disparate treatment because their legal marriages are not recognized under federal law."

The briefing's filing comes one day after marriage equality generated about $260 million in revenue for New York over the last year. 


NEWS: Medicine, Mansions, Music (VIDEO)

WeHoWalk

Towleroad-roadicon Walking in LA? You'll find America's gayest intersection in West Hollywood, at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica.

VersaceManse Towleroad-roadicon Versace's South Beach manse hits the market. Asking price: $125 million.

Known as Casa Casuarina, the 10-bedroom, 11-bathroom house overlooks the ocean. Mr. Versace bought the home and its adjacent lot in 1992 for just under $10 million and then invested another $33 million in the property, adding a 6,100-square-foot south wing, a 54-foot-long mosaic-tiled pool lined with 24-karat gold, a mosaic-covered courtyard and frescoes on the home's walls and ceilings. He was killed outside the home in July 1997. Peter Loftin, a telecom entrepreneur, purchased the property in 2000 for $20 million. After using it as a residence for several years, Mr. Loftin turned the home into a boutique hotel with a restaurant and opened it in late 2009 as the Villa by Barton G.

Towleroad-roadicon Yesterday I posted this awesome country-song-cum-It-Gets-Better video. Here's a making-of vid, in which the principals explain why the world needed a countrified It Gets Better video in the first place. 

Towleroad-roadicon MP Dr. Liam Fox, babbling British bigot, explains that only a "metrpolitan elite" cares about marriage equality:

“This is a contentious issue but I have to say that I am much more in favour of social mobility than social engineering.

“I think that the vast majority of the public have a completely different set of priorities from what I would call the metropolitan elite and I think they will be looking for economic and social issues to be dealt with first.”

His comments come as a major Conservative donor, Michael Farmer, reportedly joined the campaign against same-sex marriage.

Towleroad-roadicon Is Mayor Bloomberg hip to evolutionary biology?

Towleroad-roadicon Religious Minnesotans divided on marriage equality:

Members of Minnesota’s clergy are increasingly taking sides on the push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a political battle that’s pitting certain denominations against others and, in some cases, splitting believers from the same faith.

This Sunday, a group of Catholic churchgoers opposed to the amendment are kicking off the “Catholics Vote NO!” campaign, flying in the face of the church’s local hierarchy, which supports the measure.

It’s just the latest in a lengthy list of recent organizing efforts by the faithful — from a recent “pastor’s summit” of church leaders who support a ban to a gathering this past week of more than 100 Christian and Jewish ministers opposed to it.

Towleroad-roadicon A peaceful Pride Parade in Croatia.

Towleroad-roadicon Might gay-inclusiveness be hurting J.C. Penney's bottom line?

"Mr. Johnson is alienating Penney's traditional customers in a bid to attract new customers from higher socio-economic segments that now shop Macy's, Nordstrom and Target," wrote Al Lewis of Dow Jones Newswires, which appears in the Wall Street Journal. "The result? Larger-than-expected losses, plunging revenues, dwindling customer traffic and a plunging stock price."

Finnsco Towleroad-roadicon A further step towards an HIV vaccine.

Towleroad-roadicon Quick -- could someone old enough to remember the disco era please tell me if Armi & Danny ever made it out of Finland? (Don't know Armi & Danny? Well then -- prepare to witness the best, or maybe the worst, or possibly the only Finnish sci-fi disco ever committed to Betamax, AFTER THE JUMP ... )

Continue reading "NEWS: Medicine, Mansions, Music (VIDEO)" »


NYC Mayor Bloomberg Blasts NC's Vote Banning Gay Marriage in UNC Chapel Hill Commencement Speech: VIDEO

Bloomberg

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the passage of Amendment One head on in his commencement speech at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill yesterday.

Said Bloomberg: “Each and every generation has removed some barrier to full participation in the American dream. That work is not over. Far from it...And, I would argue, last week's referendum banning same-sex marriage shows just how much more work needs to be done to ensure freedom and equality for all people....I have no doubt, that in your lifetime, liberty’s light will allow us to see more clearly the truth of our nation’s founding principles, and allow us to see all people and all couples as full and equal members of the American family.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC Mayor Bloomberg Blasts NC's Vote Banning Gay Marriage in UNC Chapel Hill Commencement Speech: VIDEO " »


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