Thomas Duane Hub

NY Marriage Equality Vote: Sen. Addabbo Most Heinous Defector

Some insight into yesterday's bitter New York Senate marriage equality defeat from Gay City News about what happened yesterday:

Addabbo There was widespread speculation that at best 28 or 29 Democratic votes could be secured, which meant at least three Republicans had to be brought along.

If in fact some Republicans were taking a serious look at the legislation, it may have been the Democrats’ inability to muster more than 24 votes that led the GOP, after a bruising year in which control of the Senate changed party hands several times, to retreat from Skelos’ earlier commitment.

Certainly Van Capelle saved his strongest fire for a Democrat –– freshman Senator Joseph Addabbo of Queens.

“I think if there is disappointment in a real big way, I think I’m very disappointed in Joe Addabbo,” he said. “I think Joe Addabbo is better than his vote.”

Addabbo, who supported gay rights on the City Council and claimed an open mind on marriage equality in last fall’s campaign, was one of the prime recipients of support last fall from the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee, to which the LGBT community made significant contributions. Addabbo also secured the maximum donation allowed –– $9,500 –– from software entrepreneur Tim Gill, founder of influential gay philanthropic and political action organizations.

Our Corey Johnson, who was in the gallery yesterday, told me independently that Addabbo was where the Democratic dominoes began falling.

Said Tom Duane to Gay City News of the eight who broke promises to him yesterday: "We should be incredibly angry. I’m incredibly angry. I think the community should be very, very, very, very, very angry. I’m not the one who ever lied throughout this entire process...I believe in redemption and rehabilitation. No matter what people did today, we need to quickly provide them an opportunity to redeem themselves. That will get us the votes we had, that we have, and that we rightly deserve."

There is a RALLY scheduled for tonight at 6 pm in Union Square to continue the fight for marriage equality.

Tom Duane on Marriage Vote: A 'Sadly Political Battle' as Predicted

State Senator Tom Duane, the marriage equality bill's lead sponsor, has released a statement regarding today's vote:

Duane Today’s vote against Marriage Equality makes me very angry. Promises made were not honored. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, and all fair-minded New Yorkers have been betrayed. I am enraged, deeply disappointed and profoundly saddened by the vote today.

In 2006, when the New York State Court of Appeals shamefully ruled that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community did not have equal protection under the law in relation to Marriage Equality, I predicted that passing legislation to right this wrong in the State Senate would be a profound personal and sadly political battle.

I have been proven right.

Yet there is an irony in today’s vote. Five years ago no one would have predicted that a vote would even be possible in the Senate. Today, on the floor of the Senate, we had an open and honest debate about the indignity of denying Marriage Equality to thousands of New York’s LGBT citizens. We heard stories of family members and friends who have suffered merely because they are gay. Only one Senator, who opposed marriage, spoke on behalf of that position. Again, an honest debate of which only one side, sadly not the winning side, represented justice and equality.

Now that this discussion has started in the Senate, it cannot be stopped. We will see Marriage Equality pass in New York. Yes, not today, but in the near future -- openly and with bi-partisan support.

I want to applaud those friends and advocates in the LGBT community who insisted on a vote, regardless of the outcome. This was very brave and it was the right thing to do. I was honored to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate, for an up or down vote, with their support.

Today also brought home the fact that the State Senate must maintain a Democratic majority– and in even greater numbers. It was only under Democratic leadership that this vote was possible. We must also have a Governor willing to sign marriage equality into law.

Most importantly I am grateful to all my Democratic colleagues who spoke so eloquently in favor of marriage equality and all those who voted in the affirmative. I also believe in redemption, even for State Senators who need that chance.

I am confident that we will win the fight for marriage equality in New York State.”

Duane Calls Dem Betrayal on Marriage 'Contagious Lack of Backbone'


Elizabeth Benjamin at the NY Daily News reports a "pale and shaken" Tom Duane immediately following the New York marriage equality rejection.

Said Senator Duane, the bill's lead sponsor: "I wasn't expected to be betrayed, and so I have some justified anger. But it's just going to propel me to - I don't want to say redouble my efforts, because my efforts have been pretty strong - but I'm not going to let up. I'm angry. I'm disappointed. I am let down. I'm betrayed. But I am not going away...Unfortunately, I think there was a contagious lack of backbone that occurred here today. And I’m angry about that and sad about that, but it was contagious. Similarly, the opposite would have meant far more votes than anyone had expected but unfortunately that wasn’t the way it went today."

New Yorkers Oppose Anti-Gay Maine Vote, Look Ahead to NY


New Yorkers held a rally in Union Square last night opposing the anti-gay vote in Maine on Tuesday, and looking ahead to next week, when Governor David Paterson has promised to call a special session of the state senate.

Watch OurSceneTV's report on the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

According to Gay City News, both Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Alan van Capelle and State Senator Tom Duane are still confident about a vote on marriage equality:

"Alan Van Capelle, the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), the state’s LGBT lobby group, and out gay Chelsea Democratic Senator Thomas K. Duane, the measure’s lead sponsor, both reiterated their confidence in the wake of an election in which a Republican marriage equality supporter was forced from an upstate congressional race and voters in Maine narrowly opted to repeal the gay marriage law there. 'Based on my conversations with senators, they are planning on being in Albany next week,' said Van Capelle. 'That said, the governor is still required to issue an extraordinary session calendar. Our community should rest assured we have full commitment from the governor that the marriage equality bill will be on the very first calendar.' ... In a statement issued late in the day on November 4, Duane said, 'I have so much confidence that New York will soon be the next state to enact marriage equality. I strongly believe that my colleagues from both sides of the aisle will step up and do the right thing.' Since the spring, Duane has consistently said he has the votes –– among them, as yet unnamed Republicans –– to ensure passage of the marriage bill."

More at Gay City News on the impact of Maine and the NY 23rd  district Congressional race.

Watch OurSceneTV's report on the NYC rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Yorkers Oppose Anti-Gay Maine Vote, Look Ahead to NY" »

NY Politicos: Bloomberg Wrong About Marriage Equality's Chances

Earlier this week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg told Gay City News that the chances of marriage equality happening in New York were "zero, zero".

Said Bloomberg: "I don’t know how to get it to come up [ on the Senate floor]. If you want my honest opinion, [the Senate leadership is unlikely to move a gay marriage bill] when I don’t see these guys willing to stand up for less controversial issues."

Now, three prominent New York politicians and a gay rights leader have stated just the opposite — that marriage equality may very well be up for a vote this fall.


Bloomberg's Democratic opponent, comptroller William Thompson, responded: "Once again Mike Bloomberg is talking out of both sides of his mouth. The fact of the matter is Mike will stand up in press conferences and talk the talk but at the end of the day he never walks the walk. Mike Bloomberg has consistently supported the Republican Party and its anti-gay marriage agenda."


State Senator Thomas Duane said: "As far as I know, the mayor hasn’t been in on any discussions with Senate Democrats or with Senate Republicans on strategy for getting marriage passed. There have been people involved with his administration that I’ve talked with and others may have spoken to, but I don’t know of the mayor personally speaking to anyone. I remain confident it will get done this fall...His offer to come testify is the easiest political commitment to make, but the time for hearings is past. I held hearings on the bill years ago. I can’t say he’s expended much political capital on this."


Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Alan van Capelle was equally dismissive of Bloomberg's remarks: "We don’t agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s statement that marriage equality does not have a chance of coming up for a vote this fall. The mayor is focused on New York City and his race for re-election, and not on the details involved in moving the marriage bill forward in Albany. We know from the work that we do daily on this issue that marriage equality is still very much in play in 2009.”

And NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn chimed in as well: "I disagree with the mayor. I do believe that there is a real potential and a very real potential in the near future...If I knew exactly when [the measure would move] I would probably know who was going to win the trifecta at Belmont. I don’t see any reason to think that there is not potential to have this vote."

Bloomberg also claimed in the interview that he could sway key GOP Senators (specifically Brooklyn’s Martin Golden and Queens’ Frank Padavan) to make a 'yes' vote when marriage equality comes to the floor, however, Gay City News reports that Padavan's office says that the Senator and the mayor have not had any discussions about the issue.

The Empire State Pride Agenda recently launched a new 'Call Your Senator' campaign. Hope lives.

Duane, Thompson, Come Out Swinging on Bloomberg Comments [gay city news]

News: Alexi Giannoulias, Pets, Sally Kern, Roger Federer, Beyonce

RoadDuane: New York marriage vote possible this month.

Federer RoadRoger's turn: Federer flaunts his fur.

RoadCute-ass animal story of the day #1: The 'can't get up' puppy.

RoadCute-ass animal story of the day #2: Rhodesian Ridgeback adopts baby pig.

RoadDailyKos: The road to marriage equality runs through Maine.

RoadNo storms on the horizon for New Orleans 'Southern Decadence' celebration: "In the almost four decades since it started, Southern Decadence has become a traditional Labor Day weekend, end-of-summer, event. But for two of the last four years, hurricanes crashed the French Quarter-centered party. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Gustav last year both generated evacuation orders for the city and brought the festivities to a screeching halt."

RoadStephen Fry urges Twitter followers to get behind campaign seeking apology for British mathematician Alan Turing.

RoadSally Kern facing transgender challenger in Oklahoma.

RoadMichael Jackson finally laid to rest 70 days after his death.

Alexi RoadIllinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias comes out for marriage equality, end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": "In an interview, Giannoulias said individual states should be able to decide for themselves whether they allow same-sex couples to marry, but that all states should be required to afford legal recognition to same-sex marriages performed in states where they are sanctioned."

RoadOfficials: L.A. fire was arson.

RoadReferendum 71 names still under wraps: "Signed petitions seeking a statewide vote on expanded gay partnerships will remain shielded from public view for at least a few more days, while a federal judge decides whether Washington state's public records law could pose a risk to free speech rights."

RoadESPN commentator and coach Brad Gilbert not into "fruity" tennis outfits.

Sasha RoadFierce lawsuit: Project Runway's Chris March suing Thierry Mugler over Beyoncé tour costumes.

RoadWashington archbishop Donald Wuerl steps up campaign against marriage equality: "Wuerl sent a letter to 300 local Catholic priests Tuesday reminding them about the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage, and he launched a round of media interviews to bolster the church's presence in the debate."

RoadJohn Waters to retire after two more movies...

RoadYou'll See: Susan Boyle to cover Madonna  on debut album.

RoadAIDS vaccine hopes revived after discovery of HIV weak spot: "Now, thanks to the antibodies, researchers have realised that the trimer is a viral weak spot because it's indispensable to the virus. So unlike many other targets on the virus, it's shared by many, if not all, strains of HIV. 'The key is the trimer,' says Koff. 'Our hypothesis now is that if you bind to the trimer, you neutralise the virus, as that's how it appears on the surface of the virus.' The antibodies are only a starting point, however, and the race is on now to develop synthetic vaccines that have the same shape as the "weak spot", or epitope, so people receiving vaccinations make antibodies that recognise it when the real virus comes along."


Towleroad - Blogged