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 Covering Gay Marriage: New York 



Chuck, Hillary Regret ... New York Observer,
April 26, 2004

Bloomberg Bobs and Weaves and Bobs...Gay City News, March 11-17, 2004

Rudy opposes gay nups ban New York Daily News,
March 8, 2004




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New York Observer,
April 26, 2004

Chuck, Hillary Regret ...
by Ben Smith

Allen Roskoff caught U.S. Senator Charles Schumer last month at the intersection of power politics and gay iconography: a Chelsea showing of Lord of the Rings.

Mr. Roskoff, a scruffy, intense gay-rights activist, met the Senator on the popcorn line.  "How come I don't hear your voice in favor of same-sex marriage?" he asked.

"You're the only one asking me to do that," Mr. Schumer told him.

That may have been true once - back in 1971, say, when Mr. Roskoff and other gay activists occupied the City Clerk's office to demand marriage licenses.  But gay marriage isn't just a gadfly's preoccupation anymore.  Since a Massachusetts court mandated same-sex marriage in the Bay State last June, the ground has shifted violently under the feet of New York's Senators and other liberal Democrats around the country.

These politicians have supported civil unions, voted to end workplace discrimination against gays, earned 100 percent ratings from the main gay lobby group, Human Rights Campaign - and suddenly it's not enough.  Nor are their promises to vote against a Federal Marriage Amendment.  In the brave new politics of gay rights, "full equality" - meaning marriage - is the bottom line.

"Last year, the whole community was gaga over what a wonderful guy Howard Dean was because he signed the civil-unions bill," recalled West Side Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who supports same-sex marriage.  "But that was nine months ago.  Now that's not enough.  What was a radical notion a year ago is now the default position."  So Mr. Schumer and Senator Hillary Clinton - who have said they oppose same-sex marriage - are facing a mounting revolt from their gay constituents.  There's a move afoot to boot the Senators from this year's "Heritage of Pride" parade down Fifth Avenue, a parade organizer confirmed.  "There's widespread disgust with them at the grassroots level," said a leading gay Democrat.  Even the Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's traditionally cautious gay lobbying group, is willing to publicly criticize the state's top Democrats.

"I'm disappointed that [the Senators] don't understand why marriage is so important to us," said the group's executive director, Alan Van Capelle.  "Civil unions are separate but equal, and history tells us that 'separate but equal' is rarely equal."

He added: "That said, I'm happy to report we have two Senators who are firmly against the constitutional amendment, and who have been relatively good advocates for our community."

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Gay City News,
March 11-17, 2004

Bloomberg Bobs and Weaves and Bobs...

By Andy Humm

After years in which he avoided taking a position, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appeared ready to come out publicly last Thursday night with his position on same-sex marriage.

Speaking to a gathering of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), the mayor said that he was in favor of same-sex marriage and was working behind the scenes to help change the law in Albany.

“Bloomberg started out by saying he couldn’t address our group without addressing the marriage issue,” Pamela Strother, NLGJA’s executive director, told Gay City News. “He said that he will continue to enforce the law, but then he said he thought the law should change. The audience noticed that it was the first time he was stating his opinion on the issue.”

The next morning, however, Bloomberg’s communications staff was working overtime to backtrack.

“Mayor Bloomberg does not have a position on same-sex marriage,” his press office said in a written statement issued Friday mornning. “He wouldn’t object if the law is changed. But no one should interpret this as support for changing the law.”

The flip flop was particularly strange considering that the mayor did this in full view of a group of journalists––even if they weren’t working––gathered at the ABC studios in Times Square.

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New York Daily News,
March 8, 2004


Rudy opposes gay nups ban
By James Gordon Meek, Daily News Washington Bureau       

 WASHINGTON - Rudy Giuliani came out yesterday against President Bush's call for a ban on gay marriage.

 The former mayor, who Vice President Cheney joked the other night is after his job, vigorously defended the President on his post-9/11 leadership but made clear he disagrees with Bush's proposal to rewrite the Constitution to outlaw gays and lesbians from tying the knot.

"I don't think it's ripe for decision at this point," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I certainly wouldn't support [a ban] at this time," added Giuliani, who lived with a gay Manhattan couple when he moved out of Gracie Mansion during his nasty divorce.

Giuliani took his gay rights stance just as speculation hits a fever pitch that he's in line to replace Cheney on Bush's ticket.

Cheney and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton fueled the vice presidential talk at Saturday night's Gridiron Dinner in Washington.

To a mock question from the audience asking Cheney to step aside for someone with "new energy and vitality," the veep turned to Giuliani and zinged: "You need to do a better job of disguising your handwriting."

Asked yesterday whether he would run with Bush if Cheney stepped aside, the mayor-turned-businessman mimicked Marlon Brando in "The Godfather": "An offer I couldn't refuse, right?"  But he didn't say no.

Giuliani conceded he's "out of sync" with his party's conservative base, but likened himself to other moderate GOP stars like Gov. Pataki and Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And while he was cagey on the veep talk, the former mayor said he will run for elected office again, but didn't say which one.

Giuliani is considered a leading GOP hopeful in the 2008 presidential race, though he may decide to challenge Clinton in her 2006 Senate reelection bid.

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