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Cuomo Finds His Voice

October 15, 2010

If you are gay or lesbian, you’re shaking your head at recent events and wondering what the heck is going on. This is New York, isn’t it? Blue state. Progressive tradition. Urbane, sophisticated place.

Square that with the comments of the standard bearer of the State Republican Party, Carl Paladino, who apparently believes that sexual orientation is “a lifestyle choice” and that people who think that being gay or lesbian is “a valid choice” have been “brainwashed.”

After expressing this view and being roundly chastised, Paladino did apologize, but, the apology was stubbornly qualified. He said that while he may have been wrong in using the term valid, he still finds gay parades offensive.

Now consider Andrew Cuomo. People in the LGBT community were nervous that the ever cautious Cuomo might equivocate on the matter of gay rights. Would he appear at the community’s premier gathering, the Empire State Pride Agenda annual dinner? Would he embrace the cause?

Keep in mind that the community is on edge over more than Paladino’s stupidity. There has been a disturbing run of bullying of young gays and gang attacks on others. The community is also still smarting from the profile-in-cowardice vote on marriage equality in the State Senate last December.

If ever there was a time that the community needed a prominent defender, it was the present.

So when Cuomo stepped forward last night to declare his support for same sex marriage it was a great moment for the LGBT community, and for Cuomo, too.

There was no equivocating from Cuomo. He left no doubt about where he stands. He denounced the mentality that stigmatizes gays, and promised a government that would celebrate diversity. He said he wouldn’t just lobby for marriage equality for gays, he would enact it. He said it was the key civil rights issue of our time.

As regular readers know, we’ve occasionally been critical of Cuomo, but when we see him speaking forcefully and eloquently, we are greatly encouraged. This is what leaders do. They stand up at critical moments and leave no doubt about what is right and wrong.

That’s what Cuomo did last night, and for one of the first times in this campaign season, he seems to have found his true voice.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2010 1:56 PM

    Woo Hoo! I could not agree more.
    It does not take a “Hero” to do Heroic deeds! Simple people have done amazing feats for centuries, they have taken major risks, Cuomo has only done what he should have done awhile ago.

  2. societax permalink
    October 16, 2010 9:01 PM

    “He said he wouldn’t just lobby for marriage equality for gays, he would enact it.”

    His “Voice”? Try ho-hum and nothing to see here. He cannot enact same-sex marriage without the Legislature, and they will enact it only through lobbying by the governor and pressure (i.e., lobbying) by interested groups. Or perhaps the Legislature will act in the face of gubernatorial threats. Well, in NY maybe that’s a form of lobbying.

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