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NY Dems: Thanks for the Money but Forget the Promises

Timothy Kincaid

November 28th, 2008

Democrats in New York have taken the State Senate for the first time in 40 years, to a significant extent due to a flood of contributions from gays and lesbians wanting marriage equality. Now it looks as though this was not money well spent.

Since the election, three Democratic Senators have been holding up the assention of the Senate leader, threatening to vote with Republicans unless there is a written promise not to bring marriage equality up for a vote. Now it seems that other Senate Democrats are finding that “it’s not the right time” to support their gay constituents (NY Times):

After a pledge from New York Democratic leaders that their party would legalize same-sex marriage if they won control of the State Senate this year, money from gay rights supporters poured in from across the country, helping cinch a Democratic victory.

But now, party leaders have sent strong signals that they may not take up the issue during the 2009 legislative session. Some of them suggest it may be wise to wait until 2011 before considering it, in hopes that Democrats can pick up more Senate seats and Gov. David A. Paterson, a strong backer of gay rights, would then be safely into a second term.

I know that there are stong allies of equality in the NY Democrat Party. And I hope that they will remind their associates that the duty of an elected official is to his constituents and that promises – even those made by politicians – are not empty words to be disgarded when inconvenience rises.

If that doesn’t work, maybe gay money (and gay-friendly money) can fund primary challenges in coming elections.

Comments

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Douglas
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

So like the Democratic Party–they woo gay voters with flowers and candy, take us out to dinner, and then rape us in the back seat of the car on the way home.

Lynn David
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

Yeah, and by 2010 we’ll be another wedge issue. Though the wedgees won’t be as big any more.

BTW Jim. You had a site advertisement for federalmoneysite.com/republican.html – “Free Grants for Republicans?” – a Google ad. I think these are nothing but scam sites. Do you have any control over these ads?

Boo
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

So you’re saying these 3 senators are sort of the HRC of the New York Legislature?

L. Junius Brutus
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

Good luck at throwing out a legislator because he opposes gay marriage, let alone because he supports gay marriage but wants to move slowly.

K
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

This is absolutely positively more fallout from the Prop 8 loss in California. Once again, the fundegelical victory in California has spooked Democrats.

tristram
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

K is absolutely correct. This is a direct and INEVITABLE result of the California debacle. Everyone, from Obama to your city councilor is going to be very careful pushing gay-friendly measures of any sort. And in many states the theofascists are gearing up to try to take back adoption rights, employment and hate crimes protections and other recent lgbt gains.

a. mcewen
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

I don’t think its a drastic as that, tristam. While it is true that some form of prohibiting gay adoption will be a wedge issue in the 2010 election, I don’t see the religious right having as much success as they did in the 2004 election with gay marriage.

And Obama by nature is a cautious individual. He will be pushing for pro-gay laws and such but will try to establish consensus first. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a good example.

I would like more info on how they are going to try and push back against employment protections though.

K
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

a. mcewen:

How will they push back against employment protections? If by “they” you mean the religious right, here’s how:

They will say that having to hire and work with homosexuals is against their free exercise of religion, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. They will say that being banned from saying what they think about homosexuals violates their free speech rights, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

They’ve been using these arguments increasingly in recent years when fighting off state and local anti-discrimination laws and ordinances. And, politicians being the lily-livered chicken-shits they are, more often than not these arguments succeed.

In other words: Obama and the Democrats in Congress will not take on civil rights of any sort for LGBTs unless and until they are ready to take on the religious right in a very big way. And, after the California fiasco, Democrats will think very carefully before they move forward.

a. mcewen
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

I hear what you are saying but I am asking do we know of any specific plans by the religious right to do this.

In my state of South Carolina I know for a fact that they are going to try and push that unmarried couples adoption thing (which by the way has anyone heard whether or not anyone in Arkansas will challenge this in the courts), but I am not aware of any definite plans to try and turn back anti-discrimination employment ordinances. This is not to say that it will not be a plan in the future.

But you touched on a good point, K. If we, as a community, are aware of their talking points, what are we doing to counter them now in this lull period rather than wondering whether or not Democrats will be afraid to stand up for us. Are we assembling ourselves, educating ourselves, or starting any type of resistance to combat possible rollbacks on job discrimination?

I’m of the opinion that our allies will be on our side if we are as vocal and as aggressive in pushing our points as the religious right are in pushing theirs.

L. Junius Brutus
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

K, I don’t think it has to do with Prop. 8 specifically. It’s that one of these members threatens to vote with the Republicans if the Democrats will put up gay marriage for a vote.

Buffy
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

“We care about your rights, but now is just not the right time. Maybe after the presidential election…the midterm election…after we get some more representation in Congress…after….after…”

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, never now. Sure they take our money and our votes, but they never pay up when we ask for action.

Needless to say this is exactly why my wife and I both left the Democratic party recently. We were sick of constantly giving them our money and votes and getting nothing in return but promises of “maybe next time”.

Louie
November 30th, 2008 | LINK

Disgusted with Republicans.

Disillusioned with Democrats.

I thought I would give Libertarians a try and then they select Bob “Mr. DOMA” Barr as their Presidential candidate!!!

There is no viable third party. Because the Democrats and Republicans put aside their differences to assure that no third party makes it into “their” debates.

Until their duopoly on American politics is abolished, we will never have true “change” in this country.

cd
December 1st, 2008 | LINK

I wouldn’t be so pessimistic. For one thing, New York state government is in a huge pile of fiscal trouble that would have taken priority anyway. Second, iirc New York voters give SSM majority support or close to it: it’s not a true wedge issue.

Two more Republican state Senators representing otherwise Democratic districts in the Hudson Valley seem on the verge of resigning. The declared votes for SSM in the chamber are all Democratic, but (with a single exception) only Democrats from greater NYC and the Hudson Valley. So far.

All NY state Senators are up for elections in ’10 again afaik, and it’s quite clear now who to target and where to pick up votes for SSM.

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