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Queens chose gay marriage

Timothy Kincaid

March 17th, 2010

MonserrateLast year, New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate slashed the face of his girlfriend and dragged her through the building lobby before driving her to a distant hospital. This behavior was too much even for the New York Senate, so they booted him from his Senate seat.

However, Monserrate’s ouster was at least in part due to internal Democratic Party annoyance with him. He had aligned himself with a handful of other Senators and sought to use the tiny party majority as a bargaining point to advance his own personal power and profile. This coup attempt resulted in months of deadlock and confusion with the leadership changing hands at least twice, the doors of the Senate being locked to one faction, and other nonsense. So when it came time for the Party to rally behind a member in need and to overlook his “accident”, he found few willing.

Adding to the discontent was his vote against marriage equality. When Hiram Monserrate ran for the Senate, he portrayed himself as an ally of the gay community and a certain vote for marriage. But instead, he was one of eight Democrats who voted for discrimination and for reserving special rights and privileges for heterosexuals.
*Mar 08 - 00:05*
And it was on this vote that Monserrate ran a campaign to be re-elected to the seat from which he had just been removed. He was endorsed by, the Queens Hispanic Clergy Association, a collection of pastors and other religious leaders whose sole focus was on opposing gay equality. (

The Rev. Ricardo Reyes of El Elyon Christian Church in Corona said he represented 612 churches in Queens that oppose same-sex marriage and praised Monserrate for his record of supporting community groups.

“I have seen a generation sunk down by the gay community,” Reyes said. “If we vote for a gay marriage situation … we are sending our children to practice something against the Bible.”

The other candidate in the race was Jose Peralta. While Peralt received the support and endorsement of the Party structure and the unions, much of his financial and grassroots support came from gay individuals and groups who sought to punish Monserrate for his vote and for his newly-adopted anti-gay activism.

While Peralta ran on the scandal, Monserrate and his Queens Hispanic Clergy Association tried to make this a referendum on marriage. Surely, the people of the 13th Senate District in Queens would rather have a man who “accidentally” harmed his girlfriend – who has forgiven him – than the scourge of gay marriage! Right?

No. Yesterday, Jose Peralta became the new Senator-elect. It wasn’t close. (Newsday)

With 81 percent of the precincts reporting, Assemb. Jose Peralta (D-Corona) beat Hiram Monserrate with 66 percent of the vote. Monserrate had 27 percent.

The voters took a look at Monserrate, and Queens chose gay marriage.



Lindoro Almaviva
March 17th, 2010 | LINK

And Monserrate and his ilk thought that with a name like Queens they were going to vote for him?

If I was a newspaper editor, the headlike would read something like this:

Anti-gay senator beaten by Queens

March 17th, 2010 | LINK

“Queens chose gay marriage.”

I wasn’t there and thus saw the campaign only through online reports and blogs such as this one.

So I don’t know, but I wonder if this statement isn’t stretching it?

I understand that gay marriage was an issue, and that it got pushed to the front as a scare tactic as the campaign progressed. But Monserrate had so much else going against him, not least his obstructionist behavior in the session; if I were voting there I’d have had a smorgasbord of reasons to dump him.

So are you really saying that Peralta’s win represents an upswelling of support for gay marriage and other gay issues? Or does it only mean that voters didn’t buy the scare tactics?

I think we should keep our heads clear about where we stand, and claiming victories that really aren’t is dangerous.

Timothy Kincaid
March 17th, 2010 | LINK


You have merit to your argument. The race really wasn’t ALL about marriage, as much as Monserrate and his buddies would have liked to have made it. He might even have had a fighting chance if it were.

And that’s why I phrased it from his argument, as “rather have a man who “accidentally” harmed his girlfriend – who has forgiven him – than the scourge of gay marriage”.

It would probably be more accurate to say “Queens chose gay marriage over domestic abuse and personal aggrandizement” but that wouldn’t be nearly as amusing of a line.

Timothy Kincaid
March 17th, 2010 | LINK

Lindoro, that would have been a good headline. :)

Timothy Kincaid
March 17th, 2010 | LINK

My apologies, guys. The version that was posted somehow did not get my final changes.

I had reworded a few things, combining two paragraphs and must not have saved the changes.

I have gone back and revised the commentary to be what I thought I had posted.

sorry for any confusion.

paul j stein
March 18th, 2010 | LINK

I guess the former Senator has very traditional family values. “Do as I say or I will cut you bitch”. “I’m the man and I rule your life”. Very Hispanic, give it up or suffer the consequences. Glad that the voters in Queens recognized an abuser and fraud and removed him from office.

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