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Posts for March, 2010

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.