by Dan Savage
on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Disappointed that you uncritically passed along Bloomberg's speech on marriage without highlighting or at least noting that the REASON anti-equality Republicans are in power in New York State's Senate is because Bloomberg has propped them up for the last several years with donations in the MILLIONS, keeping them in power long past their expiration date. And when he has been asked by the press if he would stop donating to these anti-gay Senators he says no, that he is not "single issue."
So you and others are giving him credit for some kind of leadership and "major speech" when the fact is that the speech says nothing we don't know and leaves out any path to victory on this issue—which would have to include GETTING RID OF THE NO VOTES AND REPLACING THEM WITH YES VOTES IN ELECTIONS. This Bloomberg will not commit to. If someone said in 1964 that they favored the Civil Rights Act but would continue to support racist Senators, we would say that was unacceptable. Why is Bloomberg a pass on this?
Talk is cheap. Let him put his money where his mouth is and stop funding bigots. I know he has donated to the New Yorkers United for Marriage group but to do what? Oh, I get it: to lobby the anti-gay Senators he himself put in power. It is a grotesque spectacle.
My theory is that we may well indeed get the marriage equality bill passed this year and Bloomberg wants to be seen as the guy who brought it home. But when it passes it will be in spite of him not because of him. With his money to Senate Republicans, he has been the biggest obstacle in the state to marriage equality, GENDA, and a host of other progressive legislation.
And in case you are unaware of Bloomberg's miserable record on LGBT issues, I append it below. And don't even get me started on his abuse of civil liberties.
Bloomberg's miserable record is after the jump. And because this is a post about New York, here's that video of the L Train Pole Dance that ran with Bloomberg's speech yesterday...
1) BLOOMBERG BLOCKED THE RIGHT OF GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES LEGALLY TO MARRY IN NEW YORK CITY. While Mayors in San Francisco, New Paltz, Chicago, Boston, Nyack, and many other cities were speaking out for the right of same-sex couples to marry—and some were issuing licenses—Bloomberg stayed on the sidelines and then got his Corporation Counsel to issue an opinion that same-sex marriage is illegal in New York. Instead of joining the fight for equal rights, gay couples sued Bloomberg for blocking their access to marriage in the city and won before Justice Doris Ling-Cohan. She ordered Bloomberg to start issuing licenses and he appealed her decision, citing Leviticus and "tradition" and he won at the Court of Appeals, stopping gay couples from marrying here. Note that Attorney General Brown of CA refused to defend Prop 8 in court and President Obama stopped defending DOMA because these laws are unconstitutional. Bloomberg argued that the law limiting marriage to man-woman couples WAS constitutional and he prevailed.
2) BLOOMBERG VETOED THE EQUAL BENEFITS BILL that requires city contractors to give the domestic partners of their employees the same benefits that they give to spouses. When the Council overrode his veto, he went to court to block implementation of the bill and he was successful in stopping its implementation.
3) BLOOMBERG VETOED THE DIGNITY IN ALL SCHOOLS ACT, an anti-bullying bill that would protect students based on gender identity and sexual orientation. His veto was overridden by the City Council. He called the bill "silly" and "illegal" and refused to implement it. It took him several years to institute ANY kind of anti-bullying program and what he did put in place is far from comprehensive.
4) BLOOMBERG ATTACKED THE USE OF THE CITY’S SHAREHOLDER POWER TO COMPEL CORPORATIONS TO PROTECT GAY RIGHTS. City Comptrollers have used this leverage for years to get companies to adopt non-discrimination policies on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Bloomberg’s own Finance Commissioner, Martha Stark, assisted in these efforts. Now Bloomberg says it is improper to use the city’s investments for anything other than maximizing profit, ignoring the positive effects non-discrimination policies have on the bottom line.
5) BLOOMBERG CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE BOY SCOUTS despite their policy of excluding gay scouts and scoutmasters. Bloomberg, a critic of the policy, said that he would work from within to change it. The Boy Scouts of America refuses to change the anti-gay policy, but Bloomberg is still a big contributor to the group.
6) BLOOMBERG MARCHES IN THE ANTI-GAY ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE that has excluded the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization and any other gay Irish group for twenty years. Most New York City political leaders boycott the parade. He is now also defending CITY FUNDING for three anti-gay St. Patrick's Day Parades in the boroughs, despite City law that makes such funding illegal.
7) BLOOMBERG OPPOSES TEACHING NYC STUDENTS PROPER CONDOM USE. Despite a new curriculum that recommends it, Bloomberg has nixed lessons for high school students on how to properly use a condom. These demonstrations were done routinely for more than a decade during the AIDS crisis, only to be stopped by Mayor Giuliani. The AIDS crisis is not over. All credible public health experts say that young people need to understand how to properly use a condom in case they are or become sexually active. Bloomberg knows this, too, but is putting politics above public health.
8) BLOOMBERG IS THE LARGEST INDIVIDUAL DONOR TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE COUNTRY AND A SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT BUSH’S RE-ELECTION. While this former Democrat said he was becoming a Republican just to get a ballot line to run for mayor, Mike Bloomberg became the #1 supporter of the anti-gay, anti-choice Republican Party, welcoming the Republican National Convention with a $7 million personal check to a city that did not want it, supporting President Bush for re-election, and helping elect Republicans to Congress who push an agenda that demonizes lesbians, gays, transgenders, and bisexuals and severely damages New York City.