Respected New York Politician Thomas Duane Retiring

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com June 03 2012 7:08 PM ET

An influential figure in the New York State Senate since 1998, Thomas Duane announced this weekend he is leaving politics for good.

The out, HIV-positive legislator is not sick, becoming a lobbyist, or involved in a scandal. Duane, who represents Chelsea and other areas of Manhattan in Albany, tells The New York Times that he simply wants to stop commuting to the state capital.

"It's not that Albany isn't a lovely place, but it's not home," the 57-year-old Duane told the Times. "I always knew that I was going to have another chapter in my life, and it's time for me to start that new chapter."

Duane fought passionately for same-sex marriage in the Empire State, which is now legal. The politician also championed services for HIV-positive inviduals, mental health care services, and tenants' rights. In 2010, Duane was arrested in an "HIV Die-in."

Duane will serve out his term, which ends December 31. Read more here.