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Bloomberg to Join Log Cabin at N.Y. Pride

Bloomberg to Join Log Cabin at N.Y. Pride

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New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will once again march in this Sunday's gay pride parade with the Log Cabin Republicans, who for the first time will present a coalition of allies.

Log Cabin New York City caucus leader Gregory Angelo said that the mayor has marched with the group in previous gay pride parades, but the idea of a coalition is new this year thanks to the expanding pool of LGBT-friendly Republican candidates. The mayor is a former Republican turned independent.

"There are so many Republican candidates for office this year who are on board with our issues," Angelo told The Advocate. "I think it's important to get them all together to march with us."

According to a Log Cabin news release, the list of marchers, still in formation, includes Ryan Brumberg and Dino LaVerghetta, both candidates for the congressional seat in District 14, and Joseph Mendola, a candidate for state senate in District 29, a seat held by the state's only openly gay senator and marriage equality bill sponsor, Thomas K. Duane.

Mendola, who ran for city comptroller last year, described himself as a "single gay dad" in a phone call Friday afternoon. He said he planned to focus on local and quality-of-life issues in the district on the West Side of Manhattan, should he make it through the petitioning period and onto the ballot in the next few weeks.

"It's great to be involved in big issues like gay marriage," said Mendola, citing developments like the recent closure of St. Vincent's hospital in the West Village,"but how far does that take you when you don't have adequate health care and you can't afford to live in the district?"

The show of coalition force arrives after a checkered year for LGBT legislation in New York from both Republican and Democratic quarters. All 30 Republican state senators and eight Democratic senators voted against the marriage equality bill that failed in December, while an antibullying bill with protections for gender identity and expression passed the senate with bipartisan support this week.

Chris Coffey, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg, provided an update on his plans for the full parade, which include stepping off with elected leaders including openly gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

"The mayor is looking forward to marching with the speaker and other elected officials at the front of the parade, as he has for many years," said Coffey. "He will try to march with the Log Cabin Republicans and any other great groups that he can."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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