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Cuomo Gay Rights Record Examined

Cuomo Gay Rights Record Examined

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The New York Times looks at the "fraught relationship" between New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo and gays and lesbians in the state. Some question the low profile, and even some rocky moments, experienced with Cuomo, now the leading candidate for governor.

Reporter Michael Barbaro recounts an episode from the heated 1977 Democratic mayoral primary in New York City, in which Cuomo helped his father Mario, who eventually became governor, run against the unmarried Ed Koch. Late in the campaign, posters appeared in Italian neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens that urged people to, "Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo." Both Cuomos have denied any involvement or knowledge of the posters.

Now, more than three decades later, the younger Cuomo appears on track to succeed David Paterson as governor, with a campaign platform that prioritizes marriage equality, prompting many gays and lesbians to come to terms with his record and get on board.

According to the Times, "Over a 30-year career in public life, Mr. Cuomo has been slow to take on gay-rights battles or display leadership on key issues, advocates for gay rights say. His handling of same-sex marriage, they say, is telling: He did not publicly support it until he ran for attorney general in 2006 -- eight years after Eliot Spitzer said he favored it and 12 years after Mr. Paterson did so.

"As a result, many gay leaders are quietly expressing skepticism about the depth of his commitment, even as they accept, with lockstep resignation, his likely ascent as governor, and try to ingratiate themselves with his political operation."
Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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