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New York Lawmaker Denies Endorsement Over Marriage Equality

New York Lawmaker Denies Endorsement Over Marriage Equality


New York Assembly member Dov Hikind, among the most outspoken opponents of marriage equality in the state legislature, said he would not endorse David Weprin, a fellow Democratic lawmaker and Orthodox Jew, in the special election for the seat in Congress vacated by Anthony Weiner because of Weprin's vote for marriage equality.

According to the New York Post, Hikind, who represents Brooklyn, said he would not support Weprin in the special election September 13 to replace Weiner. The congressman resigned in June after admitting, following initial denials, that he shared racy photos of himself with young women on Twitter.

The Post reports that Hikind may endorse Bob Turner, the Republican candidate for the congressional seat in the 9th District. The district covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens and includes a sizable Orthodox Jewish population reported to be upset over Weprin's vote for the marriage equality bill in June.

During his speech from the Assembly floor in support of marriage equality, Weprin cited his Orthodox Jewish faith. In contrast, Hikind waved a copy of the Torah and mocked a photo of Lady Gaga to express opposition to the bill, which passed the state Assembly and Senate to become law.

Recent polls show a tightening race between Weprin and Turner in the overwhelmingly Democratic district, where the candidates have also been tested on issues including the strength of their support for Israel. Last month former New York City mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who advocated for marriage equality, announced he would endorse Turner in a rebuke to the Obama administration for its policy toward Israel.

Three local LGBT political clubs and a roster of out elected officials are scheduled to host a fund-raiser for Weprin Tuesday evening at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan.

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