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Lesbian NYC Speaker Proudly Burnishes Arrest Record

Lesbian NYC Speaker Proudly Burnishes Arrest Record


As Democratic mayoral hopefuls in New York City jockey for support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, one leading contender, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, proudly notes that she has been arrested for civil disobedience at least six times.

According to The New York Times, Quinn's rap sheet includes "at least half a dozen" arrests, including during the protests against the killing of Amadou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant shot by four NYPD officers in 1999, and at a St. Patrick's Day parade that same year in the Bronx with other gay Irish-Americans barred from participating.

Quinn, an out lesbian and perceived frontrunner in the 2013 race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been criticized for leaving her progressive roots as she has sought to balance a wider variety of interests, including the business community, in her citywide platform. A representative for the West Village, Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen neighborhoods on Manhattan's West Side, she was elected speaker in 2006.

The speaker came to the defense of Occupy Wall Street protesters earlier this month when it appeared they might be forced from Zuccotti Park because of a planned cleanup. She cited her own arrest record in a statement of support.

"As someone who has been arrested myself numerous times for civil disobedience," she said, "I understand how important it is to make sure people's First Amendment right to protest is protected."

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