CommunityPam's House Blend

NY: Gillibrand comes out for marriage equality

(UPDATE: Below the fold, HRC comments on Gillibrand’s scorecard, and spoke to the appointed Senator’s office and clarified her position on several LGBT issues.)

Gov. Paterson must have extracted some promises from the woman who will replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, given her past record representing a conservative district.  Just in from Empire State Pride Agenda (via email):

Last night likely Senate pick Kirsten Gillibrand spoke to Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle about issues important to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“After talking to Kirsten Gillibrand, I am very happy to say that New York is poised to have its first U.S. Senator who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples,” said Van Capelle. “She also supports the full repeal of the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) law, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and passage of legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender people. While we had a productive discussion about a whole range of LGBT concerns, I was particularly happy to hear where she stands on these issues.”

Read more at The Politico.

David Paterson’s choice of Kristin Gillibrand is, by the estimate of the New York pols I talk to, a pretty good pick: A young woman who won a hard-fought, bruising upset in a Republican district in 2006 and held her seat with unexpected ease last year. She has a “moderate” reputation for her pro-gun stance — but is more or less a down-the-line liberal Democrat; the gun position draws her some flack on her left flank to the same degree that it protects her right and strengthens her upstate. But she assured the state’s leading gay rights group yesterday that she backs same-sex marriage, and shows no other conservative leanings.

And an update on the announcement by Paterson — it will be streamed LIVE at noon. The webcast link is responded to dicussion of Gillibrand’s scorecard (via email):

Although Kirsten Gillibrand did not co-sponsor legislation to repeal DADT, non-cosponsorship does not mean support for the policy or opposition to repeal.  In fact, in conversations with her office the Human Rights Campaign has confirmed Gillibrand is in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and supports full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

Additionally, HRC confirmed with Gillibrand’s staff additional points regarding her LGBT record:

* Supports marriage equality

* Cosponsored and voted in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act

* Cosponsored inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and supports enactment of inclusive bill

* Voted in favor of ENDA

* Supports repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

* Supports repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act

* Supports equal tax treatment of employer provided domestic partnership benefits

* Voted against allowing discrimination in hiring for the Head Start program

* Voted in favor of allowing Washington, DC to fund needle exchange programs with local funds

* Supports the Early Treatment of HIV/AIDS Act (ETHA) to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage for HIV-positive persons

* Voted against procedural attempts to derail ENDA and hate crimes

* Endorsed by HRC PAC in 2008

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding