Bloomberg has been asked by reporters if he will stop donating to Senators who oppose this bill and he has refused, saying he is not “single issue.” So while he has tried to position himself as a champion of marriage equality and to characterize it as the most important civil rights issue of our time, he has in fact been and continues to be the biggest impediment to the bill that would open New York’s marriage bureaus to gay couples.
… Republicans are indeed a dying breed in New York, but they were able to regain their majority in the New York State Senate in 2010 long past their expiration date in this state primarily through the infusion of millions of dollars in personal donations from Mike Bloomberg. (There are some anti-gay Democrats in the Senate, too. Several have been replaced with pro-gay votes since the 2009 vote. But ALL of the Republicans voted against marriage equality.)
In 2005, another grotesque spectacle. New York State Justice Doris Ling-Cohan ordered Bloomberg to start providing marriage licenses to gay couples who wanted them. Bloomberg was in the midst of a mayoral campaign and was worried about a primary challenge from a conservative Republican. So he announced that he would appeal the judge’s order to “get clarity” from the courts. He insists that he HAD to make the appeal which we all know is a big lie. California Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to appeal Judge Walker’s decision overturning Prop 8. And now President Obama is refusing to defend the constitutionality of DOMA. No Democrat running for mayor at that time would have appealed the decision… if Bloomberg had not appealed, all other cases could have been dropped and gay couples from all over the world would still be able to legally marry in New York City.
… Bloomberg did sign a transgender rights bill in 2002. Since then, he has vetoed and obstructed virtually every piece of pro-gay legislation that has come before him. He vetoed a school anti-bullying bill, called it “silly,” and when the Council overrode his veto he ordered his Department of Education not to enforce it. Only recently has he introduced, under pressure, some form of anti-bullying program in the schools. We even get “Respect for All Week” every year now. A whole week!
… Bloomberg also vetoed legislation that would have required city contractors to provide domestic partner benefits as San Francisco and other cities do. When he was overridden by the Council, he went to court and won the right not to enforce the law.
… Bloomberg broke the progressive boycott of the anti-gay St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York and now defends City funding for three private, religious St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the boroughs outside Manhattan in direct contravention of City law on the use of taxpayer funds for solely religious purposes.
… Bloomberg fancies himself a big promoter of public health and has even banned smoking in City parks. But HIV rates have risen during his administration and he steadfastly refuses to reinstate condom lessons in classrooms that were banned in the Giuliani era. This guy has a public health school named after him at Johns Hopkins and he acts as if he doesn’t understand the need for explicit AIDS education for young people who are the prime group contracting HIV today, especially gay youth of color. And if you are waiting for the integration of LGBT issues into school curricula in a system under sole mayoral control in New York, it ain’t happening under Bloomberg.