Clinton, Schumer Under Fire For Gay Marriage Stance

Gay activist Allen Roskoff, with whom we spoke earlier this year, has some harsh words for New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer:

It is way past time that our community start holding accountable the U.S. Senators from New York: Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. As New York State is on the verge of reaching marriage equality, it is a disgrace that both our U.S. senators still oppose our right to marry. While some people may like to bask in the sunlight of the razzle-dazzle Clinton and the powerful but boring Schumer, they do so at the expense of full recognition of our relationships.

Unless the senators change their positions and support marriage equality by Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2009, I am calling on the LGBT community, including all the political clubs in New York, to declare the senators unwelcome to our support.

Well, that’s ample time, but we’re not so sure the Senators are going to take Roskoff up on his offer. Nor are we convinced the Empire State’s homos will fall in line…

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  • Jason

    I’m sure she is not against it, but when she was running for President and perhaps will give it another shot, or maybe even being Obama’s potential VP, she has to hold that position, or she will not get elected. Sometimes, it’s a matter of getting elected, then making the switch. In order to use the power for good you have to obtain it first.

  • emb

    I like the idea of holding our elected friends’ feet to the fire (hell, the rightwing does it, why can’t we?). Trouble is, what’s our alternative if they call our bluff? Is it better to have a generally friendly, if flawed, ally, or an utterly unsympathetic, aggressively destructive alternative elected because we’ve taken our marbles and gone home?

    Maybe it should fall to organizations like HRC (koff koff) to recruit progressive alternatives to moderately friendly incumbents, so our threats have some teeth?

  • Tony Whitcomb

    Boy, this is a tough one. Do we take an uncompromising stance and force the hands of our allies and near allies running for re-election… and thereby either contribute to their defeat to more conservative opponents or alienate them from supporting us as they can when re-elected? OR… do we provide our support in the face of political expediency and count ourselves lucky that the overtly anti-Gay conservative candidates were defeated and trust that Clinton and Schumer will do the right thing for us when the time comes. They are both followers of what they perceive is public sentiment in order to get votes believing that for us, the alternative is worse. Which it is.

  • Tony Whitcomb

    I think we have to solidify our power and prove that our power is equal if not greater (and more reliable in voter turnout) than the conservative voters. That done, we must be willing to flex our muscle in the primaries to ensure that our candidates are the party’s nominee.
    Unfortunately, in the general election… ya gotta do what ya gotta do… both as a voter and as a candidate.

  • AKN

    Um, does he have similarly harsh words for Obama, who also does not believe in our right to marry (only to form some sort of civil union)? Or is he entitled to our support no matter where he stands? Why are activists always ready to slam any democrat who doesn’t support full marriage equality EXCEPT Obama?

  • emb

    I know, AKN, it’s a hard one, but Yes: Obama is entitled to our support regardless of his failure to support same-sex marriage because the alternative (mccain) is absolutely orders of magnitude worse. Because Obama judicial appointees are more likely to support our rights, and the recognition of our equality, than the neanderthals mccain will appoint.

    So tough though it may be, yeah: while it’s always a tough call, whether to insist on ideological purity in our friends or accept the lesser of two evils, in the current Presidential race it’s not even a question of which is “lesser”. One is evil. One is not.

  • CitizenGeek

    The gays will never abandon Hillary. Never. There is a weird hypocrisy with these gays, though, because so many people bemoan Obama’s non-support for marriage but when Clinton was running, her stance on marriage (which is INDENTICAL to Obama’s) was never brought up ….

  • hell's kitchen guy

    Roskoff’s been beating this drum ever since he founded a poltiical club of one and has been trying to parlay it to power.

  • Xylitol

    Clinton is under more pressure from New York’s LGBTs since she’s an N.Y. senator (Obama isn’t).

    New York’s governor is unapologetically for marriage equality, and the state assembly even passed a marriage equality bill. Under those circumstances, it’s much harder to give Clinton and Schumer a free pass–particularly Schumer since he isn’t on the national stage, where a pro-gay marriage stance would most definitely cost you an election.

    PS: Hell’s kitchen guy: Why do you say Roskoff is trying to make some power grab? Aren’t activists supposed to rally the troops and push buttons?

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    There’s always the Green Party! A Gay-inclusive, pro Gay Marriage Platform. New York needs to throw power to a third party as the Democrats seize power and become Republicans on core Democratic values (of which Gay Marriage is not one!) This is NOT Nader’s Green Party!

  • Brian Miller

    We gay people get what we deserve. We cannot claim to be in favor of real equality and dignity for ourselves when so many among us are willing to accept second-class status generously handed down by powerful Republicrats like Clinton and Schumer.

  • Lawrence

    The person to be angry with is Barack Obama who uses his so-called Christianity to call into question our right to marry.

    Hillary never did that and never will.

    Give me a break.

  • Brian Miller

    They’re all more the same than they are different, Lawrence. Primary drama aside, not a single major party politician in the Senate is in favor of basic equal treatment under the law.

    Which is why I find gay partisan Democrats so amusing. Their whole argument is “support this homophobe because he/she isn’t as bad as the Republican.”

    That’s like me inviting you to receive four hard kicks in the groin with a steel-toed boot because it’s less bad than being shot in the head.

Comments are closed.