conditional advocacy

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Only Willing To Push Republicans On Marriage At The Last Possible Second

Michael Bloomberg, the king of New York City, last month appeared in a video for the Human Rights Campaign’s hackneyed New Yorkers For Marriage Equality, where he delivered the line, “I’m a New Yorker, and I support marriage equality.” It was enough for the gay blogs to light up and paint Bloomberg — who Equality Matters head Richard Socarides will defend to his death, despite the man’s support of known homophobes — as some pioneering gay rights advocate. He is not. With the state’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo forming some sort of battlestar team to push for gay marriage in New York, all Bloomberg can do is promise to engage the state’s Republican lawmakers if and when he believes a marriage equality bill might actually reach Cuomo. “If there’s a chance to pass a bill, I will do it,” he says. “I’ll go lobby.” Know what that’s a commitment to do? Follow, not lead. Get involved at the last minute, not take a stand in the immediate. This is the man who is the largest fundraiser for New York State’s Senate Republicans; he can influence both with his remarks and his checkbook. And yet he’s only committed to your marriage rights if you do all the heavy lifting first. Which, of course, New York’s gay leaders and some Democratic lawmakers are on board with already. But Bloomberg will happily take the baton for the last mile and get all the glory when we cross the finish line.