Silence Isn't Golden

NYC Mayoral Candidate Forums Shows Who Will Stick Up For Us — And Who Won’t

201210_EspaFallDinner_Seliskar-Christine QuinnA mayoral candidate forum sponsored by Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition became a litmus test on which candidates would speak out for the LGBT community in the face of a hostile audience — and just as significantly, who would not.

Erick Salgado, a minister who is a minor (to be charitable) candidate, started the chain of events during long-winded remarks in which he reminded the audience, which had significant representation from the Orthodox Jewish community that he believed that they were “persecuted.” As an aside, he threw in a remark about the other candidates. “They are marching here every year in the New York gay pride parade, they’re marching over here, trying to band together,” Salgado said. Needless to say, Salgado got a big hand for his comments

Two other candidates followed Salgado and said nothing: Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, and Anthony Weiner, the former Congressman and captain of his own crotch rocket. It took Bill de Blasio, the city’s Public Advocate, to call Salgado out;

“First of all, I’m not sure exactly — Erick Salgado’s, your point before — I’m not sure exactly what you’re suggesting,” Mr. de Blasio said. “But I just want to say, I think as mayor of New York City it would be my job to protect the rights and needs of the Orthodox community and protect the rights and needs of the LGBT community.”

This earned de Blasio boos from the audience and at least one cry of “shame.” To his credit, de Blasio kept at it, even though this was not the audience for his remarks. “This is a place for everyone and the government’s job is to protect everyone and their needs,” he said.

Christine Quinn (pictured, above), who stands a good chance of becoming the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, weighed in as well, and forcefully. “You have to be a city where everyone gets to be who they are without ‘shame’ being screamed at them at an auditorium,” Ms. Quinn said, her voice rising. “Without somebody walking up to them on the street and attacking them, without somebody burning a mezuzah, without somebody, quite frankly, just two weeks ago walking up to a man in my district in Greenwich Village and shooting him in the face and killing him because he was gay.”

So now we know who has the cojones to speak up for us. And his photos aside, it doesn’t look like Weiner, or like Thompson.

Watch the whole thing yourself.