No opinion on this one. Empire State Pride Agenda released this statement on US Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand:
Last night likely Senate pick [Ed. note: She was named today, video at Towleroad.] 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."
She apparently also supports marriage now, and has promised to fight for it in the Senate, meaning she "evolved" on the issue since a couple days ago. Guess that's what happens when a pol's constituency changes overnight. Here's HRC on her record (she got an 80 on their scorecard):
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
It was a fun ride, but someone had to get picked in the end. Wasn't there a way to do this without stringing everyone along into thinking that it'd be Caroline Kennedy?
Gillibrand is a conservative, Blue Dog Democrat, but kos explains why it might not be so bad in this case:
1. Gillibrand was voting her districts, and will now tack hard to the left as she represents a much more liberal New York, or
2. She gets primaried and a more progressive Democrats -- one chosen by the voters! -- gets in. Heck, it could even be Caroline Kennedy, assuming she isn't afraid to face real voters!
We've already seen #1 on the issues of DADT and marriage, and that's just within a few hours of her being appointed. And #2 is a definite plus - she definitely won't have the name-brand advantage that Kennedy would have had in the 2010 Democratic primaries.
So, other than Minnesota, does this mean the Senate's full?