Father Tony

The Governor of New York is with us.

Filed By Father Tony | July 01, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: gay pride, New York City, pride march, pride parade

In a world of hollow political promises and gestures, the fact that Governor Paterson of New York made history as the first sitting governor to accept an invitation and to walk a Pride March as a Grand Marshal is significant and heartening. I get the feeling that this governor is really engaged in the battle for queer rights, while a certain president would prefer we either quieted down or disappeared.

Here is Governor Paterson embracing March Director (and friend of Bilerico) Maurice Michaane:


I don't think Governor Paterson wrestles with the idea of queer equality. He gets it, and he wrestles with the process of getting us those rights. I think our president is still wrestling in his heart with the concept of queer equality. For him, we are largely an inconvenient curiosity. I'd love to be wrong about this.

(photo by Chase Wink)

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Paterson is a fair weather friend. The minute the NY Senate thing blew up and Paterson demanded legislators meet to pass important bills, SSM and GENDA were nowhere to be found in his agenda.

Once the big-money gay activist orgs like the Empire State Pride Agenda complained, however, Paterson added SSM to the "important legislation" list, but GENDA is still nowhere to be seen nor has it gotten so much as a mention from our so-called "allies".

FT, one day you're going to learn, as the rest of us already have, that in the end these people care about no one but themselves and their own continuing power and privilege. Personally, I hope that day comes soon.

You are wrong. Obama is a liberal democrat and our freind. But he has a lot on his plate right now. The Clintons jumped in too soon and had to back off. And the community foamed at the mouth. They were still foaming when Hillary needed help on healthcare. They didn't lift a finger to help, even though medical care is critical for our community.
The president has to suck up to the fundys for political purposes. This is standard dodging and weaving, which the Clintons were also good at. Get over it. Obama is probably trying to get the laws well written, and is working for a promising political environment.

Dear Wilberforce,

You see merit in waiting patiently for rescue. I would draw a comparison to the movie The Poseidon Adventure in which most of the group decided to stay put and wait for rescue. You know what happened to them. I think this is a time when real integrity demands action, and I am not seeing it. I am not naive policitally, but I know what trumps what in this game, and the immediate need for action is higher than the chancy and hazy tactics being passed off as the prudent road. I'm not buying it. What happened to courage? Is courage brash? Is it sometimes foolish? Yes, by nature. But it is heroic when it carries integrity. Does this president have those ingredients or does he only speak of them?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 1, 2009 11:42 PM

Well done Fr. Tony

Dear Father,
Action is fine when you have a decent strategy. Our's is controlled by the victim crowd who want defeat so they can feel sorry for themselves, not to mention the self righteous set who love complaining how unfair everyone else is.
Twenty years ago, they refused to rethink our sexual habits in the middle of an epidemic. And thousands suffered.
They ignored the polls showing public support for domestic partnership, threw away an easy victory, and spent a ton demanding marraige in a hick State like CA. They prefer symbolic gestures over serious issues like ENDA and national healthcare. Now they're planning a party in DC with no serious proposals to offer, except a vague manifesto demanding total rights to the Universe starting the day before yesterday. Please.
Comparing our situation to a movie is beyond naive. And I'm sorry, but expecting immediate action in the middle of an economic meltdown is childish. After the many bad strategic moves we've made, I hope the community would take a few minutes to rethink their priorities.

Gov. Paterson may be "with" the GLB community and I see no evidence at all that he even thinks of the gender variant portion. This was to be the year for GENDA (Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act) and DASA (Dignity for All Students Act). Marriage equality legislation was considered an impossibility because of the opposition from the homophobic Democrats like Rev. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx. Despite this, Gov. Paterson introduce marriage equality legislation which effectively co-opted the debate away from equal protections to same sex marriage. Now that the republicans have engineered a coup in the Senate, none of these bills are likely to be passed.

This pandering to the GLB community makes political sense, of course, because trans people are a minority within the minority and they have little financial clout - thanks in part to endemic discrimination in the workplace - so he obviously thinks it costs him little to ignore us. The reaction to these circumstances from the GLB(t) organizations in our state leave little doubt as to their tacit support of his actions.

As a trans lesbian I am very supportive of marriage equality in New York State but I still maintain that inclusive nondiscrimination law is more vital for the entire community. Gov. Paterson ignored this for political gain and I cannot but condemn him for that.