NYC mayoral candidate opens up on family and being gay
New York City mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn still feels some unease about her sexual orientation, two decades after she accepted that she is gay.
"I have to admit that, like so many L.G.B.T. people, in the back of my mind I still have a faint sense of unease, wondering what people will think of me when I walk into unfamiliar situations, fearing they will judge me because of who I am," Quinn writes in her memoir, obtained ahead of its publication byThe New York Times.
If she is elected in November, Quinn, 46, would become the first woman and first openly gay mayor of New York City.
Quinn, the City Council speaker, is currently leading public opinion polls for the Democratic nomination — ahead of former congressman Anthony Weiner, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former comptroller William Thompson.
According to the NYT's story about With Patience and Fortitude, Quinn's life story is "an affecting, but carefully curated" memoir that "offers a breezy, confessional and sometimes opaque look at her transformation from middle-class Long Island daughter to front-runner for mayor of New York City."
Quinn writes about her family, sexual orientation, struggles with bulimia and alcohol, and a little about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is prevented by term limits from running again.
The book will hit stores on June 11. Primaries for New York City mayor will be held Sept. 10.
De Blasio has said the cost of promoting Quinn's book should be counted against the city's campaign spending cap. Quinn's team charges de Blasio with a "frivolous" attack.
Quinn and her longtime partner, Kim Catullo, were married last year. Early in their relationship, Catullo apparently made clear that she could only be with a Yankees fan.
"I dumped the Mets in a hot second," Quinn writes, according to the NYT story.
It's time to put aside party politics
The election may be over, but the political bashing continues.
It amazes me when I hear people go on and on over the perceived evils of one elected official or another.
Really, what we need to do is remember the political system at hand.
On Election Day, it's about more than one person. You also elect people to fill the seats in the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
I've heard several people of late say that those seats just don't matter, that the president holds all the power. It's a statement that worries me.
Let's review our history lessons for a moment.
There are three branches of government: the executive branch, led by the president of the United States; the legislative branch, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate; and the judicial branch, which is led by the Supreme Court.
Why does this matter, you may wonder? The three branches are interwoven to create a system of checks and balances. That way, one branch can't seize too much power over the others. If, for instance, a law is passed by Congress, the president can veto it. Congress could then vote to override the veto. Laws in general that are passed are subject to interpretation by the Supreme Court, which may decide to declare a law unconstitutional.
You wind up with a system where, in theory, the groups are forced to work together.
It all sounds pretty good, right?
Now, what happens when the president, the House and the Senate are at odds with each other? It's an ugly situation with much finger-pointing, where little gets done to further the good of the country as a whole.
Election Day has come and gone, but there's still time to make a difference.
Write to your elected officials, from the top to the bottom, and encourage them to set party politics aside. It shouldn't matter which side of the political fence they fall on. It's time our officials played well together and made some decisions for the betterment of the nation.
Gay Vote Seen as Crucial in Obama’s Victory
While President Obama’s lopsided support among Latino and other minority voters has been a focus of postelection analysis, the overwhelming support he received from another growing demographic group — Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual — has received much less attention.
But the backing Mr. Obama received from gay voters also has a claim on having been decisive. Mitt Romney and Mr. Obama won roughly an equal number of votes among straight voters nationwide, exit pollsshowed. And, a new study argues, Mr. Romney appears to have won a narrow victory among straight voters in the swing states Ohio and Florida.
Mr. Obama’s more than three-to-one edge in exit polls among the 5 percent of voters who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual was more than enough to give him the ultimate advantage, according to the study, by Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, in conjunction with Gallup.
President Obama Tells Morehouse Grads 'Be the Best Husband to Your Boyfriend'
President Obama delivered the commencement address Saturday at the historically African-American Morehouse College and offered two mentions of gay and lesbian Americans in comments that were slightly extemporaneous.
In a half-hour speech that touched on themes of discrimination and shared struggle, Obama's prepared remarks included a veiled reference to gay families, reportsBuzzFeed's Chris Geidner. But the president went off-script when he delivered the address, changing the intended wording slightly, but with great impact.
After extolling the importance of providing for one's family, the country's first African-American president told the graduating class of mostly black men, "That's what I'm asking all of you to do: Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife, or your boyfriend, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important."
While it was a subtle mention, the graduates took notice and began to murmur, prompting the president to raise a finger to quiet the crowd.
Geidner notes that Obama's remarks prepared in advance had the president challenging graduates to "be the best husband to your wife, or boyfriend to your partner, or father to your children that you can be."
Obama also drew parallels between the African-American struggle for equality and the prejudice many LGBT people still face today. Citing the "sting of discrimination" that many of the African-American graduates at Martin Luther King Jr.'s alma mater may have experienced, the president noted that sentiment was shared by "gay and lesbian Americans. … When a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love that they share."
Republicans in a Changing Country
We’ve had about a week’s worth of recriminations and arguments about where the Republican Party goes from here, and the one theme uniting all of them is this: Whatever a given writer believed before the election correlates marvelously with their favored explanation for why Mitt Romney went down to defeat. If you were happy with the ideological situation on the right, you’ve probably either emphasized the practical deficiencies of the Romney campaign (his weaknesses as a candidate, his flawed turnout operation, his pollster’s rose-colored glasses), or else looked for a supposed silver bullet like immigration reform to solve the Republican Party’s demographic issues without touching the rest of the party platform. If you’re socially conservative and populist but skeptical of Wall Street and big business, then you’ve probably argued the party’s biggest mistake was to nominate a plutocrat and run a campaign tilted too far toward economic individualismand the interests of the rich. If you’re fiscally conservative but libertarian on social issues, then you’ve probably made the case that Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and anti-immigrant yahoos took the focus off the economy, and that cultural conservatives need to pipe down and let the party modernize on gay rights, immigration and abortion. If you’re David Frum, who has been arguing that the party needs to be more middle class friendly and more socially liberal, then you’ve been claiming vindication on both counts.
My own Sunday column on the post-Romney G.O.P. belonged squarely to this “I told you so, you fools!” genre. I’ve believed since the mid-2000s that the Republican Party lacks a domestic policy agenda suited to the present era’s challenges, and so it’s not surprising that I would see a clear-as-glass connection between this hole in the party’s message and Romney’s underperformance with the middle income Americans whose votes put George W. Bush in the White House. At the same time, I’m pro-life, skeptical of the financial sector’s influence, and doubtful about the wisdom of comprehensive immigration reform, so it’s not surprising that I would find the libertarian/Wall Street Journal attempts to blame the Republican Party’s problems exclusively on cultural conservatives to be deeply unconvincing. I think I’m right on all of these counts, obviously — about the policy, the politics, and the way they intertwine. But of course I would have continued to believe in my own essential correctness if Romney had eked out a narrow victory instead.
So in the spirit of breaking out of the “I told you so” box, let me offer two places where I think the post-Romney G.O.P. could improve its position by changing in ways that don’t necessarily dovetail with my own preconceptions and beliefs. The first, perhaps over-obviously, is the issue of gay marriage, where my side of the argument has lost enough ground with voters to render the Republican Party’s official position on the issue — and particularly the call for a never-gonna-happen constitutional amendment — an empty gesture to a now-collapsed consensus, which is likely to soon alienate more voters than it mobilizes. It’s probably no longer a question of “if” but “when” the party beats a strategic retreat on the issue (I expect there will be a pro-life, pro-gay marriage Republican nominee within a generation if not sooner), and it makes a certain raw political sense to pre-emptively declare a big tent on the question, and make the party’s litmus tests support for federalism rather than a Supreme Court settlement and (as Rod Dreher of the American Conservative has argued, presciently and strenuously) support for the broadest possible protections for religious liberty. I’m not sure how such a shift would affect the rate at which evangelicals and conservative Catholics turn out for Republicans — that would be the big strategic risk, obviously. But my sense is that the party would just be formally acknowledging what many religious conservatives already accept — that a political platform can’t hold back a cultural tide, and that if the American understanding of what marriage is and ought to be someday turns back in a direction that cultural conservatives find congenial, the details of the Republican platform will be largely incidental to that shift.
As with gay marriage, so with marijuana. My ideal policy world would privilege other forms of criminal justice reform over the outright legalization of pot, and words cannot express how little sympathy I have for stoner culture. But when Paul Ryan implied to an interviewer that states should be free to make decisions about marijuana policy (the question was about medical marijuana, but the principle could have applied more broadly), there was no sound political reason for the Romney campaign to subsequently walk those comments back. There is still a large constituency that supports marijuana prohibition, but with crime rates down it’s not an issue that has any impact on presidential elections, and national Republicans would lose very little by taking a federalist, live-and-let-live approach to measures like the ones that passed in Colorado and Washington. We have a drug policy that nobody regards as a success, and a country that’s now split down the middleon whether pot should be legal for personal use. In that environment, the Republicans probably have more to gain politically from showing some flexibility on the issue — especially flexibility that can be wrapped in 10th Amendment principle — than they do from playing the law and order card and leaving it at that.
On pot and gay marriage, then, I agree with writers who think Republicans would profit politically from moving in a more libertarian direction, even if isn’t the policy direction I would necessarily choose. On other questions, though — abortion, immigration, tax policy, etc. — the stereotypically libertarian view of where the G.O.P. should go from here seems like straightforward political folly. This isn’t a contradiction; instead, it reflects what I think is an important point for anyone involved in these kind of debates to keep in mind — namely, that voters simply aren’t as ideological consistent as pundits, and so it’s a grave mistake to think that political parties thrive by evolving toward a more perfect ideological consistency. For a party facing problems like the ones the G.O.P. faces now, it’s not enough to just get “more libertarian” or “more populist” or “more socially conservative,” without recognizing how public opinion differs from issue to issue and policy to policy. Instead, the most successful politicians go where the votes are, and let the ideological chips fall where they may.