Council removes anti-LGBTQ Vickie Paladino from Mental Health Committee

Councilmember Vickie Paladino has developed a reputation for making anti-LGBTQ remarks on social media.
Councilmember Vickie Paladino has developed a reputation for making anti-LGBTQ remarks on social media.
John McCarten/NYC Council

The City Council voted to remove Queens City Councilmember Vickie Paladino from the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction on March 2 as a form of punishment for spewing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and attacking drag story hour over the course of the last year.

The move came as part of a Rules Committee resolution involving committee membership changes across the City Council. The committee voted unanimously to approve the changes during a morning hearing before concluding the process during a full Council vote in the afternoon.

“As Speaker Adams has previously conveyed, statements of hate and intolerance — including those directed at the LGBTQIA+ community and our own members — are repugnant and unacceptable,” a spokesperson for Speaker Adrienne Adams told Gay City News in a written statement. “Members of the Council’s Committee on Mental Health are relied upon to ensure care and services for all New Yorkers are a priority. The Council is voting on Councilmember Paladino’s removal from this committee because of a lack of confidence in her commitment to inclusivity that equitably reflects the needs of all New Yorkers on an essential issue of public health and safety.”

The move comes nearly nine months after Speaker Adams said the Council would be “looking into what further action may be warranted” against Paladino in response to a flood of bigoted comments she posted on Twitter. 

Paladino, who is in her first term, went on an anti-LGBTQ crusade during Pride Month last year when she denounced drag story hour as “grotesque” and started casually hurling anti-LGBTQ slurs like “groomer.” She even “liked” tweets voicing hateful remarks towards others, including out Councilmember Chi Ossé of Brooklyn

“Progressives may have no problem with child grooming and sexualization, but I do,” Paladino wrote on Twitter in June. “This will not happen on my watch.”

Paladino also fanned the flames of hate last year when she vowed to seek revenge on local schools simply for hosting drag story hour events.

“Any school in my district participating in ‘drag queen’ degeneracy risks losing their funding,” Paladino said.

As part of the committee assignment changes, the Council is also dissolving an entire committee — the Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts — and because Paladino was a member of it, she is now down to just two remaining assignments. She serves on the Committee on Technology and the Committee on Veterans.

Under the previous Council, led by out Speaker Corey Johnson, lawmakers voted to kill a committee led by Bronx Councilmember Ruben Diaz, Sr., who complained that the Council was controlled by the “homosexual community.”

Paladino did not respond to a request for comment.