The Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats (GLID), the oldest queer Democratic club in New York, held its annual brunch on Sunday, December 5 at Rosie O’Grady’s Restaurant in Times Square.
Among those recognized at the brunch were Leslie Thrope (pictured left) with her daughter Sadie, joined here by Democratic U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Manhattan City Councilwoman Christine Quinn. Thrope lost her partner, Dominique Ghossein, to cancer in 2003. Thrope had tried unsuccessfully to have Ghossein covered by her health insurance plan from her employer, the Service Worker International Union (SEIU) 32BJ Legal Fund, which was a city contractor at the time. The couple ended up paying out of pocket thousands of dollars for Ghossein’s care, and Thrope was denied medical leave to care for her.
This year, Quinn successfully steered the Equal Benefits Law, which guarantees gay and lesbian employees of city contractors partner benefits equal to those given the spouses of their employees. The law, enacted over the veto of Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is now challenging it in court, was named “Dominique’s Law” in Ghossein’s honor.
The brunch also marked the end of a two-year tenure by Brad Hoylman as GLID’s president. Melissa Sklarz, a longtime transgender rights advocate, is the club’s new president.