New Briefs

Anti-Gay Assemblywoman Indicted

Diane Gordon, the East New York Assemblywoman indicted for trying to extort a developer into building her a dream home, will be one less state legislator opposed to same-sex marriage if she is convicted or defeated in a primary in September. Gordon is a sponsor of the state Defense of Marriage Act that would ban gay nuptials.


Anti-Gay Push-Polling by Suozzi?

Harley Diamond, a longtime member of Brooklyn’s LGBT Lambda Independent Democrats who made a 2004 run at a Brooklyn Civil Court seat, said that he believes he received a “push-polling” call from a group affiliated with the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi this week. He told Gay City News that he received what appeared to be a standard polling call seeking his views on the governor’s race but that it turned into a series of ten or 12 negatively-phrased questions which sought feedback on how knowledge of certain facts or allegations concerning Eliot Spitzer, Suozzi’s front-running opponent, would change his view of the attorney general. Questions included assertions that Spitzer lives rent-free on Fifth Avenue, that he has done nothing for housing affordability, and that he grandstands in his Wall Street investigations, but costs New Yorkers jobs. The question that caught Diamond’s attention was one asking how Spitzer’s support for same-sex marriage influenced his thinking. Suozzi’s campaign, informed of the Diamond call, did not deliver a promised response. The Spitzer campaign declined “comment on push polling,” but said it had not heard any similar reports. In a written statement, the campaign also reaffirmed Spitzer’s support for gay marriage. Lambda is supporting Spitzer.


Gristedes Owner Backs Santorum

John Catsimatidis, owner of the Gristedes chain of supermarkets who is usually a Democratic donor, is a major contributor to the campaign of anti-gay Senator Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Republican who famously said that acceptance of homosexuality will lead to tolerance of “man-on-dog sex.” Catsimatidis is looking to run as a Republican candidate for New York City mayor in 2009. Also donating to the Santorum campaign was Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, alternately dubbed a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a war criminal.


House Takes Up Dead Marriage Amendment

President George W. Bush’s favorite distraction from his failed presidency, the Marriage Protection Amendment, will take up precious time on the floor of the House of Representatives next week despite having no chance of garnering the necessary two-thirds vote and already having failed in the U.S. Senate, where it did not even attract a simple majority.


Boston Globe Cancels Domestic Partner Benefits

Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe, owned by The New York Times, is telling its gay employees that domestic partner benefits are being ended and they must get married by the first of the year to cover their partners. The Globe did not offer domestic partner benefits to employees in opposite-sex relationships. If a gay Globe employee lives in another state, he or she can continue to receive domestic partner benefits.


California Gay Marriage Appeal Heard; Hillary Mum

An intermediate appeals court in San Francisco heard the state’s challenge to a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage by a lower court. Observers said the judges were harder on the state’s arguments than the pro-gay marriage side. This court’s ruling will be appealed by the losing side to the state’s Supreme Court. Justice J. Anthony Kline of the First District Court of Appeals, commented on the state’s argument that gay people could become domestic partners by saying, “So, we have two kinds of marriage in California. One we call a domestic partnership, but it is really the same thing. It’s a second-class marriage.” Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, appearing at a San Francisco press conference with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, said that unlike Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed the only pro-same-sex marriage bill passed by a state Legislature, he would sign it. Clinton, an opponent of same-sex marriage, refused to be drawn into commenting on that or New York’s denial of the right of gay couples to marry.


Gay Love in South Carolina

No one is betting that the voters of South Carolina will do anything but adopt a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in November. But the anti-amendment Alliance for Full Acceptance is using the opportunity of the campaign to make some points that rarely get made publicly down there. They have rented a billboard on I-26, according to the Associated Press, for $1,000 a week saying, “Someone you know, someone you love… is gay. They need your help in November.” They also plan radio and TV ads.


More on New Mexico Outrage

As reported, the police raid on a gay gym in Albuquerque earlier this month provoked outrage for being over the top, arresting patrons along with owners for serving liquor without a license. Some are now calling it the “gay Abu Ghraib” because among the humiliations inflicted by police, who burst in with rifles, a patron wearing a leather harness and jockstrap was forced into a room to be photographed and laughed at by cops. Others were handcuffed and made to lie on the floor. One older patron had a panic attack and required medical attention. The American Civil Liberties Union has called for an investigation.


Pope Blown Off by Spanish Prime Minister

Despite intense criticism from the Vatican, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero refused to attend a mass said by Pope Benedict XVI in Valencia, though he did greet the former Josef Ratzinger at the airport. Benedict was in town to trash the trend toward secularism in Catholic Spain, especially its opening of marriage to gay couples under the Socialist government. Gay groups protested the pope’s visit and two gay couples made it a point to marry in Valencia during his time there. “It may not please the Pope, but two families have been founded here,” the Lambda gay association in Spain said in a statement.