By: PAUL SCHINDLER
Bill Richardson the Lone Winter Wolf
Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Tom Vilsack, and even Joe Biden and Mike Gravel spoke at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting in Washington February 1-3.
But according to Jon Winkleman, a New Yorker who sits on the board of the National Stonewall Democrats, only Bill Richardson, the former Clinton energy secretary and United Nations ambassador who is now governor of New Mexico, mentioned LGBT rights.
“And I want to tell you, too, in New Mexico, our fight for equality extends to sexual orientation,” Richardson said, according to a transcript provided by his presidential campaign committee. “For the first time in state history, we have a hate crimes law and we've extended civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and we're providing state health insurance for domestic partnerships.”
In fairness, among the declared Democratic presidential hopefuls, only Kucinich, a Cleveland congressman, support marriage equality.
Still, Richardson's matter-of-fact inclusion of gay issues on the national stage, well received by the Stonewallers on hand, is refreshing.
Well, Our Money Is Green
Amidst the white hot media glare on Governor Eliot Spitzer's pique over the Legislature choosing one of its own – Long Island Democratic Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli-as the new state comptroller, a delicious mystery persists over the candidate Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., put forward for the job on the floor of the Legislature February 7 – Martha Stark, the New York City finance commissioner.
To be sure, she was a widely praised contender for the job. But many wondered whether Diaz-who has fought the LGBT community far and wide, from the Gay Games in 1994 to the Harvey Milk School in 2003 and in a massive 2004 anti-marriage equality rally at the Bronx Courthouse -knows that Stark is openly lesbian.