In two races being contested in the September 14 Democratic primary, the organized LGBT community is coalescing decisively around common choices.
State Senator Eric Schneiderman, who has represented the Upper West Side since January 1999, is running in a five-way race for state attorney general and has been endorsed by four of the city’s five major LGBT political clubs and the entire gay and lesbian caucus on the City Council — Speaker Christine Quinn of Chelsea and Councilmembers Rosie Mendez of the East Village, Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights, and Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside. Schneiderman also has the support of two Manhattan assemblymembers, Daniel O’Donnell and Micah Kellner, as well as 2006 AG candidate Sean Patrick Maloney, a former top aide to Governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer, and Emily Giske, a member of the Democratic National Committee.
Among the political clubs, Schneiderman has been endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats, the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Democrats, and the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens.
The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club has endorsed Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County district attorney. Last month, Rice vowed to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court, saying that it “infringes upon the civil rights of New Yorkers and unconstitutionally deprives the state of its right to provide the full benefits of marriage to its citizens.” In his position paper on LGBT rights issued last week, Schneiderman made the same pledge. The Massachusetts attorney general is currently in court challenging the federal government’s refusal to recognize same-sex married couples in that state.
Nine-term Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents the 14th District that encompasses Manhattan’s East Side and portions of Western Queens, faces a challenge from Reshma Saujani, a hedge fund attorney who has been an active Democratic fundraiser in the past three presidential elections.
Maloney has shut out her opponent, garnering the endorsement of all nine openly LGBT elected officials in the city and the four gay Democratic clubs active in her district. In addition to Quinn, Mendez, Dromm, Van Bramer, O’Donnell, and Kellner, the incumbent enjoys support from State Senator Tom Duane of Chelsea and Assemblymembers Deborah Glick of the West Village and Matthew Titone of Staten Island. In this race, the Jim Owles Club is on the same page with Stonewall, GLID, and the Queens club. The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign also endorsed Maloney.
Active during the Bush administration in the fight against a constitutional amendment barring marriage by same-sex couples, Maloney is a marriage equality supporter and has introduced legislation to broaden the federal Family and Medical Leave Act to include LGBT families.