Even New Yorkers who are far from being political junkies know one thing. Andrew Cuomo is running scared over his primary against lesbian activist Cynthia Nixon. The most recent poll numbers are favoring the incumbent. However, political outsider Nixon is a threat to the governor’s LGBTQ supporters; with Pride Week coming up, so too will his name and hers among New York’s Democrat voters.
There will be those rightfully pointing out how Cuomo strong-armed marriage equality into reality in 2011, but as State Senator Brad Hoylman has proven with a study, LGBTQ New Yorkers have been “stranded at the altar” since then. And with seven years having gone by, it does appear they’ve officially been jilted by Albany.
This legislative session in the state capital is over now, but elected officials, including Cuomo, still have a chance to at least commit to passing some LGBTQ protections like (at least) banning gay conversion therapy of young people and ensuring a fairer workplace for gay and transgender people. And we truly don’t know what’s stopping them. Yes, the State Senate is controlled by Republicans and that is where all this legislation, like tenant protection legislation, has gone to die.
But there just doesn’t seem to be any reason for delaying and delaying and delaying votes on LGBTQ bills except for old-fashioned bigotry. Most of the proposals wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime to implement. They won’t bust the budget or pick New Yorkers’ pockets, so again, why the holdup other than not considering the prevention of discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people a priority? (To be fair to the State Senate, its majority doesn’t seem to care about the problems faced by the city’s residents in general, but well, that’s not an acceptable excuse either.)
The state’s power players need to stop stalling votes on LGBTQ bills and make sure that they get passed and enforced until it is no longer necessary to remind people that everyone is supposed to have the same basic rights.