New York City's last remaining LGBT newsweekly, Gay City News, slams Mayor Michael Bloomberg's record on LGBT issues and endorses City Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor. Chief among the complaints are Bloomberg's considerable financial support for Senate Republicans, who have been the chief opponents of marriage equality.
In 2005, at the same time the mayor decided to appeal a Manhattan district court judge’s pro-gay marriage ruling, for the first time he announced his support for marriage equality and pledged to lobby Albany to secure that right. That December, he told Gay City News, “When I say I’ll do something, I’ll do something.”
Yet since that statement, Bloomberg has contributed nearly $3.4 million to support the state Republican and Independence Parties, the bulk of those dollars directly funding State Senate Republican incumbents, at a time when that party’s majority refused to bring marriage equality to a floor vote. A $1.2 million Bloomberg contribution to the Independence Party last year was used to support the three most stridently anti-gay Republican senators. The mayor’s support for one of them, Frank Padavan of Queens, helped him squeak out a victory over Democratic City Councilman James Gennaro, a vocal supporter of equal marriage rights.
It’s fair to note that there are marriage equality opponents among the Senate Democrats, too, and that even after gaining the majority last November, their party did not deliver a floor vote. But it’s a good bet that had Gennaro and perhaps another Democrat or two prevailed in 2008, the two disgraceful senators who this past summer crippled a body riven by a 32-30 split would not have had their opportunity. The best information available to Gay City News indicates that without that disruption, Senator Thomas K. Duane would have gotten the marriage equality vote he seeks.
The editors also criticized Bloomberg for suggesting Thompson would renege on his long-standing commitments to gay rights and marriage equality to appease black voters. GCN also questioned the NYPD's record on stop and frisks and its much-criticized policies of arresting of gay men in video stores throughout Manhattan,.
On Bill Thompson, the newspaper says the comptroller "has a longer and stronger suit on LGBT rights issues. On every issue that the mayor claims bona fides, the comptroller was there first and holds a more unambiguous position. His advocacy for workplace fairness––through shareholder resolutions aimed at companies in which the city pension funds invest––has led to nondiscrimination protections and equal partner benefits for LGBT workers at nearly 75 major corporations. That is a significant accomplishment that had helped reshape American business well beyond the borders of New York."