Strike First Strike Hard
Trying to play both sides. Doesn't suprise me. Here's a guy that cut back on NYC sanitation, Police and fire (only months after 9-11-2001 figure that one out), Cut money from school budgets, and now is fighting to build a new Stadium on the west side of Manhattan. Way to go Mikey.http://www.news12.com said:NYC Mayor Faces Dilemma on Gay Marriage
2005, 02 07
Mayor Michael Bloomberg staked out a compromise position in the gay-marriage debate: He would publicly support gay marriage, but challenge a court decision allowing it.
That stance has pleased almost no one. Fellow Republicans are calling him a Democrat in disguise, and gays are calling him a coward.
The furor illustrates Bloomberg's peculiar political dilemma as a moderate Republican running for re-election in November in this overwhelmingly liberal, Democratic city with an active gay community.
"It continues to highlight the problems he's got of being pulled between his Republican base, which is center-right, and representing the entire city, where being in the center politically is center-left," said Columbia University political science professor Steve Cohen said.
The issue came to the fore last week, when a judge in New York state's trial-level court ruled Friday that the state's ban on gay marriages is unconstitutional. The case was brought by five gay couples who sued after being denied marriage licenses by the city.
New York is among the few states without laws explicitly defining marriage as between a man and a woman, making it an important venue in the gay marriage debate.
In response to the ruling, Bloomberg said on Saturday: "My personal opinion is that anybody should be allowed to marry anybody. I don't happen to think we should put restrictions on who you should marry." It was the first time in his three years in office that he stated his personal position on same-sex marriage.
But the former financial news mogul also said that the city would appeal the decision in order to get a definitive ruling from the courts and avoid the kind of "chaos" that occurred in San Francisco after nearly 4,000 gay couples who tied the knot with City Hall's blessing later saw their marriages declared invalid.
Neither side liked that compromise.
"The mayor has a problem: That he's basically a typical Manhattan left-wing liberal," said Thomas Ognibene, a Republican former City Council member who recently announced he will challenge Bloomberg for the party's mayoral nomination this year.
State Sen. Tom Duane, a Manhattan Democrat who is openly gay, was more succinct. "Mayor Bloomberg," he said, "is a coward."
"The only thing stopping same sex couples from getting married legally was Mayor Michael Bloomberg," said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. "It's nice that he supports gay marriage, but what we want is action."
On Monday, Bloomberg said he is simply trying to follow state law and represent a diverse city's best interests at the same time. And spokesman Ed Skyler said the mayor knew all along his stance would not be accepted by everyone.
"But he does what he thinks is right, not what he thinks will score him political points," Skyler said.