Monday, May 16, 2011

Republican Donors Support Marriage Equality in NYS while Bloomberg is Embarrassed by His Budget

Last week, we learned that major Republican donors were adding their dollars and their voices to the fight for marriage equality in our state, and we learned that Mayor Bloomberg's budget proposal included an embarrassing $1 billion in spending on education consultants while firing 4,100 teachers.

Republican Donors Join the Fight for Marriage Equality

In a pleasant and encouraging development, major Republican donors are funding the efforts to end our state's discrimination against same-sex couples and bring marriage equality to New York State.

A week ago, we highlighted Governor Cuomo's determination to lead a coordinated initiative to bring marriage equality to New York. Having Republican donors as supporters of the initiative is a major step forward, and it may represent the key ingredient of success for marriage equality this year.

In our state, the Senate is controlled by the Republican Party. A marriage equality law will need to receive meaningful Republican support to pass (some Democrats do not support marriage equality, thereby making the support of Republicans even more necessary). Republican donors are likely to have influence over the Republican controlled Senate, and the rest of us should applaud their willingness to jump into this initiative after the failure of the push for marriage equality in 2009.

Mayor Bloomberg and other supporters of Republican elected officials around our state now represent two-thirds of the funding of the initiative driving the push for marriage equality. Without them, the Governor would lack both the resources and the political influence that will likely be necessary to win this fight.

Let us hope that these Republicans remain the right side of this issues, and perhaps we can pray that Bloomberg and the other Republicans will take the satisfaction of fighting for human rights for same sex couples and push New York City to end its law enforcement terrorism against people of color as well as its exclusion of people of color from the Fire Department of New York.

Bloomberg's Embarrassing Education Budget

Mayor Bloomberg's budget includes $1 billion for consultants while eliminating more than 4,000 teachers. Manhattan Borough President and other supporters of public education have criticized the imbalance, and the Bloomberg administration has dismissed the criticism. After the Cathie Black debacle, the Mayor continues to give his opponents ammunition with which to attack him as lacking a commitment to improving the education of children in New York City.

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