Monday, June 13, 2011
Dear Senators Hannon, Skelos, and Fuscillo:
As a former Baldwin resident and Past President of the Nassau County Young Republicans, who worked tirelessly on your campaigns for a decade, I am asking that you stand for what is right and support Marriage Equality in New York State.
Kemp, in the late 1970s, you ran for NYS Assembly for the first time. I met you daily, running ahead of you to make sure that we knocked on every door in South Hempstead for your first campaign. I spoke to voters, delivered literature, and worked phone banks on your behalf. While I certainly can’t claim credit for the victory that launched your life-long electoral career, I can recount the endless effort I put into your campaigns. You accepted that help gratefully. You didn’t ask whether I was gay or straight, and it didn’t seem to matter.
Dean and Charlie, your very electoral survival is due, in part, to the tireless efforts of gay men on your behalf. When Ronald Reagan ran for President in 1980 and again in 1984, there were serious concerns that he could not carry a state such as New York….and that his coattails (or lack thereof) might damage ‘local’ Republicans. None of you complained when Terry Dolan, a gay man, founded and operated NCPAC (the National Conservative Political Action Committee) out of a Greenwich Village rowhouse, to insure a lopsided Reagan victory in New York. Rolling into the 1990s, you all were nervous when Bill Clinton was polling double-digits ahead of George HW Bush, and, later, Bob Dole on Long Island….but that didn’t stop you from calling on the expertise of Art Finkelstein – another gay man – who had practically set up shop out of Nassau Co GOP Headquarters, beginning with his engineering of Al D’Amato to the statehouse. As Clinton steamrolled over the GOP in NY, Finkelstein coordinated media messages that resulted in victories from Pataki down to yourselves. And in spite of the Democratic wins in NY and nationally, you all managed to hang on to your seats for three decades.
All with the help – acknowledged or not – of gay men you on whom you were more than happy to rely.
I organized rallies, manned phone banks, coordinated enthusiastic youth for your events, ran local headquarter operations, and responded to every request.
And so now, as an “out,” gay man in his 50’s, I ask this of you: Do the right thing, and take this opportunity to end the apartheid treatment of your gay and lesbian constituents.
I now live in New Hampshire, arguably a far more conservative state than New York. We have had full Marriage Equality for a year and a half now. The sky has not fallen. Churches have not been forced to do anything contrary to their beliefs. Marriages across society have not suffered. Children have not been harmed.
Rather, people have avoided bankruptcy and unaddressed illness because they’ve been covered by their spouses health insurance. Children have been able to refer to their parents, rather than “mom and her friend.” Hospitals and banks have been able to afford spousal recognition on marital property. Couples have been afforded security and equality. And society has continued, stronger than ever.
Gay men and women are all around you. They have voted for you, strategized for you, and campaigned for you. They have the same dreams for their children, the same hopes and dreams for their future as any other of your constituents.
Do the right thing, and be a part of history in New York.
T. Thomas Fitzsimmons
(f/k/a Thomas Simmons)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
In 2004, The democrats were hoping against all odds that John Kerry would win the Presidency. Of course, that would mean that Kerry would have had to resign from the Senate...and Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would have had the authority to replace him with an appointment.
With all the appropriate breast-beating, impassioned speeches, and rhetorical flourishes, Democrats in Boston claimed that no Governor should have the 'right' to impose a Senator on the citizens, and they changed the law, insisting that any Senate vacancy be filled by a special election by The People.
Fast Forward five years. Sen Ted kennedy has died, and under the very law that the Democrats imposed, a special election should be held to fill the vacancy.
But hell hath no fury as a vested interest parading as a moral principle.
With another public display of breast-beating, impassioned speeches, and rhetorical flourishes, these same Boston Democrats now claim that the citizens should not be deprived of their right to be fully represented in the Senate..and have changed the law to permit the Governor the appoint Kennedy's replacement.
Of course, this time, the Governor, Deval Patrick, is Democrat.
I think i prefer the stench of roadkill skunk to this hypocrisy.