The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the US, is standing behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in her run for mayor of New York City.
‘New York needs Christine Quinn because she approaches every issue she cares about with passion and drive,’ Chad Griffin, the organization’s president, said in a 1 February statement. ‘Whether it’s equality for all New Yorkers, great public schools or twenty-first century infrastructure, Chris is ready to fight for the city New Yorkers deserve.’
In its announcement HRC also lauded the city’s present chief executive, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
‘Over the course of his three terms in office, Bloomberg has embraced the LGBT community. He was a champion in the fight for marriage equality in 2011 and continues to lead in the fight for full equality in New York and across the country.’
Bloomberg’s term ends at the end of 2013.
If elected Quinn will be the first woman, and out gay politician, to be in charge of the Big Apple. In a 2013 January poll, she had a comfortable lead over her primary challengers. She was at 35 percent of voters, while the closet competitor came in with 11.
Despite high polling, the speaker faces grumbling from her LGBT base due to words about Ed Koch, mayor of New York City from 1978 until 1989. The lifelong bachelor ran the city when the AIDS epidemic broke out, but many activists accuse him of doing nothing as gay men were dying. Quinn released an email praising Koch as a "great mayor."
‘I’m supporting Christine Quinn for mayor, but this mass email she just sent out is completely tone deaf to the generation of gay New Yorkers who worked tirelessly to throw (Koch) out of office (and we succeeded),’ Peter Staley, one of the key members of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), wrote n a Facebook post. ‘We will never forget his contemptible legacy of neglect during the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis.’