Stonewall Democrats snub Cynthia Nixon’s bid to be first gay New York Governor
The New York Democratic Party’s LGBT caucus has delivered a blow to out Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon—by backing her opponent.
Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, a long-time LGBT+ activist, is running for Governor of New York as a left-wing challenger to current Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary.
Nixon, who could make history as New York’s first out Governor, has sought to adopt a Bernie Sanders-style progressive platform in the race, after being branded an “unqualified lesbian” by a Cuomo surrogate.
Although Nixon could make history as New York’s first out Governor, established LGBT+ groups and politicians in the state have largely backed Cuomo, citing his support for equality and Nixon’s lack of experience.
The Stonewall Democrats, the Democratic Party’s official LGBT caucus, this week delivered a massive snub to Nixon by throwing their support behind Cuomo.
The group confirmed: “Tonight SDNYC’s membership reviewed requests from candidates seeking the Club’s endorsement in the 2018 Primary for Governor, and we are thrilled to announce that our members voted to endorse Andrew Cuomo!”
Cuomo reacted to the endorsement on his personal Twitter account. “The Stonewall Democrats are true leaders in the fight for the LGBT community. It’s an honour to have the endorsement of the largest LGBT Democratic club in NY as we continue the march toward equal rights for all,” he wrote.
Nixon recently bashed Cuomo’s record on equal marriage, claiming he moved on the issue in 2011 because “he had a lot of big Republican donors who wanted the marriage issue to go away because they thought it was making the party look bad.”
She added: “It was getting embarrassing… Iowa had marriage equality and not New York.”
Those comments were condemned by LGBT+ activists who ran the campaign for marriage equality in New York, who defended Governor Cuomo’s record.
Cathy Marino-Thomas, former board president of Marriage Equality USA, penned an open letter to Nixon calling her out.
She said: “Ms Nixon’s account of the political landscape at best shows naivety and ignorance or at worst is a cynical omission of the truth.
“The passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act was never an easy or politically expedient task even in 2011.”
“Her take is not just inaccurate, it’s undermining of important work by true activists and supportive elected officials.
“It is also self-serving and amounts to a gesture intended to serve her current purposes that rewrites history and erases work that transformed hundreds of thousands of lives for the better.”
Gay Democratic activist Jon Reinish added: “It’s pathetic that Cynthia Nixon would stoop so low to taint her own marriage and thousands including my upcoming one as some tool of GOP donors. No.
“I worked on that campaign in 2011 and so did she. We both gave it our all out of joy and what was possible. Infuriating that she’s rewriting history to fuel a campaign clearly motivated by personal animus.”
Cuomo was managing his father Mario Cuomo’s challenge to New York City Mayor Ed Koch in 1977 when a smear poster campaign was launched under the slogan ‘Vote for Cuomo, not for the homo’. The Cuomo campaign denied responsibility for the posters at the time.
Recalling the scandal, Nixon joked: “Andrew Cuomo is known for dirty politics, but I have to give credit where it’s due, his history of cutthroat campaigns helped inspire my campaign’s new slogan, ‘Vote for the homo, not for Cuomo.'”
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She added: “When my wife and I… started dating in 2004 I wasn’t sure how people were going to react. Would it affect my career negatively? What was the best way to let people know, and when? I was worried about it.
“But after some agonising, I just came out, and it turned out to be fine and not such a big deal at all. It’s not healthy when you feel like you have to hide who you are, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. And that’s why tonight I think it’s time for Andrew Cuomo to come out as a Republican.
“The rumours have been out there for years, he’s not fooling anyone. Who knows why he stayed in the closet this long? Maybe he thought it would hurt his career, maybe he was afraid of disappointing his father.
“It must not be easy growing up feeling like you’re different from everyone else, so on behalf of someone who has been there, I just want to say Andrew, it’s okay to come out and live openly as you are. Your donors won’t love you any less.”
Nixon will face Cuomo in the September 13 Democratic primary.