Gay activist upset with Hillary Clinton’s gay marriage stand

Angela D’Amboise | February 27, 2006

Hillary Clinton
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The head of one of New York City’s leading gay advocacy groups has taken a stand against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's position on same-sex marriage by encouraging gays and lesbians to stop making donations to her re-election campaign.

In a memorandum to board members, Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle said Mrs. Clinton was "a complete disappointment,” claiming she opposes same-sex marriage and supports the Defense of Marriage Act.

According to her official website, Clinton supports civil unions between members of the same sex but opposes gay marriage. She also opposes a proposed consitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

According to The New York Times, Van Capelle said in his memo that he refused to “lend my name and sell tickets” to any fund-raiser sponsored by a gay group for Clinton's re-election campaign. He said supporting such fund-raisers for Clinton would “actually hurt” the gay and lesbian community.

“It will send a message to other elected officials that you can be working against us during this critical time and not suffer a negative pushback from the gay community,” he said. “We have become a community that throws money at politicians, and we demand nothing in return. And that's what we get: nothing. It's the wrong message to send.”

Clinton's advisers offered a counter argument to The Times, saying her support within the gay community runs deep and noting that a fund-raising event planned for next month will have prominent gay politicians and activists as hosts, including Christine C. Quinn, the New York City Council speaker, and Ethan Geto, a well-known lobbyist.

In an interview last night, that Mrs. Clinton remained an extremely popular figure in the gay community. He called her a strong advocate for the gay and lesbian issues, noting that she has helped secure federal funding for critically important programs, including AIDS treatment.

“Would we like her to be 100 percent on the marriage issue? Yes,” State Senator Thomas K. Duane, a Manhattan Democrat who is gay, said. “But it's important for us to continue educating her on the issue.”

Van Capelle added in his memo that he believed Clinton has served New York well as a senator and deserved to be re-elected. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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