Today, I received an e-mail communication from New York Pride Agenda announcing Governor Paterson’s appointment to fill the seat left open by Hillary Clinton. The announcement read:
Gov. Paterson announced today that he has appointed Kirsten Gillibrand as New York State’s new U.S. Senator. Gillibrand, previous U.S. Congresswoman from New York’s 20th district, will fill the seat left by Hillary Clinton. During her acceptance speech following Paterson’s announcement, Gillibrand stated, “I will advocate for marriage equality.” Gillibrand now joins Governor Paterson, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and numerous other elected officials in the New York State Legislature and across the state who support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
Prior to the announcement today, Kirsten Gillibrand contacted Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle to talk about a range of LGBT issues, and affirmed her strong support for marriage equality, the full repeal of the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) law, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and passage of legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender people. We look forward to working with her on the issues that the LGBT community cares so much about.
Click here to read the statement we released following the Governor’s announcement.
CNN ran the news story as well, but had a little different take on Gillibrand’s politics. (My apologies to Ms. Gillibrand for getting my politician’s mixed up and calling her Gilliland.) According to CNN:
While Gillibrand, 42, will represent one of the most progressive states in the country — and has garnered solid union support and a 90 percent score from the American Civil Liberties Union — the former antitrust lawyer and Clinton administration official is no dyed-in-the-wool liberal.
The Albany-born Gillibrand currently represents New York’s conservative 20th Congressional District. She’s a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats.
A supporter of gun rights, Gillibrand has been endorsed in her congressional runs by the National Rifle Association. She also supports an extension of the Bush tax cuts.
The Catholic mother of two — one of the few members of Congress to give birth while in office — was an attorney before entering politics.
Now, far be it from me to try to pigeon-hole someone with regard to either politics or theology, it strikes me there’s either something amiss or I’m missing something. I will be the first to admit that being pro-LGBT on one hand and conservative on issues of finance, gun control, taxes and, I would guess, abortion on the other would not necessarily be strange. It would, however, be strange enough to raise some eyebrows somewhere.
Fiscal conservatives are prone to reduce everything to the level of commodity, not the least of which is co-operation. Nowhere is there more bargaining for votes than in this group. What does Gillibrand have to barter with, if not for lining on socially conservative issues? I am left wondering if Gillibrand is destined to sell someone short and, if so, who it will be.
I could just be callous, but my guess is that her statements about LGBT marriage rights, DOMA and DADT were pretty safe to make, since the likelihood that they will come up quickly on the Senate floor are pretty slim. I could be wrong, of course – actually, I hope I am. It will be interesting to watch it play out.
Authored and written by Rev Andy Little.