August 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Bloomberg defends Fenty on gay marriage

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would tell D.C. residents who oppose Mayor Adrian Fenty’s re-election bid because Fenty signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage that government should not interfere with any citizen’s right to marry.

Bloomberg talked about the same-sex marriage issue during a Washington news conference Tuesday in which he endorsed Fenty’s re-election bid.

“They have a right to believe what they want to believe,” Bloomberg said of same-sex marriage opponents. “But just as with religious freedom, I do not believe it’s the government’s business to get involved in family lives, particularly when no one gets hurt. And I think you should have a right to marry anybody you want, love anybody you want. It seems to me it is just as basic a right as everything else. Period. End of story.”

Bloomberg, who is serving his third term as New York City’s mayor, came to D.C. to announce his endorsement of Fenty’s bid for a second term, saying Fenty has made far-reaching reforms and improvements in the D.C. government that are widely recognized by mayors across the country.

Fenty’s main rival in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent Gray (D-At Large), has said he would do a better job than Fenty in uniting the city’s political factions and more effectively carry out government reforms.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Interesting statement by Bloomberg. Many of us know we don’t have to defend Fenty on his stance on marriage- we are asking where he was during the entire debate. I applaud Michael Bloomberg for speaking out on Gay Marriage- Adrian Fenty never did. He simply said he would sign the bill when it got to his desk and he did. He never testified for it and never spoke out during the entire Council debate. No one in his entire administration bothered to testify in favor of marriage-equality. Surely they could have joined the other 260 people that testified on the issue.

    Just as he didn’t speak out on marriage-equality Adrian Fenty still refuses to speak out on hate crimes. There have been at least 8 hate crimes committed in DC in the last two months, our community seems to be under seige. Not once have we heard from the Mayor. He couldn’t even get the words “hate crimes” out of his mouth when asked directly about them at the forum sponsored by DC MAP and CAGLCC last week.

    So maybe Mr. Bloomberg should give Fenty some lessons on speaking our and using the bully pulpit that a Mayor, especially one in the Capital of the United States has.

    So Mr. Bloomberg, I don’t think the Mayor has to worry about not getting the votes of those in the District that don’t support civil marriage-equality, he won’t get many of the votes in the District from those that do.

  • Peter, let’s give credit to Adrian for his AG’s superb job of defending the marriage equality law before the Board of Elections and Ethics and in court. But the thrust of this article does seem irrelevant, since Fenty’s main rival, Vincent Gray, supported marriage equality. Bloomberg hardly needed to take notice of the ineffectual “defeat them all” types.

  • With all due respect to the Mayor of my home town of New York City…we really do not care at all what you think of the Prince of Pennsylvania Avenue. We can make our own decisions, thank you very much. Take the next northbound Acela!
    To Prince Adrian: you really must be hard up needing to import friends to urge us to vote for you. Hope your resume is updated. Maybe you can get a job in NYC in January when your term in office officially ends.

  • Bloomberg is an independent who has done a really good job of making NYC work better, while ruling from the middle, rather then being the conservative ideolog so many rich people turn out to become.

    And as a str8 married guy for 42 years, and a psychologist, I know the personal pain so many gay people have suffered with, due to the people who always have to have someone to hate to sell their anything but christian – christian brand of love.

    And I can’t comprehend how gay marriage hurts married people, except that my ad hoc data says that gay people rarely divorce, resulting in terrible embarrassment to the str8 churches whose endless divorces are legendary.

    I gather that both Fenty and his challenger support the gay marriage law now in effect. So to me, in many ways the issue is moot, except for who I think will do a better job in managing the city and its real problems.

    with both candidates supportive of gay marriage, all I can say is may the best man win.

    Its about time that America do what Western Europe (all except italy and greece) have done re recognizing gay couples relationships as that of love and commitment, and valuable to society at large.

    And even Catholic Latin America is now turning a new corner. Argentina has marriage. Columbia recognizes gay common law marriage, Equadoe and Uruguay have civil Unions, several other countries are moving forward. And mexico now recognizes mex city gay marriages all over their country and allows adoption.

  • Steve,

    Your comments are appreciated.

    Slightly off the main topic, I cannot miss the opportunity to ask you, Where IS the Psychological community with some/any Preventative Medicine, if you will, as it relates to educating the general public about Their Roles in opression of Gays, and the psychological negative effects? Occasionally we hear a simple general statement of “This is perfectly normal” but, if there is anything other than that, I am completely unaware.

    Here we have one of the highest rates of suiscide, etc. and yet we receive little, in my estimation, education of the public on the issue. Ahhh, if it were only breast cancer…

    Just because it is unpopular, some, at least, professionals refrain. I see Clergy in the same boat. Just keep preaching that which the congregation wants to hear, which pays the rent, not what they Really need to hear.

    Please take no offense.


  • Peter the Drama Queen –

    I hardly think “our community seems to be under seige.” Do you think by the Mayor speaking out that this, “seige” would end? Clutch your pearls honey.

    He said he would sign and he did. What do you guys want the man to do, hold it in his hands and walk it through?

    Give me a break. Fenty has done so much for all the wards of this city and people don’t like his attitude or demeanor so they say Vote Grey. Ignorant!

    Didn’t people say they thought GW was the type of man they could have a beer with, well look what that got us.

    Results matter. What else does the Gay Community need that we don’t already have on the local level in DC? Nothing… we have it good here.

    Stop walking the streets at night, take cabs, go in groups… bet some of the “seige” would stop… hehehe.

    Grey can make a decision Fenty has made many great decisions already and all the citizens of DC have benefitted greatly.

  • I’m a New Yorker and an activist here since 1975 and Mike Bloomberg is the reason gay couples cannot marry in New York. He appealed a court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in 2005 and quoted Leviticus in court papers in his successful appeal overturning the order. (Note that Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold in California refuse to appeal the great Prop 8 decision we just got in California.) Mike is terrible on a range of gay issues and for those of you who think he makes New York work well, his school reforms have just been exposed as yielding no progress for students on objective tests. Yet his public relations machine makes out-of-towners believe he is doing a good job. Wake up!

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