Openly gay New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn saw the fruits of her advocacy last summer, when New York State legalized same-sex marriage. But now, as she rolls deeper into her mayoral campaign at a time when the GOP is stepping up its attack on LGBT rights, Quinn once again finds herself closer to the center of this divisive political issue.
On the latest episode of “Need to Know’s” “Fixing America” series, Quinn was quizzed on what needs to be done in order to achieve equality for all sexualities and genders.
“I think the issue of LGBT rights is a civil rights, a human rights issue. It’s a question fundamentally, of, are you going to treat me differently because I’m a lesbian?” said Quinn.
Gay marriage is legal in six states, but to move the cause forward, Quinn believes the battle needs to be brought to the federal level.
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New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn discusses gay rights at the national level in the latest episode of “Need to Know.”
“We need to get at the federal level a basic gay rights bill passed. We need the Employment non-discrimination Act, ENDA, to be passed. We need it to include transgender people, so there’s a uniform standard across the country that says you can’t be fired from your job or kicked out of your home because of your sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Quinn.
Additionally, the speaker said pursuing further anti-hate crime legislation and involving more political figures and celebrities in the fight for gay rights is key.
Quinn, a moderate Democrat in most respects, is considered one of the frontrunners in the 2013 New York City mayoral race.
In the past, Quinn has earned high marks with New York City voters for her support of gay rights, and has sided with Mayor Michael Bloomberg on many issues. But now, as the mayoral race heats up, Quinn is being forced to take positions on issues she was previously quiet on — particularly the controversial Living Wage Bill, of which Bloomberg is a vocal opponent. The City Council speaker announced a compromise on the bill Friday that would require higher pay rates for employees hired directly by developers who receive city subsidies, but not for the retail tenants at those developments.