Metro Weekly

NYC mayoral hopeful Nicole Malliotakis regrets voting against gay marriage

Staten Island Assemblywoman and GOP frontrunner says she's "evolved" in her support of marriage equality

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

New York City mayoral hopeful Nicole Malliotakis says she regrets her vote against legalizing marriage equality in New York six years ago. 

Malliotakis, a Republican state Assemblywoman representing Staten Island and Brooklyn, voted against New York’s marriage equality bill because she thought the bill would lead to lawsuits against religious institutions that did not want to perform same-sex marriages, reports The New York Post

“Any legislator has votes that they regret, and just like President Barack Obama, my views on same-sex marriage have evolved,” she said in a statement.

But Malliotakis has voted in favor of LGBTQ rights in other Assembly votes, voting to allow same-sex couples to adopt, in favor of pro-LGBTQ reforms on estates and inheritance laws, and voting to ban conversion therapy on minors when the Assembly took up a bill earlier this year.

Malliotakis’ candidacy will be an interesting case study in whether a Republican politician can earn a substantial amount of support from the city’s large LGBTQ voting constituency — which tends to lean Democratic anyway — despite voting against marriage equality.

Following millionaire real estate developer Paul Massey’s exit from the race, the Assemblywoman has become the GOP’s presumptive nominee, and has begun to shift her focus to the general election, where she faces incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

To pull an upset against the heavily-favored incumbent, Malliotakis will have to capitalize on a number of administrative or oversight errors or scandals that have plagued the mayor in recent months, in the hope that some members of traditionally Democratic constituencies, including LGBTQ people, cross over to vote for her in spite of her conservative voting record.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com