Metro Weekly

HRC endorses New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for re-election

Longtime LGBTQ ally will also speak at HRC's New York gala on Feb. 3

Andrew Cuomo – Credit: Diana Robinson/flickr

On Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign announced it would endorse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a third term as he runs for re-election in 2018.

During his tenure, as both Attorney General and governor, Cuomo has been supportive of LGBTQ rights, advocating for and signing into law marriage equality, investing in a robust HIV/AIDS prevention campaign, including increasing ways that HIV-negative at-risk individuals can access pre-exposure prophylaxis, and issued regulations clarifying that gender identity is included in the definition of what constitutes “sex” under New York’s nondiscrimination law.

He also took executive action to bar insurers in the state from providing coverage for conversion therapy.

“Governor Cuomo has been a national champion for the LGBTQ community, with a proven track record of increasing much-needed protections and advancing equality for all New Yorkers,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “He led the way on winning marriage equality in New York, ensured critical non-discrimination protections were extended to transgender New Yorkers, took bold executive action to stop the discredited and dangerous practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ and set a strong example with his successful efforts to significantly lower the incidence of HIV and AIDS in the Empire State.”

According to HRC’s 2017 State Equality Index, which examines the status of state laws dealing with LGBTQ rights, New York falls into the highest-rated category for its dedication to protecting its LGBTQ residents. Much of that progress is directly attributable to the Cuomo administration’s efforts to expand equality after decades of Republican control over the governorship, followed by two unpopular Democratic governors who were unable to work with Republicans in control of the State Senate to pass meaningful pro-LGBTQ reforms.

HRC also announced that Cuomo would address attendees at its 2018 HRC Greater New York Gala, held a the New York Marriott Marquis, on Saturday, Feb. 3. The annual gala marks one of the organization’s largest events, attracting more than 1,000 HRC members and supporters each year.

HRC previously announced that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat frequently mentioned as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, will also speak at the event. HRC will be honoring Emmy Award-winner Audra McDonald with the HRC National Equality Award, and Diageo, the beverage alcohol producer responsible for SMIRNOFF™, Bulleit® Frontier Whiskey, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Captain Morgan and Ketel One Vodka, will receive the HRC Corporate Equality Award. The gala will also feature guests like Hamilton star Javier Muñoz, the cast of the Broadway musical Mean Girls.

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

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