Metro Weekly

Andrew Cuomo dropped from LGBTQ gala following sexual harassment allegations

Governor had been slated to receive the LGBT Bar of New York's "Community Vision Award."

cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo – Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was dropped from an LGBTQ gala where he was supposed to receive an award, following news of sexual harassment allegations brought against him by a former aide.

Cuomo had initially been named as the recipient of the LGBT Bar of New York’s “Community Vision Award” and was slated to receive the award at the group’s 2021 gala last Thursday.

The group had sought to honor Cuomo for his long record of service on behalf of the LGBTQ community, including, more recently, repealing New York’s “Walking While Trans Ban,” and signing GENDA, a statewide law prohibiting discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity, into effect, according to an email obtained by The New York Post.

But on Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide now running for Manhattan Borough President, wrote and published a Medium post alleging Cuomo once kissed her on the lips, subjected her to unwanted attention, and suggested they “play strip poker.”

Boylan’s allegations have since been followed by similar accusations by former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett and Anna Ruch, a woman who claims Cuomo tried to kiss her and touched her backside during her wedding reception in 2019.

Cuomo, already reeling from criticism and a probe into his decisions to require nursing homes to accept COVID-19-positive patients and accusations that he hid data about deaths of nursing home residents, has denied the allegations against him. But the LGBT Bar of New York apparently chose to omit mentions of the embattled governor during its gala, according to video of the event posted on YouTube.

“With the help of the LGBT Bar of New York, we have achieved so many major victories right here in New York,” Marti Gould Cummings, a drag artist and City Council candidate who served as master of ceremonies for the event, says in the video.

Cummings then rattles off a list of accomplishments originally credited to Cuomo, without mentioning the governor’s name. 

The gala celebrated five other honorees for the group’s “Community Excellence Award,” but again, made no mention of Cuomo.

Several Democrats have begun distancing themselves from the governor since the allegations broke. Additionally, Mayor Bill de Blasio, an intra-party rival of Cuomo’s, and several women’s rights organizations, have called for an investigation into the governor’s behavior.  

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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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