I haven't been blogging for the past few months because I have been writing a book Seeing Cities Change for Ashgate that should be out by December. It seems, however, that no one has missed me and my missives. Then today I got a Facebook message from Otto Capelli asking:
What's your take on the Same-Sex Marriage Bill the New York State Senate just passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law?
Everyone seems to be talking now about the new New York State law that gives non-heterosexual couples the right to get married, but to me it is really about belatedly and bregrudgingly recognizing homosexuals as what they are --- ordinary people. Unfortunately the equal rights of my friends, neighbors, and relatives seemed to be dependent upon wealthy Republicans with Libertarian points of view who also support the idea that those who have shouldn't pay taxes to help those that don't. So I am very happy for my friends, neighbors, and relatives but at the same time regret that our Governor Andrew Cuomo has an easier time asking rich people for help to give homosexuals their due than asking rich people to pay their fair share of New York State's expenses. It is these same rich people who have done so well during the fiscal crisis, even though they caused it by disregarding the rest of us, straight and not. The "victory" has also stimulated more buzzing about Andy as a Presidential candidate, but I wonder which party he will best fit into. If truth be told, and it seldom is, if I were a registered Republican, I would vote for him in the Republican Presidential Primary over Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney but as a Democrat he would be hard sell, even to what's left of liberal Italian Americans.
As to the gay rights to riches story, my first search yielded this one by Ujala Sehgal who in
"... on the behind-the-scene story of how the gay marriage law was passed in New York. He suggests that on the surface, the story of gay marriage may be about about 'shifting public sentiment' and 'emotional appeals from gay couples.' But behind this optimistic picture, it was really about 'top Republican moneymen helping a Democratic rival with one of his biggest legislative goals.'
But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.
Within days, the wealthy Republicans sent back word: They were on board. Each of them cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million."
Now if only Andy could prevail upon his rich buddies to pay their fair share of taxes so the children of LBTG couples and singles could look forward to the opportunity for affordable decent education, housing, and medical care. How about the elderly LBTG who rely on Medicaid? How about the jobless and homeless LBTG? After reading Mureen Dowd's Op-Ed "Utopia on the Hudson" in the Times this morning in which Himself described himself as "an aggressive progressive" who thinks straight, or not, liberals have to reorient themselves toward a government with goals and effective service, rather than big government, I say "Lots of luck."; especially after his gubernatorial coming out, which Dowd noted, was as a socially liberal fiscal conservative pushing through an "austerity" budget that capped property taxes, and saved everyone from the poor to the zillionaires from paying more State income tax (he said facetiously).