Is Long Island the Last Refuge for Homophobes?


An obviously agonized Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo, said it best last night when he addressed his supporters from the State Senate floor right before his vote for Marriage Equality:

“I apologize for those who feel offended, I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”

Unfortunately, no Long Island senator voted with their colleague from Buffalo. Long Island was the only region in the state in which every senator voted “No.” Are our people here just more bigoted than other New Yorkers, or are our politicians more out of touch?

When Congress moves on towards repealing Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, we need to make sure that our delegation does not brand us nationally as one of the last refuges of homophobes.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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