Main | Friday, July 02, 2010

HRC Launches New Group To Oust Anti-Marriage New York Politicians

The Human Rights Campaign has hired Bloomberg aide Brian Ellner to head a new group to take on New York's anti-marriage state politicians. The Campaign for New York Marriage will do similar work to that of the Tim Gill-funded Fight Back NY.

You may recall that Ellner was recently all but named to replace Alan Van Capelle as head of the Empire State Pride Agenda, but withdrew after some gay rights activists objected to his close affiliation with Bloomberg.
“I view this as an opportunity to build on solid work that has come before, and strengthen and expand the coalition that is necessary to secure marriage equality,” Mr. Ellner said in an interview. The new campaign will seek to re-elect state lawmakers who supported the bill on same-sex marriage last year, and to oust those who voted against it. After passing by a wide margin in the State Assembly, the bill was defeated by an eight-vote margin in the Senate despite a vigorous lobbying effort spearheaded by the Empire State Pride Agenda.

“New York is at a critical tipping point in securing marriage equality, and November’s elections hold the key,” said Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign. The group would not say how much money it intended to spend to elect candidates in New York who advocate gay marriage, but those familiar with the plans said the group would seek to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few months. They are likely to focus on a few Democrats who voted against the bill on same-sex marriage last year, including Senators Joseph Addabbo and William Stachowski.
In 2005 Ellner ran unsuccessfully for Manhattan borough president as a Democrat.

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