By Rafaella Gunz
August 25, 2018
Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon rides a NYC subway.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the top LGBTI group in the United States, is campaigning against bisexual gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon in New York’s upcoming election.
Instead, HRC is endorsing incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a cisgender and heterosexual man.
HRC proudly endorsed NY Gov Cuomo for re-election because he has been a champion for LGBTQ equality during his 7 years in office.He banned “conversion therapy” for kids, enacted protections for trans people & led the fight to win marriage equality in 2012. https://t.co/OBoMcSz7MI— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) April 16, 2018
Though Cuomo is a Democrat and supposedly pro-LGBTI rights, he has made some missteps. For instance, he backed lawmakers who blocked progressive LGBTI bills.
‘The HRC endorsement hurts Cynthia Nixon’s chances,’ gay NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer told Buzzfeed News. He believes HRC is ‘chipping away’ at support for Nixon, whose platform reflects the diversity of New York.
‘Coming out against a viable progressive queer person is the wrong thing to do,’ he said.
The Human Rights Campaign has come under fire in recent years for being too much of a ‘white men’s club.’ In fact, HRC’s campaign leader Mary Beth Maxwell was forced to step down after using a racial slur when speaking to a colleague.
‘The Human Rights Campaign has been more interested in their real estate, high salaries, and hobnobbing with middle-of-the-road Democrats — while, in many cases, thumbing their nose at labor and other civil rights groups,’ Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, told Buzzfeed. The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club has backed Nixon in this race.
‘Their endorsement is not based on what’s best for the community — it’s about what’s best for their brand,’ Roskoff continued.
Abbey Collins, a spokesperson for Cuomo’s campaign, believes his gubernatorial record strongly contrasts with Nixon’s lack of political experience.
‘The governor is focused on results. We’ll leave the baseless election-year rhetoric to others,’ she said. ‘With LGBTQ rights under attack from Trump, New Yorkers know they can count on Governor Cuomo to stand up and fight back.’
However, Nixon campaign spokesperson Sarah Ford believes Cuomo’s record is ‘overblown.’ She claims he hasn’t backed a law to ban anti-trans discrimination or conversion therapy. Additionally, she thinks he ‘overplays’ his role in getting New York to legalize same-sex marriage.
‘Gov. Cuomo may have signed the bill, but Cynthia was fighting alongside other activists for the right to marry her now wife, Christine,’ Ford told Buzzfeed. ‘She understands the needs of the LGBTQ community as a wife and mother of a transgender son on a deeply personal level.’