Category Archives: Politics

HIV Positive Man Punched by Cop at Occupy Wall Street



A video allegedly showing a New York Police Department officer striking a male Occupy Wall Street protester in the face and knocking him out was making the rounds on YouTube last night. But it seems to be disappearing and yanked by YouTube today….you can still  see it on Huffington Post.


In the video, it appears an NYPD officer in a white shirt struck a man in a green shirt. The man immediately fell to the ground and was assisted by others nearby. After knocking the man down, the officer looked as though he was moving in to make an arrest, but the man on the ground was pulled away by another man nearby. The alleged altercation caused other protesters to react with dismay, and they started shouting. Some of the protesters attempted to force their way to the scene, but other police officers held them off to prevent the incident from escalating.

According to Gothamist, the man who was punched is Felix Rivera-Pitre, an HIV-positive protester. Rivera-Pitre told Gothamist he was walking slightly in front of the police on William Street, and he admitted he “shot the cop a look.” ( see the video on Animal NewYork of the look! followed by the attack!) 

“The cop just lunged at me full throttle and hit me on the left side of my face,” Rivera-Pitre told Gothamist. “It tore my earring out. I remember seeing my earring on the ground next to me, and it was full of blood. I was completely dumbstruck. I’m HIV-positive and that cop should get tested.”

Rivera-Pitre managed to escape arrest.

“The cops were pulling me by my feet and the crowd was pulling me by my hands, and I was suspended in the air,” he added. “But there were more people than cops, and they pulled me out.”


New York City Gay Pride Parade

What an amazing weekend!

With the passing of Gay marriage for the state of New York, people celebrated with rainbow flags waving and throbbing dance music blaring, as many as 6,000 marchers in Manhattan’s annual Gay Pride parade celebrated  this past weekend.

Cuomo led elected officials at the parade, including Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the body’s first openly gay leader.

The parade stretched almost two miles (3.2 kilometers) from midtown to Greenwich Village and past the Stonewall Inn, where a 1969 police raid spawned the gay-rights movement. Participants were dressed in everything from feathers and glitter to almost nothing at all, and held signs reading “Thank You Governor Cuomo.” About 2 million people watched, up from the typical 1.5 million, said Britton Hogge, media director for Heritage of Pride, the event’s organizer.

Just before the parade began, Cuomo told reporters, “New York has sent a message to this nation, loud and clear. It’s time for marriage equality.”   And marchers held signs proclaiming, “Promise Kept!” There was so much joy and excitement in the air this year, it was truly monumental!

A Maryland family reflects on New York’s reaction to passage of gay marriage….

As we left our hotel Sunday to come back to Maryland, we got caught up in the crowds watching the city’s Gay Pride Parade. It was quite an experience. The night before, the New York State Assembly had passed, and the governor had signed into law, a bill guaranteeing marriage equality, so the crowd was in especially high spirits. What impressed us the most were the spectators. Lined up five and eight deep along Fifth Avenue was a cross-section of the city’s population cheering on the gay and lesbian marchers, the politicians who had pushed the bill to passage and all the straight participants who marched with them to show support for their gay neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members.

In the crowd along the avenue were old people and young and folks across the ethnic spectrum as well as families and out-of-town tourists like ourselves. What seemed to most invigorate both the marchers and the watchers was a sense that American freedom had once again triumphed, and small-minded bigotry had been pushed further into the past.

An estimated two million people converged on Manhattan Sunday for the gay Pride march, the annual event that took on an “extra special” meaning, in the words of the day’s star attraction, Gov. Andrew Cuomo….

“I think you’re going to see this message resonate all across the country now,” he said. “If New York can do it, it’s OK for every other place to do it. If New York did it, every other place is now going to be posed with the question, and I think that’s a good thing.”

Photos  by   Andy T. Dickinson   
see more of his work at  WHAT ANDY ATE BLOG   



New York Becomes Sixth State to Celebrate Gay Marriage!

On this Anniversary weekend of Stonewall,  
Americans of all stripes celebrated the passage of marriage equality in the New York State Senate, and   gay New York couples affirmed their commitments to one another and began the 30-day countdown until they could finally say “I Do.” Amongst them, one of New York’s most famous gay couples jubilantly told each other “yes” and took to Twitter to announce their big news.

Neil Patrick Harris, the “How I Met Your Mother” star and Tonys host, became engaged late Friday night to his longtime partner, actor/chef David Burtka. Earlier in the night, Harris tweeted words of encouragement to the State Senate and said he’d “sure love to get married,” and following the law’s passage, Burtka took to Twitter and announced that the two had proposed to each other — and both said yes.

“I’d sure love to get married. Please, NY Senate, vote in favor of marriage equality today. My family would really appreciate it,” Harris wrote before the vote; once it was passed, he tweeted his excitement, saying, “It PASSED! Marriage equality in NY!! Yes!! Progress!! Thank you everyone who worked so hard on this!! A historic night!”

In the 35th-floor conference room of a Manhattan high-rise, two of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s most trusted advisers held a secret meeting a few weeks ago with a group of super-rich Republican donors.

Over tuna and turkey sandwiches, the advisers explained that New York’s Democratic governor was determined to legalize same-sex marriage and would deliver every possible Senate vote from his own party. AND  HISTORY WAS MADE!

With a population over 19 million — more than the combined population of the five states that currently allow gay marriage, plus the District of Columbia, where it is also legal — New York is poised to provide the most complete picture yet of the legal, social and economic consequences of gay marriage.

“I think that having same-sex marriage in New York will have tremendous moral and political force for the rest of the country — in part because New York is a large state, and in part because it hasn’t come easily,” said Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School.

The new law’s impact can be measured in part by the numbers at play: New York is home to more than 42,000 same-sex couples, according to an analysis of U.S. census data conducted by the Williams Institute.

This means, among other things, that the number of same-sex couples living in states allowing same-sex marriage has more than doubled overnight.

At New York City’s Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village pub that spawned the gay rights movement on a June night in 1969, Scott Redstone watched New York sign the historic same-sex marriage law with his partner of 29 years, and popped the question.


“I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And he said, ‘Of course!'” Redstone said he and Steven Knittweis walked home to pop open a bottle of champagne.

President Obama has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” a whitehouse spokesperson said.

“That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. The states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens. The process in New York worked just as it should.”

“We made a powerful statement,” Cuomo said. “This state is at its finest whe it is a beacon of social justice.”

THIS IS SO EXCITING! And how appropriate,
 that it happened Gay Pride Weekend!

Best Gay New


New Yorks Governor Cuomo Continues Pushing for Gay Marriage

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has kicked off a state tour to highlight his legislative agenda for 2011.

Marriage equality is one of the priorities, along with a property tax and ethics reform.

The Democrat governor hopes to press people to support his aims and pressure lawmakers about them.

He said in a statement: “Our entire team is going to travel the state to speak directly to New Yorkers about the issues that can move this state forward, and it begins in Syracuse.

“We need to pass a property tax cap, ethics reform, and marriage equality during this legislative session. The clock is ticking, but when the people speak, the politicians will listen. We will assemble a broad coalition of New Yorkers to support this agenda and work tirelessly to get it passed in Albany.”

The Advocate reports that Mr Cuomo’s office has not released further details but judging by past tours, he may reference marriage equality in high-profile speeches and send deputies to speak with LGBT audiences around the state.

Last month, Mr Cuomo told gay rights campaigners he will devote his “full attention” to marriage equality.

Speaking to campaigners in a closed meeting, he reportedly said: “For me, this is personal.”

MEANWHILE   It’s unclear whether it will advance through the Assembly (or whether Speaker Sheldon Silver might wait for the Cuomo bill, or whether there’s a switch-a-roo….) but Danny O’Donnell included this sentence after the happy quotes in his press release: “In order to ensure the bill has the time necessary to be taken up by the Assembly before the end of this year’s session, Assembly Member O’Donnell plans to circulate A7600 among his colleagues for co-sponsorship until May 25th.”

We’ll see how the next two weeks go. To me, this indicates something of a rift between legislators who have been championing the bill — O’Donnell and Sen. Tom Duane — and the new lobbying front, with which Cuomo is closely coordinating.

Best Gay New York


New York City Gay Pride 2011…continued….

Gay Pride continued…

Another amazing year!

Thanks  again to Andy T. Dickinson for the wonderful images
What Andy Ate


New York Gov. Cuomo Pushes For Gay Marriage

I don’t want to be the governor who lobbies for marriage equality.

“I don’t want to be the governor who fights for marriage equality.

“I want to be the governor who signs the law that makes equality a reality in the state of New York,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said.

Cuomo insisted yesterday he will indeed ask lawmakers to vote on marriage equality this session in June.

“We’ll be working very hard to pass it,” said Cuomo during an appearance of Hofstra University, according to the New York Times.

It is not immediately obvious how the legislation would fare markedly better this year, given that the composition of the Senate, which is now controlled by Republicans, has not changed significantly since the last vote.

But gay-rights advocates point to public-opinion polls that show more New Yorkers than ever support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Best Gay New


Barbara Bush says YES to Marriage Equality in New York

The Human Rights Campaign is excited to launch its twelfth video for the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign with the addition of former first daughter Barbara Bush.

Bush’s advocacy shows that equality knows no party label and raises the profile of this timely fight for equal marriage rights in the Empire State. The new video can be viewed online at

Barbara Bush joins prominent Republicans like her mother Laura Bush as well as Dick Cheney and Ted Olson as supporters of marriage equality. 

Her position also reflects her generation with 68% of New Yorkers between the ages of 18-34 supporting marriage for same-sex couples.

Best Gay New


New York Governor Race…Cuomo tells Gays he Will Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

New York’s
race for governor

has been dominated by state Attorney General and democrat Andrew Cuomo, and Buffalo businessman and Tea Party-backed Republican, Carl Paladino.

As we all know, Paladino is EXTREMELY Homophobic! He is petrified of gay men in bathing suits grinding up against each other! He has called us “disgusting dysfunctional homosexuals!”  yet  also says, “”My feelings on homosexuality are unequivocal; I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever.”  WTF?!

Obviously, no gay in their right mind will vote for him.

MEANWHILE, Andrew Cuomo says,“I don’t want to be the governor who just proposes marriage equality. I don’t want to be the governor who lobbies for marriage equality. I don’t want to be the governor who fights for marriage equality. I want to be the governor who signs the law that makes equality a reality in the state of New York,” said the Democratic nominee.

The declaration is “music to our ears,” one activist said.

The Paladino campaign has been in high damage-control mode since last week, when the candidate made what many considered highly offensive remarks about gays during a visit with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn. He has since apologized for those remarks while maintaining his stance against gay marriage.

“Take nothing for granted because people are afraid, people are anxious and these forces are looking to exploit that,” Cuomo said.
The attorney general called Paladino’s remarks about gays “alarming and divisive and negative,” but declined to say how his daughters felt about them — particularly Paladino’s criticism that the girls should not have been allowed to accompany their dad to this summer’s pride parade.

Mayor Bloomberg, making his first appearance at the event in years, vowed to the audience, “I will fight with you until we achieve marriage equality for all New Yorkers” as Judy Garland tunes played in the background!

Best Gay New York


DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS! Gov Paterson Signs Act To Protect

Charles Robbins, Executive Director of The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, made the following statement in response to Governor David Paterson’s signing into law the inclusive Dignity for All Students Act in New York:
“Today, Governor Paterson signed into law an assurance of protection from bullying and harassment for all students, regardless of real or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, and sex in publicly funded schools in New York.

The law would make New York one of more than 40 states with anti-bullying laws, 14 of which plus the District of Columbia provide inclusive protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. When youth are threatened at school, or their property gets stolen at school, and they fight at school, the odds that they will attempt suicide more than double. Considering more than half of sexual minority youth in schools have been verbally harassed and one in ten is physically assaulted, the Dignity for All Students Act with the inclusion of gender identity and expression will be a giant step to reducing instances of self-harm and suicide that result from harassment by school peers.”

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. The organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film, “Trevor,” a comedy/drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action). For more information, visit Trevor project .


Ex- Madam Kristin Davis WILL RUN for Governor of New York

Kristin Davis ,

formerly known as the Manhattan Madam who supplied high priced call- girls for Eliot Spitzer when he was Governor and Attorney General announced today that she would run for governor as the candidate of the Anti-Prohibition Party (APP).

She had previously considered the Free Libertarian Party and the Reform Party labels but rejected both although neither is recognized in New york State as a party.
We need to legalize marijuana, gay marriage and casino gambling by ending the Prohibition on them,” said Davis.

“It’s time to end the Government prohibition on Marijuana and tax it for the public benefit,” said Davis. “It’s time to end the prohibition on gay marriage and it’s time to end the prohibition of casino gambling.”

“It’s also time to end the government prohibition of prostitution in order to drive those who exploit women and utilize drugs out of the business and to protect the public safety as well as filling the public coffers by taxing it,” said Davis, a former hedge fund Vice President.

Davis was convicted of promoting prostitution and spent four months in prison before becoming a feminist, libertarian activist and advocate for a freedom based agenda that includes legalizing pot,prostitution and casino gambling to bring new revenues to New York.” These are the best alternatives to higher and higher taxes on the people of our state,” said Davis.

Davis requires 15,000 valid voter signatures to get her Anti-prohibition campaign on the ballot. If Davis and the Anti-Prohibition party get 50,000 votes they would win permanent ballot status until the next gubernatorial election and could run candidates for state and federal office in 2012.

Best Gay New York