Kathy Hochul, a county clerk in western New York’s Erie County — who supports marriage equality and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — scored an upset on Tuesday and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a special election, Hochul, a Democrat, won New York’s 26th Congressional district, a House seat that has been in Republican hands for decades.
In a recent interview, Hochul told The Batavian:
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“I don’t think the federal government should involve itself on issues of who can marry whom, that needs to be determined by the states.
“I believe everyone should be afforded equal rights under federal law. I do support the civil institution of marriage for gay couples, with absolutely no requirements placed on religious institutions.
“Gay men and women, who want to fight to defend our freedom, should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military.”
The National Organization for Marriage supported Hochul’s opponent, Republican Jane Corwin, donating almost $6,000 to Corwin’s campaign, according to GoodAsYou.org.
The special election was held to fill the vacancy created following the resignation of Rep. Chris Lee (R), who, while married, was exposed earlier this year for soliciting women on Craigslist.