In a somewhat eyebrow-raising move, the Stonewall Democratic Club has opted to back Andrew Cuomo’s re-election bid for New York’s governor over challenger Cynthia Nixon. Nixon is a lesbian, and would be the state’s first out LGBTQ governor.
In choosing to back Cuomo, the group pointed to Cuomo’s record on LGBTQ issues, such as his 2011 push to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, as well as several pro-LGBTQ executive orders he signed.
“In a time when the Trump administration is actively rolling back anti-discrimination protections and working to erase the LGBTQ community, Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to enshrine and protect our community and expand the deliverable resources that New York State can provide us,” read a statement from the group, published in the New York Daily News.
Executive orders from Cuomo have included ones halting conversion therapy in the state, prohibiting transgender discrimination and guaranteeing health service for transgender New Yorkers, and a strategic plan to halt AIDS in the state before 2020.
Nixon, an activist and former star of “Sex in the City,” is largely untested in the political arena and faces an uphill battle against two-term incumbent Cuomo.
In response to the snub, Nixon struck back at the group and Cuomo, claiming that Cuomo lied to the group to get the endorsement. In particular, she took umbrage that he said he never endorsed a candidate who had a “track record of working against LGBT equality.”
But Cuomo had supported Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, who had voted against same-sex marriage in the past, but has since become a supporter. The Stonewall Democratic Club also endorsed Crespo in the years since his change of heart.
Nixon faced similar criticism over her own response to the question and her past support of City Council member and Lieutenant Governor candidate Jumaane Williams, who also holds views against same-sex marriage. Nixon’s camp argues that unlike Crespo, Williams has never voted against it.
The Stonewall Democrats endorsed Williams’ opponent, Kathy Hochul, in the Lieutenant Governor race.