At the Empire State Pride Agenda's fall dinner last night, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo told attendees he wants to make marriage equality a reality in New York:
"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 was "music to our ears," one activist said.
There were initially some reports that Cuomo wasn't going to show up at the event, and that he declined to fill out ESPA's candidate questionnaire. Over the summer, the NYT ran a story quoting activists questioning his dedication to advancing gay rights.
As for his GOP rival, Carl Paladino, Cuomo said: "We are looking at an extreme political agenda on the other side of the election, and you saw it this week with the LGBT community -- but it's not just the LGBT community."
The Paladino campaign has been in high damage-control mode since Sunday, when the candidate made what some 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.
Cuomo then went on to hit Paladino for his stands on immigration and abortion rights, and urged the group to make it to the polls on Election Day.
"Take nothing for granted because people are afraid, people are anxious and these forces are looking to exploit that," Cuomo said.