Many were excited by the prospect that the mayor of New York City could be gay; however, that dream has been put to rest for now, as the openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced her resignation from the mayoral race on Tuesday, September 10.
From the start it seemed likely that Quinn would win the Democratic spot, but as the race continued forward her support began to spiral downward.
Quinn pulled in approximately fifteen percent of the vote; her competitor Bill de Blasio gained speed with forty percent of votes, and Bill Thompson with twenty-six percent.
Candidates de Blasio and Thompson are still in the running for the Democratic spot, but if the numbers continue to favor de Blasio, he will most likely see himself up against the Republican nominee John Lhota for the final vote in November.
Quinn spoke to her followers, showing them gratitude by thanking them for their support, and left them with a message of hope: “Let’s keep working, for a better, greater, more united, more equal New York for everyone. For every little girl, for every union member, for every family, for every LGBT person out there. That is what we can bring, and that’s what we did bring,” she stated, as reported by Queerty.
Quinn also gave a special thank you to her wife and “champion,” Kim Catullo, who was standing beside her.
Exit polling determined that de Blasio ended up gaining more LGBT support than Quinn. The New York Times exit survey reported that forty-seven percent of New York’s LGBT community voted for de Blasio, while only thirty-four percent of LGBT voters voted for Quinn.
At the start of the race di Blasio was fourth in the rankings, but then made a turn-around by using New York’s current mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bad ratings to his advantage. New Yorkers’ dissatisfaction toward Bloomberg, and Quinn’s connection to him, seemed to be the dark cloud that trumped her potential victory.
Bloomberg is a supporter of the stop-and-frisk program, a practice used by the New York Police Department (NYPD) in which police officers have the right to stop people in high crime areas to question them and then pat them down to check for weapons.
The LGBT community is against the stop-and-frisk policy and would like to see it end; however, Quinn voted against a proposal which would allow for those targeted to sue the NYPD if they so desired. Additionally, the bill proposed to include sexual orientation and gender expression as a protected group. Quinn also voted against this policy change; this, among other things, seemed to be the deal breaker for many LGBT voters.
“There’s a lesson here for New Yorkers, LGBT and otherwise: When securing the rights of citizens requires bucking the city’s power elite, Chris Quinn is not on your side,” said Richard Kim of The Nation last week.