Hiram Monserrate is, to say the least, fighting an uphill battle to regain the State Senate seat he was expelled from recently. Labor unions, the Queens Democratic Party, former colleagues, and local elected officials are supporting his main rival, Assemblyman Jose Peralta.
But he’s fighting back.
Today, Monserrate announced he’s being supported by a bunch of clergy who are praising him for his support on one particular issue: same-sex marriage. Specifically, his opposition to it.
The clergy members announced their support of Monserrate in response to a a pro same-sex marriage P.A.C. that is trying to oust Monserrate.
“We find their tactics to be offensive and disrespectful,” said the Rev. Andy Torres, in a statement sent out by Monserrate’s campaign. “Their overall goal supporting Gay Marriage is contrary to our moral principles. We unequivocally support Monserrate in the special election as a legislator who will defend our position.”
A more nuanced position was expressed by Gilbert Pickett, another church spokesman.
“Monserrate has supported many gay groups that provide services in this community for years but did not vote for Gay Marriage. He should not to persecuted by rich gay outsiders for his vote of conscience which is consistent with church values.”
Politically, opposing same-sex marriage is rarely done in a Democratic primary. But the March 16 special election for Monserrate’s seat isn’t a primary. It’s open to Republicans and, importantly, independent voters.