When word arrived that the Supreme Court had struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, Democratic politicians from around the Empire State rejoiced with a flurry of celebratory statements. But former Congressman Anthony Weiner, knowing the press would come to him, simply updated his public schedule to show that he’d be addressing DOMA after an afternoon press conference in the Bronx.
Needless to say, Mr. Weiner was happy.
“There are issues in government that sometimes politicians lead the people and the people follow. Sometimes there are issues where the people lead and the politicians follow. I believe that the Defense of Marriage Act has always been wrong and I believe that the people of the United States eventually … even persuaded the Supreme Court that it is simply wrong.”
One week ago, Mr. Weiner was harshly criticized by openly gay elected officials and other advocates for insufficiently condemning a homophobic slur lodged against one of his mayoral opponents, the openly-gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Mr. Weiner, playing defense, quickly pointed to his past advocacy on the issue despite the conservative tendencies of his former congressional district.
Speaking today after he finished a press conference urging the city to increase the number of free public school meals, Mr. Weiner thoroughly embraced his stance on same-sex marriage as well.
“I’m about to say words that I have said far too infrequently, that is, ‘I agree with the Supreme Court of the United States of America.’ This was a basic right and it’s a basic freedom. Every single day, and it’s with a steady march,” he said. “I believe that with the Defense of Marriage Act falling, with more states passing laws that permit gay marriage in their state–including New York State–we really are going to be the last generation that has to fight over the rights for equal protection and equal rights for the GLBT community.”
He added, “And today is a very happy day. And on the eve of the Gay Pride Parade, I believe it’s going to make for a very enthusiastic response.”