New York’s gays can’t decide whether to back Hillary Clinton

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A week after reported that gay groups in New York were not backing Hillary Clinton’s re-election campaign, it has emerged that the groups are split over whether to sever donations to the former first lady.

Last week, a confidential memo written by Alan Van Capelle, the

executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, was leaked to the gay media. It recommended that gay groups should not contribute funds to Mrs Clinton’s re-election campaign for her seat in the Senate.

Mrs Clinton has come under fire for her views on gay marriage. She is known to support civil unions between gay partners but she opposes full gay marriage. Mrs Clinton continues to support the “Defense [sic] of Marriage Act” signed in 1996 by her husband the former president Bill Clinton.

At a meeting to decide whether to contribute funds to Mrs Clinton’s

campaign or to continue dialogue with the senator, the gay groups

represented failed to reach a consensus position. Representatives

failed to approve a letter to Mr Van Capelle expressing their support

for his moves to pressure Mrs Clinton to change her stance.

One group that refused to sign the letter was the Lesbian and Gay

Democratic Club of Queens whose spokesman Daniel Dromm said: “We’re

Democrats, and she’s a Democrat.” He added that he wished to criticise Mrs Clinton but not “in an attacking way.”

Mrs Clinton’s advisers said her support within the gay community runs deep, noting that a fund-raising event planned for next month will have prominent gay politicians and activists as hosts.

State Senator Thomas K. Duane, a Manhattan Democrat who is gay, voiced his support for Mrs Clinton. He called her a strong advocate for the gay and lesbian issues, noting that she has helped secure federal funding for critically important programes, including AIDS treatment.

“Would we like her to be 100 percent on the marriage issue? Yes,” he said. “But it’s important for us to continue educating her on the issue.”