Where I Stand and Where I have Always Stood.

“In my 40 years of activism, I have always been committed to an unflinching defense of the oppressed and those facing discrimination. This carries closest to my two daughters, whom I will never allow to be deprived of access to healthcare, nor their choice to do what they choose with their body to ever be infringed upon. My support for a women’s right to make their own reproductive choices is fundamental.

Equally core to my value system is my universal support for the rights of the LGBTQ community. I have been proactive in this regard, working to foster the creation of an LGBTQ task force at my local community board, aimed at tackling issues facing the gay community in upper Manhattan. From proudly voting to ensure no single-stall restroom can discriminate against gender identity, to voting to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination by police, to voting in support of expanding protections against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, my record shows no deviation from full-fledged support for the rights of LGBTQ New Yorkers. I stand firmly behind the notion that you are who you are and you love who you love, and no one can take that from you.

I have stood just as strongly behind the rights of women during my time in the Council and throughout my public life. I proudly served as a leader on legislation to increase access to women’s hygiene products in schools and prisons, stood up for equal pay for equal work at every turn, and endorsed the full women’s equality agenda while others flinched.

Therefore, I will not allow the divisive NY Post to pit me against my gay brothers and sisters, nor can they suggest any weakness in my defense of women and their reproductive choice. These are fights that I will never fail to take on should others attempt to scale back the progress we’ve made as a city, as a state and as a country.

I have, am currently and will continue to stand behind LGBTQ candidates for public office. I have said and will continue to say that I have strong disagreements with Senator Diaz on issues fundamental to the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. This does not mean that he cannot continue to advocate effectively for his constituents, nor legislate shrewdly on issues I do support, such as increasing Latino representation and support for working families. Being part of a deliberative body such as the City Council means not always agreeing with your colleagues on all issues, yet committing to work together on behalf of all New Yorkers.

This is a time for legislators and public officials to end hate speech across all issues. The ramifications are far too dire, something we witnessed this past weekend in Charlottesville. We must instead build bridges and strive toward social justice so that no group is marginalized based on their gender or sexual identity, race or creed. That is a mission that I remain committed to regardless of misrepresentation, or attempts by some to misconstrue for political gain.”

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