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For most families, having a baby is a happy time, full of smiles, kisses, hugs and giggles. Sure, there are inconveniences such as sleepless nights or dirty diapers but rarely would a parent have to go through the adoption process.
For Kat Dunams, who welcomed a beautiful baby boy about a year ago, with her wife, legal documents and attorney fees were becoming as common as baby rattles and blankies.
After Nov. 5, there will be one more race to watch before the new city government takes office and that will be who succeeds Christine Quinn as speaker of the City Council.
The position, which has only had three occupants since being created in 1989, wields tremendous power over legislation that passes through the Council and the annual budget negotiations.
De Blasio, Lhota at top in latest mayoral primary poll results
With primary elections now less than a week away, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has widened his lead over the other Democrats running for mayor while former Deputy Mayor and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota remains the favorite of Republicans, according to the latest survey.
Failed terrorist living in Jamaica gets 30 years for bomb plot
Supreme Court backs same-sex marriage benefits
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a major provision of the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, cheering supporters of same-sex marriage nationwide.
We were disappointed to see our friends at the Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights helping to promote the insidious movement to boycott, divest from and impose sanctions upon Israel. But that’s just what happened Tuesday, when the center had Sarah Schulman, an anti-Israel CUNY professor and supporter of the BDS movement, speak before a crowd of about 30 like-minded people.
The Pride House is dedicated to the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, and is the only center of its kind in Queens. We wish it had not hosted a one-sided event attacking the only country in the Middle East where LGBT people enjoy anything approaching equal rights.
While the marriage equality debate has been depicted as pitting social conservatives against same-sex couples, the argument that children do best when raised in “traditional” households is an implicit indictment of all alternative family arrangements. As a Family Court attorney who is involved in a single-parent household, I am disturbed by the flawed notions of domestic life being advanced by opponents of gay marriage.
Eighteen months ago I began a relationship with a woman named Brenda. When we met she was in the process of adopting a toddler from Russia. Being a 53-year-old childless male, I had no interest in helping raise a toddler, but when Brenda brought 18-month-old Marta to her New York City home from Moscow, I quickly became attached to her. Brenda, Marta and I have been a trio ever since.
Don’t go to this show looking for works that just please the eye. Some are pretty or entertaining, yes, but all have a complex theory or analyze a social issue that goes beyond the aesthetics. Grab the curator’s essay and study the plaques.
‘Better Homes’ calls up images of women in pearls with their fine china as seen on the glossy pages of the iconic magazine Better Homes and Gardens. The SculptureCenter’s current exhibit by the similar name plays with this idea.
“You cannot legislate morality” is a saying used by the government. However, now you can legislate immorality.
Same-sex marriage, abortion, the morning-after pill, classroom furtherance of sex, euthanasia, destruction of the Defense of Marriage Act, annihilation of religious values, removal of parental rights — our leaders continue to insert laws that are detrimental to our entire Judeo-Christian teaching, which shows they have no foundation in our leaders’ thinking. A house built on sand will soon collapse.
A recent Quinnipiac University study shows that 48 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 36 percent in 2008 — and perhaps surprisingly, more senior citizens are supporting marriage equality than ever before.
This shift in approval also seems to be reflected here in Queens.
Judging by the dialogue at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, it looks as if the justices are highly skeptical of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, the misguided 1996 law that should be struck down in the name of equality.
DOMA wrongly defines marriage as only the union of man and woman, denying loving same-sex couples of all the benefits that come with being wed. The law is not just symbolic, because those include financial benefits and protections such as the right to not testify against one’s spouse in a criminal case.
With unparalleled self-denial, the Republican Party by virtue of having retained a majority of the House of Representatives, acts as if it won the Presidency and has a mandate to continue policies that President Obama’s re-election demonstrates were rejected by a majority of the American people. Hardly a day passes without reference in the media to the existence of a new wave of Republicans different from the old who will carry the party to victory in the 2016 Presidential election. One of the shining lights frequently mentioned who is supposed to accomplish that is Republican Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida. If Rubio is different, it is a difference without substance and his voting record and beliefs demonstrate it.
Rubio believes homosexuality is a sin and opposes same-sex marriage. He believes life begins at conception and he opposes a woman’s right to choose. The National Rifle Association rates him a B+ rating, indicating a pro-gun voting record. He admits his religious views have shaped some of his p
olicy positions, suggesting, in my opinion, a rejection of the Constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state, that in this country with so many diverse religious views have for hundreds of years served us so well. While initially claiming not to be a scientist, he now adopts science but to support his creationism beliefs and that it was the vehicle a God used to give us insight as to how and when he (or is it she?) created Earth and all of humankind. This latter belief is so bizarre as to disqualify him from any meaningful elective office.
Long before Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), ran to unseat Democratic incumbent state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), received nearly $900,000 in campaign contributions, before Addabbo was endorsed by Gov. Cuomo, and before their district was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Addabbo and Ulrich were just Eric and Joe, two parishioners at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in Ozone Park.
Addabbo and Ulrich faced off Tuesday in what has been described as “the most closely watched and possibly most expensive state legislative race in the country,” for the 15th State Senate District which includes this neighborhood. Addabbo won by a wide margin.
Louis Rispoli, a 62-year-old gay man, died last Thursday night after being attacked and brutally beaten by two men five days earlier.
The New York City Police Department, the Mayor’s Office and Crime Stoppers are offering a $22,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for the attack, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).
The United States remains a country faced with a multitude of problems, but we are much better off than we were four years ago, thanks to the leadership of President Obama. He should be re-elected on Nov. 6.
The president’s opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has a lot going for him but has not made a compelling case for changing course.
The first came on Oct. 18, when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage only as a union between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. The law’s opponents cheered the ruling.
“Today’s ruling is another step forward in our nation’s ongoing march toward justice and equality,” Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan), who voted against the law when it passed in 1996, said in a prepared statement.“The court’s decision recognizes that DOMA runs afoul of the Equal Protection clause and is fundamentally unfair.Now, all of us must continue the fight to see the rest of this discriminatory statute overturned or repealed.”
In the final weeks of the Republican primary for the 15th state Senate district, Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes, backed by the Queens GOP leadership, whacked his opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), for being supported by the state Republicans, for often voting against the wishes of his party and even for being a devout Catholic with gay friends.
In the end, none of it appeared to have worked. If anything, it might have backfired.
The Republican primary for the state Senate in the newly redrawn 15th District got nasty in its final days.
The campaign of Forest Hills lawyer Juan Reyes, who is backed by the Queens GOP leadership, sent out a number of mailers in the last week accusing his opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) of being a flip-flopper with ties to liberal politicians and the LGBT community and also blasting his support from the state Senate GOP leadership.
The Republican primary for the state Senate in the newly redrawn 15th District got nasty in its final days.
The Republican primary for the state Senate in the newly redrawn 15th District is getting nasty in the final days.
The big day arrived last Saturday for City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), above center, and Dan Hendrick, spokesman for the New York League of Conservation Voters and a former Queens Chronicle editor-in-chief. After more than 13 years together, the couple was married at Studio Square in Long Island City.
The ceremony was performed by County Clerk Audrey Pheffer. Among the approximately 200 people in attendance was Chronicle Publisher Mark Weidler and his wife, Kim, friends of both men and strong supporters of same-sex marriage.
The big day arrived on Saturday for City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Dan Hendrick, spokesman for the New York League of Conservation Voters and a former Queens Chronicle editor-in-chief. After more than 13 years together, the couple was married at Studio Square in Long Island City.
I am truly excited to be attending my first same-sex wedding this Saturday, when our former Editor-in-Chief Dan Hendrick marries Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. I have known both of them for about 10 years and wish them all the best in their future together.
Although they got engaged far from home in tropical Puerto Rico, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) will marry his beau Dan Hendrick, spokesman for the League of Conservation Voters and former editor-in-chief of the Queens Chronicle, here at home in the borough.
“It’s a very special day in my life,” Van Bramer, 42, said.
The co-op and condo community were abandoned this past week as the legislative season drew to a close. Three vital bills affecting the lives of every co-op and condo owner were left on the scrap heap of an adjourned legislature. The working class residents and seniors living on a fixed income who mostly live in these communities struck out by a legislature and governor that threw them nothing but curve balls.
Strike 1 was the failure to renew the decades-old J51 program that provides millions of dollars to co-ops to help build and maintain their aging residential infrastructure.
Strike 2 was the failure to renew the city co-op tax abatement program that provided co-ops with millions of dollars of tax relief as a way to partially correct the inherent unfairness of a tax system that taxes co-ops at significantly higher rates than single-family homes.
Strike 3 was the failure to resolve the property tax valuation debacle of the past two years that led to double- and triple-digit increases in valuations on co-ops and condos throughout Queens.
While Team Cuomo extolls the success of this legislative session and politicians embark on summer-long vacations, we will soon begin to hear self-aggrandizing stories of their legislative accomplishments via press releases and taxpayer-funded newsletters. When their failures are exposed, they will point fingers at others to blame.
The blame for this colossal failure must be shared by Gov. Cuomo and state Senate and Assembly leaders Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver — the proverbial “three men in a room,” and our elected officials whose “tireless efforts” on our part produced zero results.
In business, you accept responsibility for failure and work even harder to produce better results next time. In politics you never accept responsibility for failures and simply point fingers at others or blame partisan politics.
Where was the political leadership among our Assemblymembers to corral the Queens Delegation to march into Sheldon Silver’s office and demand action on these bills on behalf of hundreds of thousands of their constituents? These are not politically sensitive issues like abortion or same-sex marriage. They are simply extenders of existing laws which already have a wide range of support for their renewal. I can assure you that if the legislation had passed, each and every elected official would have issued a press release and taken credit for it. If they can take credit for success they must assume some responsibility for failure. Until we begin to hold legislators accountable and not allow them to redirect blame to others, the dysfunction of Albany will continue. Co-op and condo owners will be paying a steep price over the next few years when their monthly maintenance assessments are forced to rise as a result of Albany’s dysfunction.Thank you.