With a 70 percent approval rating barely a month in office, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is refueling the state’s gay marriage debate by appointing Erik Bottcher to an important, newly-created cabinet post.
You may recall that Bottcher’s previous position was New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s liaison to the LGBT community. According to Gothamist.com, Cuomo’s choice of adjectives for Bottcher include “progressive,” leading some to speculate anew on Albany’s interest in legalizing same-sex marriage in the Empire State. “Erik’s intellect and experience will be an invaluable asset in the fight to restore New York as the progressive capital of the nation,” Cuomo said of Bottcher, who will now be the special assistant for community affairs in Albany. His new job handles numerous issues in addition to LGBT concerns.
The last time New York’s same-sex marriage bill went before the State Senate—under previous guv David Paterson—it was defeated by a narrow margin of 28 to 24. While Cuomo has yet to indicate whether marriage equality is at the forefront of his political concerns—he is, after all, beleaguered with a crippling deficit and a budget to balance—Bottcher’s appointment has some LGBT advocates crossing their fingers for another vote on gay marriage in the near future.
And as a result, one hopes, New York will become as progressive as, say, Iowa.