Powerful Politician Endorses Gay Rights
Joseph Bruno told a gathering of the Empire State Pride Agenda in Albany that he is in favor of granting equal rights to gay citizens. At this stage of the game, in one of the most (nominally) liberal states in the most liberal part of the country, this would hardly be news.
But Bruno isn’t just another politician. As the longtime head of the New York State Senate, he is one of the three most powerful politicians in the state. Along with Governor George Pataki and the head of the State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, he is responsible for any legislation being made into law in this state. The entire system in Albany has been called by several good-government groups the most disfunctional in the country, with the three men making back-room deals and the rest of the Legislature going in lockstep. The result is a rubber-stamp parliament worthy of any 1950s Soviet Bloc "people’s republic."
But such is the system we’ve been given, and, until the good people of the Empire State decide to reform the system and actually give the rank-and-file in both houses some real power, this is the way it is. So, we must bow to realpolitik and deal.
Bruno is a Repubilcan who represents a conservative district Upstate. For several years-decades-his obstinacy made New York one of ridiculous by not having a gay-rights law on the books. Finally, in this century, he granted it, as a partial payment for the Pride Agenda endorsing Pataki, also a Repubican, for re-election as governor.