ESPA dishonors the LGBT community by honoring Chris Quinn & Louis Bradbury

ESPA dishonors the LGBT community by honoring Chris Quinn & Louis Bradbury
By Pauline Park

The Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation honored Christine Quinn and Louis Bradbury at its annual fall dinner on 16 October 2014, which was enough reason to boycott the dinner.

“As Chair of the Board of the Empire State Pride Agenda, which under his leadership helped to secure passage of The Dignity for All Students Act,” the announcement reads. I was on the steering committee of the New York State DASA Coalition and Louis Bradbury had zero involvement with that effort; the bill finally passed the New York State Senate when he was chair of the ESPA board, but enactment had nothing to do with him, and he’s just using his position as chair for yet further self-aggrandizement after he fired ESPA’s best executive director back in March 2012 in a sordid power struggle initiated by Bradbury that significantly undermined the organization’s credibility.

ESPA’s executive director announced the Pride Agenda’s endorsement of Quinn in the 2013 mayoral race with this statement in January 2013:

I could not be more enthusiastic about sharing the following announcement with you: the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Political Action Committee has just announced our endorsement of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for Mayor of New York City.
This is an amazing moment for us and our movement. We have the opportunity to seat an out lesbian at the helm of the biggest city in the nation. The Pride Agenda endorsement recognizes Christine Quinn’s unmatched record on LGBT rights over the last two decades.
As Director of the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project she fought bias crimes citywide and insisted that law enforcement pay greater attention to anti-gay violence.
During her years as Chair of the New York City Council Health Committee, she successfully protected funding for HIV and AIDS services. As Speaker of New York City Council, she spearheaded the effort to pass laws ensuring dignity and protections against bullying for all students and was a leader in the historic, successful campaign for marriage equality for all New Yorkers.
Christine Quinn is a leader who knows how to get things done, and she has a record of hard-fought wins for the LGBT community. Christine Quinn is a leader whose grit and heart has made an unmistakable difference in the fight for LGBT equality.
The Pride Agenda will dedicate ourselves to campaign vigorously to ensure that Christine Quinn becomes the next Mayor of New York – it is in all of our best interests.
With enthusiasm,
Nathan M. Schaefer
Executive Director
Empire State Pride Agenda

Chris Quinn was even less deserving of being honored, having disgraced the Speaker’s office with her slush fund scandal & having betrayed the LGBT community at every turn as well as the progressive political agenda she claimed to represent. The claim that “as Council Speaker, she was at the helm of some of our community’s most historic victories, including ensuring dignity and protections against bullying for all students, and New York’s momentous marriage victory in 2011,” also implies something quite false. Chris Quinn had little if anything to do with the marriage bill passing — the Speaker of the New York City Council has no authority in the state Senate — and she did nothing but sign her name to the New York City Dignity in All Schools (NYC DASA) bill as a co-sponsor; I was on the NYC DASA Coalition steering committee and Chris Quinn didn’t lift a finger to help us get the bill passed, which actually passed during Gifford Miller’s speakership, not Quinn’s; in fact, after NYC DASA was enacted, she conspired with Mayor Bloomberg to block its implementation by the NYC Department of Education (NYC DoE); so to give her credit for NYC DASA’s enactment is doubly false.

Truth does not come from falsity and honoring the dishonorable only dishonors the LGBT community that the Pride Agenda claimed to represent; honoring Chris Quinn and Louis Bradbury by making false claims about their achievements was a disgraceful act.

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