New York, NY (April 19, 2013) —Today, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) released its proposed revision to the Membership Standards Resolution, which, if approved, would end the organization’s ban on gay youths but would maintain its exclusion of gay and lesbian adult leaders.As the only openly-gay New York State Senator and as an Eagle Scout (Troop 70, Lewisburg, WV), I am dismayed by BSA’s continued failure to remove all barriers to participation in its organization based on sexual orientation. If adopted, the organization’s latest proposal would maintain the ban on gay and lesbian adult leaders.
Albany, NY (April 23, 2013) – “I deplore the comments made in recent days by the Chairman of the New York State Senate Homeland Security Committee that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing should be tortured. Torture can never be justified to extract information or a confession from suspects. The law is clear: U.S. law, the U.N. Convention against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights all impose an absolute ban torture, even during wartime.
On May 13, I joined New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in voicing support for victims of a recent anti-gay attack near Madison Square Garden (MSG) and in distributing flyers seeking the public's help in identifying the perpetrators. I am outraged that anti-LGBT violence continues to be a problem in our city. The attack near MSG and another the following week outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal undermine our city’s reputation as a global beacon of tolerance and diversity.The vicious assaults are not a reflection of who we are as a city or community, but they serve as a reminder that we as New Yorkers still have work to do to end all forms of hate and violence.