Some Mayoral Candidates Mute After Right-Wing Anti-Gay Rant

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salgado IS
Erick Salgado (r.), in a 2011 anti-marriage equality rally with Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage and Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. | GAY CITY NEWS

Speaking at a forum sponsored by Orthodox Jewish groups, two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor made no comment after a minor contender in the race said the gay community was trying to ban circumcision.

“We have groups marching from San Francisco and California and they are even marching here every year in the New York gay pride parade, marching over here, trying to ban altogether bris milah,” said Erick Salgado, an Evangelical Christian from Staten Island, at the June 4 forum, which was sponsored by the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush. “This is unacceptab­le.”

De Blasio speaks up after Thompson, Weiner refrain; Quinn, Liu echo public advocate’s retort

The question concerned religious liberty in New York City and referred to the city’s regulation of a form of circumcision that has the mohel suck the blood from the newly circumcised penis, according to a YouTube clip. That practice, which is controversial even among Orthodox Jews, has led to 13 newborns being infected with herpes in the city and two deaths among those 13. The city now requires parents who use the ritual to sign a consent form.

Salgado has been endorsed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-same-sex marriage group. He was an organizer of a 2011 march and rally in the Bronx that opposed gay marriage. Salgado has also attacked the inclusion of monuments acknowledging non-Jewish victims of the Nazis, including gay victims, in Brooklyn’s Holocaust Memorial Park.

At his last filing with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Salgado reported raising just under $206,000 from 373 people. The other candidates have raised several million each. Salgado used a religious liberty argument that is part of the standard right-wing rhetoric.

“We have to defend religious liberty in New York City,” he said. “We’re not against nobody, we just have the right to believe what we believe and live in peace in this city without being persecuted.”

Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, and Anthony Weiner, the former congressman, spoke immediately after Salgado and neither made any comment about Salgado’s views.

While the reality of New York City politics is that some pro-gay candidates will seek the support of anti-gay groups and individuals, those alliances can anger queer voters and many do ask that candidates publicly reject objectionable views they articulate.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, as a woman and a lesbian, is unlikely to win many votes in the Orthodox community. Thompson has successfully courted those voters in earlier campaigns. Weiner, when in Congress, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, when in the City Council, represented parts of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.

De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, countered Salgado’s comments, drawing cries of “Shame” and boos from some in the crowd. John Liu, the city’s comptroller, and Quinn applauded de Blasio when those audience reactions began.

“As mayor of New York City, it would be my job to protect the rights and needs of the Orthodox community and protect the rights and needs of the LGBT community,” de Blasio said. “A mayor has to make sure that everyone is included in this city.”

Following de Blasio, Liu praised the city’s diversity, mentioning the LGBT community and the Orthodox Jewish community. Quinn thanked de Blasio for his comments and referred to some recent hate crimes against the queer and Jewish communities.

“We have to be a city where everyone gets to be who they are without ‘Shame’ getting screamed at them in an auditorium or without somebody walking up to them on the street and attacking them, without somebody burning a mezuzah, without somebody, quite frankly, just two weeks ago walking up to a man in my district in Greenwich Village and shooting him in the face and killing him because he was gay,” Quinn said.

“Anthony did not understand Reverend Salgado's remarks,” wrote Barbara Morgan, Weiner’s spokeswoman, in an email. “He did applaud Speaker Quinn’s response because he agreed with it.”

The Thompson campaign promised a response, but never produced one.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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Reader feedback

Perley J. Thibodeau says:
YENTA HERE. Can't the Rabbi use a tiny condom? Is he part Roman Catholic or something?
June 6, 2013, 7:49 pm
@OutFM says:
Soooo basically, the message from Salgado and these Orthodox sects is "Why won't these perverted fags let us suck the penises of small children?" That's quite a campaign slogan. #Salgado2013
June 6, 2013, 10:20 pm
George plagianos says:
As the saying goes. My enemy's ememy is my friend. Former currupt demecratic comptroller stated at the gay center yers ago tht he was very proud to get so much support from the lgbt and hassidic comunities werent they the ones who wore sack clothes and turned their backs up in the city council hearring rooms during the civil rights hearring for our comunity? George @axios nyc
June 6, 2013, 10:35 pm
Stuart Baanstra says:
Does Salgado really need to rant and rave about gay people? Doesn't he find enough pleasure in food, judging by his belly?
June 7, 2013, 12:15 am
Enrique Esteban says:
PLS, SIGN TO SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE IN ROMANIA: Help to sign: prenume=first name; nume=family name; oras=city; tara=country. You’ll receive a mail and have to click on 2nd link to confirm.
June 7, 2013, 5:12 am
Simon says:
I maintain: Male circumcision is genital mutilation. Period. Besides, I find it outrageous that Salgado is allowed to run in a Democratic primary! I mean, it sounds like he stands to the right of the Tea Party. Isn't there a for the Democratic Party to suspend his membership? I mean, you gotta be kidding me.
June 7, 2013, 11:18 am
Lara says:
Very bizarre idea that the circumcision (inflicting grievous bodily harm) of male infants can't be seriously and meaningfully addressed and debated anymore.
June 7, 2013, 11:26 am
Enrique Esteban says:
PLS, SIGN TO SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE IN ROMANIA Help to sign: prenume=first name; nume=family name; oras=city; tara=country. You'll receive a mail and have to click on 2nd link to confirm.
June 7, 2013, 12:31 pm
Robben Wainer says:
The call to faith especially to be Orthodox does not necessarily mean that we have taken into account the humanity needed to show compassion for LGBT Lives. That the human heart is also a sacred vessel should reveal to those who are dealing with ultra conservative values that homosexuality is not divorced from the sacrament of the temple that preserves for us a sense of holiness and contrition. That the spirit of civil rights so permeates all of our thinking in the gay community. In the spirit of service I ask all religions to show tolerance of those they may choose to abort. Giving the gay coomunity a rise in spirit that will help them to give voice to the emancipation of all of our brethren.
June 8, 2013, 1:58 pm
Stuart Baanstra says:
Robert, I was talking with some jewish friends yesterday who said the laws of Moses had created a stable society through giving structure. Never mind it condemning homosexuality in the process. Further, a rabbi in the group also confirmed that during the time of the third temple homosexuals would be killed. When I pointed out that homosexuality has historically been practised by large segments of the population, he said what did it matter and that it was all condemned. Earlier, he'd refused to acknowledge homosexuality's prevalence in ancient societies, instead saying it was practised only by an exclusive minority. Yet another group associated with the synagogue said a jewish man, practising homosexuality, should commit suicide (if married) rather than divorce his wife.
June 8, 2013, 11:33 pm
Joseph Singer says:
You seem to think this whole thing is a joke. It is not. Do not be stupid.
June 10, 2013, 5:18 pm
Perley J. Thibodeau says:
You don't notice me doing it now do you?
June 10, 2013, 5:33 pm
Addision says:
I've actually composed headlines addressing this very subject: they are not printable here because readers will be OUTRAGED. But I do love it when gay activists come against Orthodox Jews: support one side over the other and you're either a homophobe or an anti-Semite. How, exactly, do the Gay Jews feel - Orthodox or otherwise?
June 11, 2013, 4:59 pm

Comments closed.


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