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Mark-Viverito the Choice of Brooklyn Gay Democrats

Former council speaker is one of three public advocate hopefuls winning LGBTQ support this week

Melissa-Mark Viverito, seen here at an LGBTQ Pride Prom held at the Queens Museum in 2016, captured the endorsement of Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Democrats in her race for public advocate.
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The Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, an LGBTQ political club, has thrown its support behind former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in her campaign for public advocate.

Members voted to endorse Mark-Viverito on Thursday night, marking the third candidate in a span of a week to receive the backing of different LGBTQ political organizations. The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club endorsed Brooklyn Councilmember Jumaane Williams late last week and the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City opted to support Manhattan Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, who is the only LGBTQ candidate in the race for the second-highest-ranking position in New York City.

Last month, Gay City News exclusively covered Mark Viverito’s LGBTQ platform, which includes plans to push for legislation to support LGBTQ entrepreneurs, increase services for LGBTQ seniors, and expand funding for HIV testing, care, and services.

Jared Arader, who was elected president of Lambda in Greenpoint on Thursday, said in a written statement that Mark-Viverito’s record “aligns with what we, as LGBTQ Brooklynites, value most.”

“Her campaign has focused its LGBTQ platform on inclusivity — from LGBTQ-owned businesses, community liaisons for city agencies to senior housing and increased assistance for LGBTQ youth, among other things, which really spoke to our members,” Arader said.

Following the endorsement, Mark-Viverito said she was “honored” to have Lambda’s support.

“It is because of organizations like LID that we have seen a progressive tide in Albany and strong opposition to the Trump administra­tion’s bigotry and extremism,” she said. “This isn’t just one community’s fight, it is all of ours. It’s not just moral, it’s personal.”

Mark-Viverito’s endorsement came one day after she addressed an article published by Gay City News about her misleading answers in a Stonewall questionnaire regarding her history of endorsements and campaign donations to anti-LGBTQ candidates. Mark-Viverito’s 2013 donation to Brooklyn Councilmember Chaim Deutsch’s campaign for City Council was made months after a video and news reports were published about homophobic comments he made during a debate. Mark-Viverito then endorsed Deutsch in 2017 after she watched him repeatedly voted against gay rights measures during her time as speaker.

Gay City News also reported on similar misleading answers provided by Williams, who donated $1,375 to Deutsch and anti-gay Bronx Councilmember Fernando Cabrera in 2017.

After Gay City News revealed that the politicians misrepresented their records on the questionnaire, Williams apologized for what he said was an “oversight” and vowed to make a commensurate donation to pro-LGBTQ organizations. Mark-Viverito did not apologize in her initial statement to Gay City News, but did so in front of the Stonewall’s membership during an endorsement meeting on Wednesday night.

Updated 1:44 pm, January 25, 2019
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