1998-05-11

On this date the Rudolph Giuliani, then Republican mayor of New York City, proposed legislation that would grant same -sex domestic partners the same rights to which married couples are entitled. Then what happened to him is anyone’s guess.

Activist Ron Madson reflected on his experiences with Giuliani:

Even then none of us could understand his support.  First the City already had Domestic partnership rights under the settlement of the LG Teachers Association of NYC case pursued by Lambda Legal. (Rich and I, and two Lesbian couples were the plaintiffs).
 
Second , when he became mayor, his administration debated whether we could have a Pride March.  At that march it seemed like every cop in the city lined the route.  Every single one of them had visibly huge amounts of plastic handcuffs hanging from their belts.
 
Third, he disbanded every community liaison council at city hall. 
 
Also, a piece of activist history, under his police department:  When we held a demo/march —  no permit —  for Michael Shepard, his police literally rioted. I was there. They completely panicked, and turned the much larger demo than we expected into traffic on Sixth Ave. We were literally walking between cars. The cops threw people off of public buses so they could put those they planned to arrest in them, putting those uninvolved passengers into the mix of marchers and cars. It was total chaos. (Possibly just an aside, add in that Hillary Clinton was in one of the hotels on Sixth Avenue doing a fund raiser banquet at the same time it turned out). At one point they hemmed us in on 42nd street at 5th Ave going to 6th and on the other side of sixth. They rushed the crowd with horses.  People were in their business suits both male and female carrying brief cases.  I knew people from Center Kids who had their kids with them who hid inside building lobbies. We turned around went down Fifth Avenue and the cops kept telling us we had to get on the side walk. They then had a motorcycle squad ride down on  the sidewalks’ east side pushing us back into the road. Shop keepers were in their doorways and had to jump back. They eventually arrested a bunch of people after the intended rally at Madison Square park.The newspapers called it a “Gay riot” which it decidedly was not. The NY Times had the most accurate account. I hadn’t entered the park after the whole horse and motorcycle thing. As I walked to the place I was meeting my husband and a friend, some straight people asked a cop what was going on and he said, “The Gays are rioting.” I didn’t stop to think and went right up to him and said, “No the cops are rioting.” Then rushed away to the cops absolutely stunned look. And there was a lot more than that.  
 
That was Guiliani’s era.  We never could figure out his stand on DP, except maybe that when his then wife threw him out of the mayor’s mansion, two Gay friends put him up for a short time.