Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Breaking News: Malcom Smith is 1st African American NY State Senate Majority Leader

Tonight, Elizabeth Benjamin - who blogs on political issues for the New York Daily News - is reporting that Queens State Senate Representative Malcom Smith will indeed become the first African American to hold the NY State Majority Leader post ("Mr. Majority Leader").

It is a momentous occasion in a year that will see the first African American president be sworn into office later this month. But it is also an unresolved moment for those of us who had great expectations for Smith - particularly on his commitment to LGBT issues - as he wavered on the issue of same-sex marriage in order to grab enough votes to become majority leader.

The good news? Smith is set to become Majority Leader as a friend to the LGBT community. The bad news? It is still unclear what it means for the prospect of a same-sex marriage bill being passed in the State Senate, despite gloating from homophobic State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.

The one clear point: Sen. Smith will be Majority Leader and Sen. Diaz will not. We will measure Smith's commitment not only by his past commitments but also by his actions as Majority Leader.

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