Mayor Bloomberg Gives Marriage-Equality Speech at Cooper Union

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L) is shown to the podium by Rachel Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality and his niece, after Tiven introduced him at Cooper Union College on May 26, 2011 in New York City. Bloomberg gave a speech calling on lawmakers to pass a bill allowing same-sex marriage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) Photo: Andrew Burton/2011 Getty Images

Recently back from a trip to Albany to lobby Republican state senators on the issue of marriage equality, Mayor Bloomberg delivered a speech today at the new Cooper Union building in Manhattan. It was a good speech, full of the usual arguments for allowing same-sex couples to marry and nods to New York's history as being on the front line of tolerance and civil rights. (You can read it in full on Towleroad.) So why is Hizzoner so concerned with this issue at this particular moment?

There’s a reason I’m so passionate about this issue — and so determined to push for change. I see the pain the status quo causes — and I cannot defend it. When I meet a New Yorker who is gay, when I speak with friends and members of my staff who are gay, or when I look into the eyes of my niece, Rachel, I cannot tell them that their government is correct in denying them the right to marry. I cannot tell them that marriage is not for them. I cannot tell them that a civil union is good enough.

You know, sometimes it's easy to forget our curmudgeonly, wisecracking mayor is capable of stirring speeches like this. It seems to come out when he expects better of New York than what he's seeing. Which is, I suppose, exactly the kind of thing you want to get a mayor fired up.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Delivers Major Address on Marriage Equality [Towleroad]