equal rites

Tom Duane, New York’s First Openly Gay State Senator, Will Retire

NY State Sen. Tom Duane and partner Louis Webre attend the 2012 Human Rights Campaign Gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on February 4, 2012 in New York City.
Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

State Senator Tom Duane, a longtime local advocate for gay rights, has opted not to seek reelection at the end of the year, largely because he’s tired of the commute upstate. “It’s not that Albany isn’t a lovely place, but it’s not home,” the Manhattan politician told the Times. “I always knew that I was going to have another chapter in my life, and it’s time for me to start that new chapter.” Duane, who is HIV positive, became the first openly gay member of the Senate when he was elected in 1998, and played a pivotal role in both the failed 2009 push to legalize same-sex marriage and last year’s successful legislation. After fourteen years in office, Duane says he won’t be running for another position and doesn’t have another job planned, but promises he won’t become a lobbyist.

Gay State Senator Tom Duane Retiring