Tags: gay | senator | leaving | ny

Gay Rights Champion to Leave New York State Senate

Monday, 04 Jun 2012 11:15 AM

By Anthony Sokol

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Thomas K. Duane, New York State’s first openly gay member of the Senate, will not seek re-election, according to the New York Times.

Duane, a Democrat who entered the political scene two decades ago, will announce his decision today. This will open a seat in a district that stretches from the Upper West Side to Greenwich Village, and across to the East Village. Duane said he had no plans to run for office again when his term ends on Dec. 31, but may become a lobbyist.

Duane disclosed that he was H.I.V. positive during his successful bid for City Council against Liz Abzug, the daughter of the feminist icon Bella Abzug, in 1991. He says he is not leaving for health reasons, but because he is tired of traveling back and forth between the city and Albany, which he has done for nearly 14 years and is eager to try something new.

“It’s not that Albany isn’t a lovely place, but it’s not home,” he said. “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 was a pivotal figure during the recent battle over same-sex marriage.

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