New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
will be challenged in the fall by Republican candidate Wendy Long, an
ardent opponent of gay marriage.
Long, a former law clerk to U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, won Tuesday's New York
primary, taking 51 percent of the vote.
According to the Associated Press,
Long beat her closest rival, Congressman Bob Turner, by 15 percentage
Gay marriage foe the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), which previously vowed to overturn
New York's marriage equality law, has endorsed Long's Senate
Senators Gillibrand and Charles Schumer
endorsed Governor Andrew Cuomo's gay marriage bill. Gillibrand also
backs repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans gay
marriage, and is the sponsor of a bill which would bar discrimination
against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people who want to
adopt or become foster care parents.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay rights advocate, endorsed Gillibrand's 2010
While voters might not pay much
attention, gay marriage foes are nearly certain to bet heavily on
Long. Knocking out Gillibrand – a leading advocate of gay rights
in the Senate – would help stall repeal of DOMA in the Senate while
dealing a psychological blow to gay rights advocates.