Openly gay candidates running for seats in the New York City Council have reached an all time high.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that promotes openly gay elected officials, is backing six candidates for New York City Council.

Vice President Denis Dison confirmed to On Top Magazine that the group's endorsements were a new record for a single city, but he also noted that the New York City Council is unusually large, consisting of 51 members.

“We have in the past endorsed 3 of 5 members of the West Hollywood City Council,” Dison said.

Only two of the endorsements are incumbents – Speaker Christine Quinn and Rosie Mendez of Manhattan. There are three candidates from Queens – Lynn Schulman, James Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm – and one from Brooklyn, Bob Zuckerman.

The most high-profile contest is in district 3, where Quinn is running to keep her seat against two out lesbians, Maria Passannante-Derr and Yetta Kurland. The three women sparred during a debate sponsored by gay weekly Gay City News last week. Quinn, who is running for a third term, was quizzed on a number of issues, including not challenging Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“This election is about an arrogant incumbent that has sold out our community for a right-wing Republican mayor,” Passannante-Derr said.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that I do and my staff does every day for the residents of this district,” Quinn said in response to the accusation that she was an “absentee” councilmember. “Whether it's standing up with the residents on 22nd Street when they faced a landlord who was going to take over their home for use by his own, beating that back. … I'm incredibly proud of when there's been crime in our district, the work that I've been able to do with our local police officers … I'm proud of the work I've done in our Housing Authority buildings, bringing them cameras that helped reduce crime in those projects, and proud of having gone door to door in those projects, to help identify problems where services weren't being delivered, and enroll people who live in the Fulton Houses on food stamps – that's constituent services.”

Her response drew a thunderous response from the crowd, proving that Quinn remains popular in her district after nearly a decade of service. But to maintain her position as speaker, she must deliver a decided victory in November.

Daniel Dromm wants to fill the district 25 seat currently held by Helen Sears. It's Dromm's freshman run at politics after serving 24 years as a public school teacher in Queens.

Rosie Mendez is asking voters for four more years as their district 2 representative. Mendez's official City Council bio says she has defended “members of the LGBT community from unlawful arrests.”

Mendez has endorsed district 29 candidate Lynn Schulman, a former top hospital executive taking her first stab at politics.

James Van Bramer is the very out district 26 candidate who is running on a decades-old record of gay and AIDS activism and an impressive resume of grassroots organizing. Van Bramer is comfortable with being the gay candidate, as opposed to being the candidate who happens to be gay. “Part of being openly gay in politics,” he told Gay City News, “is bringing the full truth of who you are to everything you do and everyone you meet. And in the end, people embrace equality and justice, I think, certainly in this district.”

Finally, Bob Zuckerman also highlights his LGBT accomplishments when asked why he's the best candidate for district 39 representation. Zuckerman, a lawyer and businessman, created “Out to Work: The LGBT Career Fair” while serving as Executive Director of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.

All six candidates are Democrats and must first win a September 15 primary election to proceed to the November general election.