Eric Adams criticized for appointing officials with anti-gay pasts

In 2014, when Uganda enacted a law making certain acts of homosexuality punishable by life in prison, a congressman from the Bronx visited the country and praised its “divine” rule.

“Same-sex marriage is not acceptable in this country,” congressman Fernando Cabrera said approvingly as he sat among palm trees in a video posted to YouTube. “Why? Because Christians have taken a decisive position for the nation. Abortion is illegal here, which is what Christians really stand for.”

The video was later removed from YouTube, but not before a gay rights activist, Andrés Duque, downloaded and repost it online.

Now, eight years after his trip to Uganda, Mr. Cabrera embraces a government developing anti-gay legislation at a time when Mr. anti-gay violence and even murder The country is proving politically responsible for Mayor Eric Adams, who recently appointed him to a position in his administration.

On Thursday afternoon, LGBTQ groups are planning to gather on the steps of City Hall to protest Mr Adams’ decision to name Mr Cabrera and two other men who have spoken out against same-sex marriage. counted in City Hall posts.

For gay and lesbian leaders, appointments are like a betrayal. The appointments also highlight another problem for the mayor – that is repeat controversial Staff decisions that threaten to offend the management of a city still struggling to emerge from the pandemic amid a rise in violent crime.

Mr Cabrera, who is no longer a councilor, has been appointed a senior advisor in the mayor’s newly created Community and Trust-Based Partnerships Office, which he is set to work with. with Gilford Monrose, a Brooklyn pastor whom Mr. Adams had tapped. to run the office and is also someone who has spoken out against homosexuality.

Mr. Adams appointed Erick Salgado, another pastor who has expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, as assistant commissioner for foreign affairs in the Mayor’s Office on immigration issues.

Credit…Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

In a statement, Mr. Adams described himself as a “man of faith” and said he had always supported “tolerance and inclusion”.

And speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Adams argued that “people evolve”, advertised his profile “fight on behalf of men and women in the LGBTQ community” and said he was recruiting Use “best people” for the job.

Asked about leaders who have criticized the appointments, Mr. Adams said he told them, “I respect your thoughts, but I will do what’s best for New York City.”

On Monday, the City Council’s LGBTQ Caucus denounced Mr Cabrera as a “stubbornAnd says it opposes the appointment of both Mr. Cabrera and Mr. Salgado.

His critics say Mr. Adams’ recruiting practices are even more surprising, because he himself voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the New York State Senate twice, even distributing . a nine-minute speech to support it in 2009. His spokesman also noted that when the mayor was Brooklyn borough president, he helped fund a permanent home for the Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

“This is crazy; I don’t understand why a mayor with a good track record on LGBT issues would appoint two individuals with a terrible track record,” said Christine Quinn, gay and formerly New York City Council speaker, referring to Mr. Cabrera. and Mr. Salgado. “Not a side profile. Not the profile has grown. Terrible, horrible records.”

Mr. Salgado ran as a longtime candidate in the 2013 mayoral race and has authentication of the New York political action committee of the National Marriage Foundation, a group that fights against efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

“There are millions of people in New York City who support traditional marriage and deserve to have their voices heard,” the organization’s president, Brian Brown, said at the time. “Rev. Erick Salgado is not only that voice, but a true leader with a vision for New York based on conservative values.”

In a comment provided by the mayor’s office on Tuesday, Mr. Salgado said, “My views have evolved as society has evolved.”

Mr Cabrera did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for the mayor noted that on Monday evening Mr. Cabrera apologized On Facebook for “the unnecessary pain and suffering my past comments have caused to the LGBTQ+ community.”

Although in the video he clearly praises the Ugandan government’s opposition to same-sex marriage and presents himself as knowledgeable about Ugandan history, in his Facebook statement he claims unaware of “the Ugandan government’s historical denial of the civil and human rights of the LGBTQ+ community”.

He pointed to actions he’s taken as a councilor that he says prove he’s not anti-gay, including allocating funding to “Stonewall Housing and Destiny Tomorrow.” “.

The former home appears to be a reference to the Stonewall House, a housing development for older New York LGBTQ people in Brooklyn. A spokesperson for one of the development partners did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Sean Ebony Coleman, the group’s founder and CEO, “Destiny Tomorrow” appears to be a reference to “Destination Tomorrow,” an LGBTQ center in the Bronx.

Credit…Ozier Muhammad / The New York Times

Mr. Cabrera showed up to help the center secure $8,000 for its pantry, Mr. Coleman said. However, Mr. Coleman also condemned Mr. Cabrera’s remarks in Uganda and called on the former MP to apologize to Uganda’s lesbian, gay and transgender community.

“Yes, it is great that you have been campaigning to get some money for Destination Tomorrow, but what else are you doing?” Mr. Coleman said.

Monrose, a pastor at a church in Brooklyn, has also expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage and described homosexuality as a way of life with which he disagrees. News about gay city. He forwarded all requests for comment to City Hall.

Initially, Mr. Adams was considering Mr. Cabrera in charge of the city’s mental health initiatives, according to the report. Politico New York. After the ensuing outcry over the move report, the mayor appears to have changed course.

Appointment to a lower job is unlikely to quell the resentment that has been simmering in the LGBTQ community for nearly a month.

Cathy Marino-Thomas, chairman of the board of Equality New York, an advocacy organization, recalls Mr. Adams’ speech at his fundraiser, when he was running for mayor.

She said Mr. Adams’ decision to put two of the three men into the faith partner’s office, which will communicate with religious organizations, was particularly problematic, because members of the community LGBTQ have struggled for recognition among leaders of their faith.

She is helping organize Thursday’s protest against three dates and describes the selection of the men as a “nightmare”.

“They are all known homonyms,” said Marino-Thomas. “It’s disgusting.”

Michael Rothfeld contribution report. Eric Adams criticized for appointing officials with anti-gay pasts

Fry Electronics Team

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