Quinn's wedding a landmark for city's political landscape
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is set to take the plunge with her longtime partner this weekend, and same-sex marriage advocates say the historic wedding will be a huge win for gay rights.
Even on the eve of the highest-profile same-sex wedding involving a politician that the city has seen, the speaker has downplayed the Saturday event.
Quinn has been too busy with city business to fret over her impending union with attorney Kim Catullo, she said.
"Yes, extremely nervous," the potential mayoral candidate said tongue-in-check when asked about her big day at a news conference Thursday. "I'm nervous that I'm going to trip on my heels. I'm nervous that the vows are going to stink."
The speaker's office has kept mum on the exact details of Saturday's celebration. More than 300 guests are expected at the Highline Stages event space on W. 15th St., including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a dozen City Council members.
Brian Silva, the executive director of the advocacy group Marriage Equality USA said the wedding could have a rippling effect across the nation.
"She is definitely the most prominent same-sex couple to take advantage of the new law and ... [I] hope it raises the profile," Silva said.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who will wed his own partner, Dan Hendrick, in July, said the City Hall has been buzzing about the wedding.
"Christine Quinn can be mayor as a proud and out lesbian married to Kim Catullo," Van Bramer said of the prospective mayoral candidate. "That is something that many of us would want see in our lifetimes."
If she does become mayor, Quinn will be the city's first female mayor, and its first openly gay one.
Quinn said she was touched that so many constituents supported her planned union. The couple, both 45, got engaged in July, immediately after Cuomo signed the gay-marriage bill into law in New York.
"The thing I've noticed since marriage passed," Quinn said, is that even "people in the senior centers have been saying congratulations."
There appear to be no plans from anti-gay groups to picket the event, but same-sex marriage opponents criticize the planned union. Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, wished Quinn and her partner the best, but said he will never recognize their marriage.
"The people who go know they are not witnessing a wedding," he said. "I will be at a bar [on Saturday] watching the Preakness. The horses are a lot more fun - and it's real."
-- Mayor Michael Bloomberg
-- Gov. Andrew Cuomo
-- Sen. Charles Schumer
--- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
-- A dozen Council members
-- Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and potential mayoral opponent
-- Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who has opposed gay marriage