An Open Letter to Pro-Choice, Pro-LGBT Elected Officials Supporting Anti-Choice, Anti-LGBT Fernando Cabrera Against Progressive Champion Gustavo Rivera

September 4, 2014

Public Advocate Letitia James
Representative Charles Rangel

Mr. David Dinkins, 106th Mayor of the City of New York
Mr. Adolfo Carrion, Jr., 12th Borough President of the Bronx
Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda
Councilmember Inez Dickens
Councilmember Andy King
Councilmember Maria Del Carmen Arroyo
Councilmember Annabel Palma

To our colleagues endorsing Fernando Cabrera for State Senate:

We recently learned  that you have endorsed Councilmember Fernando Cabrera in the upcoming primary election for  State Senate District 33, and that your names and likenesses are featured in Mr. Cabrera’s campaign literature. We are reaching out to explain why we are supporting Senator Gustavo Rivera in his re-election campaign.

We are proudly standing with Senator Gustavo Rivera because he stands with all of us in demanding reproductive justice and full equality for all New Yorkers, and he has proven time and time again his commitment throughout his tenure in the State Senate.

Senator Gustavo Rivera was a founding member of the Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus, joining his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect access to quality reproductive health services, remove barriers to these services, ensure access to education about reproductive choices, and respond to any potential infringement to the legal rights to reproductive healthcare in the State of New York. During the fight for the Women’s Equality Act, Senator Rivera has been a strong voice in support of all 10 points, especially protecting the right to choose for New Yorkers. Senator Rivera is an unequivocal supporter of reproductive rights, and has fought hard for improvements in the law to protect victims of domestic violence and curb sex trafficking.

During the fight for marriage equality in New York, Senator Gustavo Rivera stood by the LGBT community, serving as a key ally in Albany and his commitment to our community continues today. Senator Rivera is an unequivocal supporter of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), pledging to continue to fight for the passage of GENDA. He also supports legislation banning so-called "conversion therapy" for minors, eliminating the use of condoms as evidence in prostitution cases, and ending the prohibition on using Medicaid funds for gender transition-related health care services – all vitally important issues to our community.

Councilmember Cabrera does not.  He actively works against all of our communities, and many of his policy positions are in opposition to the ideals of fairness and equality that we know all of you hold dear.

Councilmember Cabrera voted against 2011 legislation in the City Council that required transparency from deceptive crisis pregnancy centers. During a 2014 visit to Uganda, he praised its government’s flagrant human rights violations against LGBT individuals and openly espoused his support for theocratic government. By working with extremist anti-choice, anti-women and anti-LGBT organizations like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, Councilmember Cabrera has made it clear that he does not stand with us.

Your endorsements in this race are a deeply surprising deviation from your records of advocating for the women and LGBT New Yorkers and your long record of supporting pro-equality, pro-LGBT, pro-choice, pro-woman candidates for office.


Senator Liz Krueger

Senator Brad Hoylman

Senator Velmanette Montgomery

Assemblymember Deborah Glick

Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell

Council Member Corey Johnson

Council Member Carlos Menchaca

Council Member Ritchie Torres

M. Tracey Brooks, Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York Political Committee

Andrea Miller, NARAL Pro-Choice New York

Sonia Ossorio, National Organization for Women – New York City

Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City

Jim Owles Democratic Club

Bronx Rainbow Independent Democratic Association

Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens

Empire State Pride Agenda