Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lieutenant Daniel Choi endorses Bloomberg

Less than a week after he addressed the National Equality March, openly gay former Lt. Daniel Choi announced he has endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“Mayor Bloomberg knows that the LGBT community deserves full equality,” Choi said in a statement Bloomberg's campaign released earlier this afternoon. “At West Point and in the Army, I learned to ‘choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.’ That's why I came out, and that's why I, as a proud New Yorker, am endorsing Mike Bloomberg, a leader who governs by this code and fights for what he knows is right.”

The Army discharged Choi, who graduated West Point and is a veteran of the Iraq war, earlier this year after he came out national television. He has become an increasingly high profile figure in the fight to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that prohibits openly gay and lesbian soldiers. And is scheduled to accept the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's National Leadership Award at its annual Miami dinner on Oct. 17.

Choi joins restaurateur Florent Morellet, actress Cherry Jones, tennis star Billie Jean King, Dennis de Leon of the Latino Commission on AIDS and others who have endorsed the mayor's campaign. And Choi's announcement comes less than 24 hours after Bloomberg debated City Comptroller William Thompson, Jr., at the Museo del Barrio in Manhattan.

One of the questions both candidates answered was whether they felt President Barack Obama has done enough to advance LGBT rights--the mayor said no while the comptroller argued yes based on the fact "he has been there nine months." Bloomberg's campaign further described Choi's endorsement as "very significant in the closing days of the mayoral election."

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