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Same-sex marriage advocates gunning for Monserrate

Peralta gets endorsement from SEIU chapter

Two New York political action committees and one union are supporting Democratic Assemblyman Jose Peralta over ousted Sen. Hiram Monserrate in the March 16 special election to fill the vacant 13th Senate District seat in Queens. Monserrate, seen here speaking to reporters in the Capitol, was ousted after a court found him guilty of dragging his girlfriend through an apartment lobby. Photo by AP.
March 01, 2010
The New York chapter of the National Organization for Women and Service Employees International Union sector 32BJ are both backing Democrat Assemblyman Jose Peralta in the upcoming special election for the 13th Senate District seat in Queens, while ousted Sen. Hiram Monserrate is preparing a campaign to win the seat back himself.

At the same time, a new political action committee, Fight Back New York, has also endorsed Peralta. The group plans to put pressure on lawmakers who voted against the marriage equality bill. Monserrate voted against the bill last December, and the group plans to make him its first target.

New York NOW President Marcia Pappas said her organization is supporting Peralta because "it's time for New York voters to have in a Senate seat an elected official who will represent them in an honorable way, who does not abuse women and who understands the importance of women's rights and women's equality."

Mike Fishman, president of SEIU 32BJ, a building service workers union, said "Peralta has a strong record of advocating for working families in the [Assembly]. Working families can count on him to be a leader in the fight for good jobs, affordable housing and an affordable state. Peralta responded that he is thrilled to be supported by the organization.

"I thank 32BJ for their support and look forward to working with them," said Peralta.

Fight Back New York is backing Peralta based on his vote in the Assembly in support of marriage equality and in the hope that Monserrate will be defeated. Spokeswoman Valerie Berlin said any actions to vote against the bill are not representative of New Yorkers' values. The group has started a new Web site,, to take aim at legislators who voted against the bill to legalize marriage of same-sex couples and show their support for new candidates who back marriage equality.

The special election to fill Monserrate's vacant Senate seat is scheduled for March 16.

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