Log Cabin Republicans NY State Honors Governor Pataki for National Leadership
Log Cabin Republicans New York State recognized Governor George E. Pataki on
Friday, March 20, 1998 for his national leadership on behalf of the AIDS
Drug Assistance Program.
The Log Cabin Republicans Lincoln Leadership Award was presented to the Governor based on New York State's commitment to providing AIDS drugs to all individuals that need access.
"The Governor is the leading governor in the whole country who responded to this and his administration went to the budget on the state level and said we have to take care of these AIDS drugs because they are not properly funded in New York and no one lives without these drugs," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Rich Tafel.
Tafel attributed the recent 44% drop in AIDS deaths in New York City to the Governor's leadership. "You are very lucky to live in New York because you have a different situation. In many states people who need the drugs have to enter a lottery because the states put zero funding into the program and all they have is federal funding. New York is now the model state."
Governor Pataki expressed his commitment to ADAP funding saying, "we are very proud of the fact that we did immediately say that we are going to have protease inhibitors and the other drugs included in that program and it has had an impact."
Northeast Regional Director and Log Cabin Republicans NYC President Michael S. Aronowitz also thanked Governor Pataki for his dedication to equal rights for all individuals, including gays and lesbians. "Governor Pataki's record reflects his values. As governor, he has maintained a non-discrimination policy which includes sexual orientation in all hiring, firing and promotion practices within his executive and administrative offices. He has protected succession rights for domestic partners in rent regulated apartments. The Governor introduced hate crimes legislation that provides severe penalties for violent, bias related acts against individuals including gays and lesbians."
Governor Pataki stressed the importance for the Republican Party to be inclusive. "It has always seemed to me inconsistent and, in fact, incomprehensible that we believe in individual rights and limited government. We believe in getting government out of your wallets. But why in God's name should we ever care to have government or politicians involved in anybody's bedroom."
Governor Pataki also noted that the Republican party is the party that can offer real, positive change for the gay and lesbian community. "I think we have an enormous opportunity, not just in this state, but in the country to say that Republicans can govern. That we can govern not just well, but we can govern better in the interests of everyone. We have done that in New York City. We are doing it in New York State. But what the Log Cabin Republicans do is absolutely critical in expressing to the people of this country that we can also be a tolerant and inclusive party and not a party that operates because we are against things. We are for things."