City Councilmember Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midoowd) last week sent a letter to his colleagues in the city council throwing his whole-hearted support behind marriage equality and a women’s right to have an abortion.
The letter comes as Williams has been actively seeking to become the Speaker of the City Council as current Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is term-limited.
In the past, Williams has told colleagues that his positions are private, rooted in both religious conviction and personal experience involving a pregnancy that was terminated without him being consulted.
This led to several stories and comments that Williams – because of his lack of support for gay marriage and his leanings towards a more ‘Right to life’ view on abortion – would not get support from the largely progressive council in his bid to become speaker.
The letter sought to clarify these views.
“In my conversations and in some media outlets, there has been significant confusion and misconception regarding my positions on two issues of deep concern to this governing body and the entire city, and I want to take this opportunity to address and clarify those issues,” wrote Williams.
“Let me be as clear as I can. I support marriage equality for our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQIA communities. I support a woman’s right to have access to a safe, legal abortion,” he added in the letter.
Williams wrote that like many he has views and beliefs which have developed and progressed throughout a lifetime of experiences, conversations and engagement with people all across our city.
“Constant among them is the promotion of equality, equity, and access to healthcare for all New Yorkers, a fundamental principle for which I’ve long worked and on which I would never relent or compromise. If I am privileged enough to become your Speaker, I would continue these efforts as a firm advocate for LGBTQIA and women’s rights.”