Preparing to Retire, Richard Gottfried Reflects on LGBTQ Rights Work


In his first year in the State Assembly, Richard Gottfried, who represents Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and part of Midtown in that body, joined a fellow Democratic assemblymember who then represented Greenwich Village to introduce LGBTQ rights legislation.

“When Bill Passannante introduced the first gay rights bill in 1971, I was one of a small handful of legislators with him at the press conference announcing it,” Gottfried said in an interview outside a Chelsea café. “That press conference was so small that we held it in the legislative library in the capitol, and nobody had to come over and tell us to be quiet.”