In what's becoming a Friday tradition , reporter Robin Finn fawned over another liberal activ ist in one of her "Public Lives" profiles of a prominent or significant citizen in the Metropolitan area. Finn often uses her "Public Lives" beat to smuggle left-wing agendas into the paper in a flattering form, issuing hagiographic profiles utterly free of the boring burden that comes with putting together balanced stories.
This week Finn focused on New York State legislator Daniel J. O'Donnell, "the only openly gay man to win election to the State Assembly." (He's the older brother of vulgar left-wing talk show host Rosie O'Donnell.)
"The closet door in Assemblyman (he prefers Assembly member) Daniel J. O'Donnell's storefront office at 104th Street and Broadway opens with the geriatric creak of complaint common to old wood on a humid summer day. A meaty, overheated hand - Mr. O'Donnell's - reluctantly reaches inside, grapples around and emerges with a shadow-striped tie in a memorable shade of bubblegum pink. 'My boyfriend told me to wear a tie today because I was being interviewed,' he explains. Was he told which tie? That would be micromanagement; Mr. O'Donnell chose it. With a minor amount of premeditation."
"Home is an apartment a few blocks uptown where they reside with their green-eyed mongrel, Phoebe. Unlike her predecessor, Mona, Phoebe does not sing along to 'The Lion King,' but does play nicely with the 15 nieces and nephews, plus two godchildren, that Mr. O'Donnell and Mr. Banta, despite their lack of a marriage license, share.
"The quest to obtain such a license - that one simple document confers 1,326 legal rights and responsibilities (he says he counted!) in the state where he was raised, educated, works, votes and pays taxes started when he joined a lawsuit against the state that reached the Court of Appeals, which deferred the question to the Legislature.
"He then took the issue to center stage there, where the same-sex marriage bill he sponsored was debated and passed by the Assembly last month by a vote of 85 to 61. (The Senate was disinclined to take up the debate.)
"He considers the Assembly debate and passage a historic first step."