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social sciences

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Quinn, Christine b. 1966  
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Unable to march openly as a lesbian in the large parade sponsored by the Ancient Order of the Hibernians (affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York), she has participated in the inclusive parade in Queens for a number of years and served as Grand Marshal in 2008. In addition, Quinn and Cattulo marched in the 2007 St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, which also has a history of inclusivity.

Quinn spent St. Patrick's Day 2009 at the White House. At the time she was encouraged by the presence of a number of other glbtq people, including Andrew Tobias, and by President Obama's expression of support for the community.

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In 1999 Quinn made her first run for office in a special election to fill the Council seat of Duane, who had been elected to the New York Senate. She won and quickly established a record as a champion on a wide variety of issues, including not only glbtq rights but also women's health, affordable housing, early childhood education, nutrition programs, maintenance and rehabilitation of libraries, and lobbying reform.

Quinn ascended to the Speakership of the City Council in January 2006, elected by a vote of fifty to zero, with one abstention.

Since term-limit laws were in effect, it was widely anticipated that Quinn, at the end of her eligibility to run for City Council, would enter the 2009 race for mayor since current mayor Michael Bloomberg would also have been unable to seek re-election.

However, despite any mayoral aspirations that she may have had, Quinn supported a successful 2008 bill overturning term limits to allow Bloomberg to seek a third term as mayor in November 2009. The legislation also permits city council members to serve three terms as well, thus Quinn sought reelection to the Council in 2009 and won.

Quinn's future appeared to be in jeopardy when it was revealed that a "slush fund" was funneling millions of dollars per year to phony groups through the Council. Upon discovering the situation, Quinn cooperated with the United States Attorney's Office and the New York City Department of Investigations in pursuit of the matter. Quinn stated that she was not a target of the inquiry. The publicity surrounding the issue did not prevent her from retaining the Speakership of the Council, but it may have been a factor in removing her from consideration for the United States Senate seat left vacant when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.

Quinn was an early supporter of Clinton's bid for the presidency and was a member of the LGBT Americans for Hillary Steering Committee.

Quinn continues to work for glbtq rights, championing, among other concerns, health-care benefits for partners of state employees. In 2009, she held meetings with members of the New York Senate to enlist support for a bill to bring marriage equality to the state. She worked tirelessly both behind the scenes and openly in the successful effort led by Governor Cuomo.

Quinn recognizes that the issues that she is tackling are numerous and challenging, but she is optimistic that success will be obtainable through hard work and continued dialogue. In 2007 she told reporter Lisa Iannucci, "I rarely come across an obstacle so large that if you didn't keep working and discussing you weren't able to overcome it. What happens is when people leave the negotiating table and leave the room, they've abandoned the search for commonality, and that's when you don't find a solution. You need to keep talking, keep listening, and don't take no for an answer."

Quinn married attorney Kim Catullo on May 19, 2012. Among the approximately three hundred guests in attendance were many members of the City Council and other legislators. Officiating at the ceremony was Judith S. Kaye, the former Chief Judge of New York's highest court. Kaye wrote a spirited dissent when her court ruled in 2006 against a suit that would have established marriage as a fundamental right for gay and lesbian couples.

In 2013 Quinn launched a bid to become the mayor of New York.

She announced her candidacy in March and took an early lead in the polls. Commentators expected her to emerge victorious from the crowded field of nine candidates in the Democratic primary. She received the endorsement of the New York Times, as well as the other two major daily newspapers, as well as a host of gay and lesbian celebrities and political activists, including David Mixner, George Takei, and Edith Windsor.

However, Bloomberg declined to endorse anyone, including Quinn, who had worked closely with him throughout her service on the Council.

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