Today's New York Times has a good short history of the Governor's history on gay rights in the wake of his decision to declare that New York will recognize the marriages of gay couples who get hitched elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, this anecdote leads the piece:
When David A. Paterson was growing up and his parents would go out of town, he and his little brother would stay in Harlem with family friends they called Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald.
Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald, he said, were a gay couple, though in the 1960s few people described them that way. They helped young David with his spelling, and read to him and played cards with him.
“Apparently, my parents never thought we were in any danger,” the governor recalled on Thursday in an interview. “I was raised in a culture that understood the different ways that people conduct their lives. And I feel very proud of it.”
It's always interesting to hear about the personal places that politicians' stances come from. That this story illustrates a pretty basic principle--that people who get to know gay people usually end up supporting their rights to live in full equality with everyone else--doesn't make it any less compelling.