Thomas Duane, a New York State Senator who has been influential in promoting LGBT rights, announced his retirement today after a 14-year tenure in Albany.
Despite declaring that he was not only gay but also HIV-positive, Duane won a seat on the New York City Council back in 1991. The Democratic was elected in the New York State Senate in 1998 and was responsible for bringing Marriage Equality to New York. Duane will finish his term in December and will not re-seek election.
But his bow out of state politics isn’t amid scandal, illness or bigger political aspirations. Duane told The New York Times that he was simply tired of the commute between New York City and Albany, the state capital.
“It’s not that Albany isn’t a lovely place, but it’s not home,” he told the Times. ”I always knew that I was going to have another chapter in my life, and it’s time for me to start that new chapter.”
Duane, 57, also passionately fought the rights of HIV-positive individuals, those with mental health problems and tenants’ rights. His retirement opens up a seat in Manhattan that stretches from the Upper West Side down through the West Village and over towards the East side.