Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Roy Cohn for Our Time? A Top Republican Political Strategist Marries His Boyfriend of 40 Years and Ignites a Debate about His Private vs. Public Life

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Roy Cohn for Our Time? A Top Republican Political Strategist Marries His Boyfriend of 40 Years and Ignites a Debate about His Private vs. Public Life

Article excerpt

One New York Times same-sex marriage notice in April wound up not in the paper's Weddings & Celebrations section but on the Washington pages, and it caused an immediate war of words between Republicans and Democrats.

The couple in question are Arthur Finkelstein and his partner, Donald Curiale, who were together for 40 years before tying the knot in Massachusetts in December. The pair have two adopted children. "I believe that visitation rights, health care benefits, and other human relationship contracts that are taken for granted by all married people should be available to partners," Finkelstein told the Times when his union became public.

Finkelstein's legal-in-Massachusetts marriage would seem no big deal, except for the fact that he's a top Republican election strategist (see The company he keeps), now working with a group called Stop Her Now, devoted to preventing the 2006 reelection of New York senator Hillary Clinton.

The company he keeps

Gay newlywed Arthur Finkelstein's top political clients

Jesse Helms

The former Republican U.S.
senator from North Carolina
who called Roberta Achtenberg
a "damned lesbian"

Alfonse D'Amato

N.Y. Republican who
evolved into pro-gay U.S.
senator, won HRC endorsement,
then lost reelection

George Pataki

Current Republican N.Y.
governor who opposes both
antigay discrimination
and same-sex marriage

That led Bill Clinton to call Finkelstein "self-loathing," which, being a phrase used often by Jews against Jews, is actually a bit of a double hit against Finkelstein, who is Jewish and has worked on campaigns for the right wing in Israel,

This debate over his friend's private life makes longtime Finkelstein pal and fellow GOP consultant Charley Manning very angry. He calls the Times story "so nasty," "a cheap shot." and "just politics." Manning says he's "very happy for Arthur and Donald. …

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