Senator Tom Duane-- who was elected to New York City Council in 1991 after disclosing that he was HIV positive, who was elected as the first gay member of the New York State Senate in 1998, and who in 2001 was the first state senator to introduce the Marriage Equality Act 10 years before it became law-- will announce at a press conference Monday that he will not seek re-election, The New York Times reports.
A Chelsea resident, Duane has been a state senator-- representing a large swath of Manhattan from the Upper West Side down to The Village-- for 14 years. His decision to leave opens up a seat in a heavily Democratic district.
The 57-year old admitted he was tired of the commute to Albany.
"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."
Senator John Sampson, the Democratic Conference leader in Albany, tells The New York Daily News that Duane will be missed.
"All of our past and current colleagues owe Tom a tremendous debt of gratitude for his hard work and leadership in the struggle for true equal rights for all New Yorkers,” he said.
Before going into politics, Duane was a stockbroker on Wall Street. He grew up in Flushing, Queens.
Although he hasn't yet said what he'll do after his retirement from the senate, Duane promises he won't be a lobbyist. His last day is December 31st.
For more on Duane's career, read the Times article here.