Editor's note: On CNN's "State of the Union," host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country.
NEW YORK (CNN) – As she lobbies members of the New York Senate these days, the politician in Christine Quinn can understand what the gay rights activist in her sometimes cannot.
"The fear of the unknown," is how she describes it. "This is a vote they've never cast before. And they don't know how people are going to react. You are in a position where people's reaction to you is the key to your success. And the unknown creates fear and fear often creates paralysis."
Quinn is the openly gay speaker of the New York City Council, and a proponent of legalizing same sex marriage in New York state.