Gay Marriage in New York: Over the Hump Today?

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Today could be the day when gay marriage equality passes its biggest hurdle in New York State yet and actually achieves something it never has before: likely passage in the state senate. With 31 of the necessary 32 votes already publicly announced, the effort only needs one GOP senator for this to happen.

This is not as inconceivable as this would have sounded even a few days ago. Over the weekend, gay marriage advocates picked up three Democratic senators who had voted no in 2009. On Monday, James Alesi of Rochester became the first GOP Senator to announce his support.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo introduced the Marriage Equality Bill. Then Republican Senator Roy McDonald said that he'd vote yes, that he expects a vote by Friday and that, "I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

And, as of last night, Republican Senators Stephan Saland, Mark Grisanti, and Andrew Lanza have all announced that they've moved from "no" to "undecided" and seem to be publicly wrestling with the issue.

Lanza, whose Staten Island district borders the one represented by vehemently pro gay marriage equality Senator Diane Savino, will be under extreme pressure by constituents on both sides today. New York marriage advocates were alight last night on Facebook and twitter, encouraging their Staten Island friends and family to get on the horn with Lanza.

And the group Queer Rising, who has repeatedly held Governor Cuomo's feet to the fire,
cancelled an event last night meant to put pressure on him. Apparently they've finally been convinced that he's going to come through, and they spent the evening gathering constituent signatures on Staten Island to deliver to Lanza's office instead.

Of course, any number of things could still derail the Marriage Equality Bill before Governor Cuomo could sign it, even if a 32nd Senator comes out in support today. These are public pledges, but they could change by the time of a floor vote. The bill still has to pass the state Assembly, which has passed similar bills three times before, but which has also lost a number of members who voted "yes" the last time it came up.

Still, the signs are very encouraging. State Assemblyman Daniel O' Donnell
says that he has 68 co-sponsors in his chamber. Capital Tonight tweeted that the GOP will conference in the Senate on the issue today from 10 AM to noon. Despite threats from Conservative Party, Republican Senate Major Leader Dean Skelos is saying that he expects the bill to come up for a Senate vote on Friday. Sources are telling us that not one but three more Republican senators should be coming out (in support, that is).

And, at least one marriage group is scoping out space for a victory party here in New York this week.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com / @steven_thrasher

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16 comments
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None

Interestingly people are fighting for a STATE right to be married, which in reality holds little meaning in our modern society anyway. It's merely a piece of paper that it easily undone by a divorce in a few days if a couple chooses. Marriage really has no value anymore and more people just shack up anyway. There are more single parent families and divorces nowadays, so it appears that marriage isn't even that important to straight couples. That being said, it's a state right. From the Christian perspective, whether its a state law or not, it's still not accepted or ordained by God, so a Christian shouldn't have a beef with it. The problem comes when they try to force the church to abide by something they do not believe in - ie forcing churches to perform gay marriages. That's when church and state is no longer separate. Otherwise it shouldn't matter because if you are a Christian no one can force you to accept it and that's your right. That being said, just because you don't agree with same sex marriage doesn't mean that you support persecuting, attacking and oppressing homosexuals. As a Black person, if a person is racist that's their opinion and I may not be able to change that, but as long as they don't attack me or prevent me from doing what I want then who cares. That's their stupidity.

JDU
JDU

This is an absolute no-brainer, and it's shameful that it even arouses controversy. Equal treatment under the law is not a radical idea.

Wayne
Wayne

I encourage Republican Senators to consider the kids being raised in same sex households. How do you propose to explain to them that their family is unworthy of the stability and security, much less the benefits, which the state accords the hetero family next door?

CAMSHEEL
CAMSHEEL

I am not gay however if two men or women want to get married  I say go for it.  just make it right in all 50 states times are changing  might as well pass now. What is the big deal?

Vincent Vuong
Vincent Vuong

For a state with such a strong cultural presence, that has for two centuries represented all that is free and equal, all that is at liberty to express themselves, it is such a profound disappointment that this has become such a tough decision to support.  IF YOU, Mr. Republican Senator, treasure your own marriage you must understand why it is so important to others.  Forget the horrendous legal theories and traditional ideas of family -- NONE OF US are traditional, single moms, dads who stay home, both parents working, cultural differences, communal child upbringing -- your decision against marriage is a direct affront to all these non-traditional family values.  They are still values, not your's, but other's.  Live and learn; this is a new society and a new day.  HI FROM OCWEEKLY!!!

Mrspreston
Mrspreston

This is such a no-brainer, it's a disgrace there's any debate at all. Bigots & homophobes have had things their way for far too long. It's past time for reason & wisdom to lead the way. I'm ashamed of America for being so backward. Pass it aready! And Obama, abolish DOMA & make marriage eqality federal law. Period. No discussion, no platform for the ignorant haters.

krissys
krissys

Respect for EVERYONE'S religious beliefs - not just a few - is the right thing to do.  

Nobody's freedoms are being taken away by equality.  It's about time we welcome ALL Americans to the table.

Voters will respect leaders of courage who vote their conscience.

Jim Spear
Jim Spear

At long last, equal treatment under the law.  Thank you Roy McDonald, please inspire others....

Carrie
Carrie

P.S. There is nothing in the bible that says a person has to have a ring, a piece of paper or a ceremony to be married. It just simply has to be ordained by God. Same sex marriage will never have that, so Christians really need to learn what marriage is and is not.

Wiltongriffin80
Wiltongriffin80

The big deal is exactly you saying "whats the big deal" that is the exact same attitude the world had right before God destroyed it with water.  Next is fire and the "whats the big deal statment that God knew you/and the world would say is exactly why there will be another destroying of this world smh wow people. Next we will be okay with living with the devil smh. taking prayer from schools, changing lyrics to songs.  We got some nerve man

Frank Keen
Frank Keen

WE DON"T WANT YOUR VILE VALUES TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOL"S, LEAVE OUR CHILDREN ALONE, WE ARE NOT IGNORANT HATERS YOU ARE, YOU DESPISE ALL TRADTIONAL VALUES.DOMA IS NOT GOING TO BE TORN DOWN, OR THIS PICE OF CRUD PRESIDENT WILL FEEL OUR WRATH

Wiltongriffin80
Wiltongriffin80

Honestly all gay people know it, being gay is only about having sex or having sexual feelings about the same sex that's where it starts first.. that's a fact. Second its is a sin for Christians and everyone else to have sex before marriage. So while everyone not just gay people when they have sex before marriage we are all in sin that's fornication and lustfulness. God made Adam then he wanted Adam to have a partner so he made eve from his rib OPPOSITE of Adam not like Adam. That goes to show that GOD wants man with a woman to recreate life. God gave us his only son because when he set back and watched how the world that he built became so corrupt starting with Adam and even then Cain and able, then murder stealing, same sex intercourse, lying, blaspheming, false prophets, worshiping statue gods, etc. etc. God destroyed the earth PEOPLE WHY DO YOU THINK HE DESTROYED THE EARTH THE FIRST TIME!!! IT WAS BECAUSE OF US AND WHAT WE WERE DOING THAT WAS NOT WHAT HE PLANNED AND WANTED US TO DO. He gave his only son so that he could die for ALL the sins that he KNOWS that we are going to commit daily through out our short lives, so Jesus died for us so that we may repent for lying, stealing, killing, blaspheming, being gay, lusting, swearing, gossiping, worshiping false Gods, etc etc etc. So when you say Hey GOD I'm going to marry the same sex and vow in your name to be happily married is a slap in his face, how can you repent from being gay when you are married and bound by legal documents, that's saying hey God I don't care that Jesus died for us so that we may repent and have forgiveness, I'm just going to bind myself into sin by marrying the opposite sex. What the devil tries so hard to do that people cant seem to understand is to go against everything that God wants us to do his way. So in turn Jesus is the light, the devil dwells in dark, Jesus is the truth and the way, the devil lies and deceives, God wanted opposite sex to marrying a recreate, the devil makes it seem that you want the same sex. Jesus wants us to forgive our neighbor turn the other cheek, pray for one another help one another, spread his word to the nation. Whilst the devil wants us to hate be jealous, kill, war with nations take over our kids. People we have to think about these things we all including myself need to read and study the Bible to have understanding to see the error in ALL our our including myself ways. Yes Gos will judge us when we all die but the difference with being married into your sin is that when you repent and ask for forgiveness ass soon as you say it and your are still married to the same sex the repent get voided as soon as you finishing pronouncing the first syllable cause you are still married to the same sex. When other people kill they can ask for forgiveness and not kill anymore and be forgiving same for lying stealing, being in lust, fornicating, all sin. But when you tattoo that you love the devil across your face put the 666 symbol on your forehead you are proclaiming to God that you don't want to have anything to do with him that you don't care to have his mercy, that you don't believe or care that Jesus died so that we may live. We all are born into sin all of us are because this is a sinful world and life, but Jesus was given to us from God so that we can be baptised and born again spiritually so that we can get it right. So you may be gay at birth because the devil does have demons that possess DNA, bloodlines and whatnot so it is very possible to be born gay or a liar, or murder, or molester etc. etc. But you can be born again into Christ and ask for forgiveness and go through this life trying to live a sin free life. Being sinful is way easier than doing whats right it feels so good and it is so easy that when we know that it is wrong we will war to stay in it, we will lie, kill, destroy things to prove our point change Laws to make it seem legal in "MANS" eye. Then we convince ourselves that only God can judge me when i died. But you don't want to be judged when you die if you died in sin cause that judgment sentencing will not be what you thought at ALL! I don't agree with gay people or any sin that we all commit even myself but we all need to understand that what we are doing as a world is killing us all. The picture is so huge we think we have our own lives but our lives in this entire world are connected so the more gay marriages and murders and lies and wars and adultery and using the lords name in vain, blaspheming, worshipping objects and not GOD and filling our heads with falseness and gossip, and drinking and smoking, gambling. It affects every single one of us. And there no such thing as "I WAS NICE ALL MY LIFE AND NEVER DONE WRONG BY NO-ONE, GOD WILL LET ME INTO HEAVEN" that is so wrong because if you don't know God and his son Jesus on a personal level he does not know you when you die. So you can be the nicest person in the universe and be just as bad as the serial killer. We can argue our point of views and say this is our right and that is our right but deep down we all know that we are wrong in our ways. Me lying to my wife is just as bad as a person being gay. SIN is SIN PERIOD. But don't vow to sin by getting married, I hate for someone to die in sin they are guaranteed DOOM in death. I feel real emotional typing this response cause we as a world want to be so individualized that we are corrupting our whole world in some many different ways. God gave us free will yes he did but the saying goes (give him or her another rope to hang his or her self) we are taking to much rope up people. This just came to me this response did I am just as sinful as a gay person but I realize my wrong doings and pray to God in Jesus name for forgiveness and I repent for my sins that i commit knowingly and unknowingly cause we sin unknowingly as well if you didn't know, Hoping someone would die as a quick thought is as sinful as a gay person people. So we shouldn't hate gay people or any other sinful thing. But I don't want gay people to commit to Doom by marrying the opposite sex and unknowingly letting God know that we control our own lives and that he does not have a hand in our life. That is the worst thing that we can do to GOD is slap him in the face and marry into sin in his name in a church. PLEASE DON'T DIE ANYONE WHILE YOU ARE IN SIN. ASK GOD TO COME INTO YOUR LIFE GET BAPTISED AND TRY WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND SOUL TO LIVE THE LIFE GOD WANTS US TO LIVE WE WILL MESS UP EVERYDAY BUT WITH GOD KNOWING THAT WE LIVE FOR HIM AND THAT WE ASK FOR FORGIVENESS HE WILL FORGIVE US AND OUR DAYS WILL BE LONGER NOT LONGER IN THE ON EARTH SENSE BUT THE ETERNAL SENSE. This was not a soapbox speech but it just dawned on me that i am wrong in my ways so is my family and friends and city and state and country and world as a whole. We need to get this right people. I'm going to stop now. please think people

Topher
Topher

It's ignorance like yours, Mr. Keen, that keep America from moving forward in these times.  You and your fellow bigots are part of what's wrong with this country.  I bet you also still believe that mixed-race marriages are taboo.  I laugh when I read statements from people like you, regarding bidotry.

Topher H.KCMO

JAY
JAY

Your spelling, punctuation, phrasing and use of all caps emphasize the ignorance voiced in your words. Good job for helping us to picture the people behind all this unnecessary stupidity. J

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