Gov. Paterson Calls For Special Senate Session; Same-Sex Marriage Bill Left Out

June 21, 2009

The circus continues:

After two weeks of having no direct impact on the State Senate stalemate, Gov. David A. Paterson said on Sunday he would call the Senate to a special session this week, but would not include same-sex marriage among the bills to be considered, a move that stunned some of his key constituencies.


Mr. Paterson’s move does not doom same-sex marriage, but makes it much less likely to pass in the short-term. An aide to the governor said Mr. Paterson would still like to see the same-sex marriage bill come to a vote in the coming weeks, but Democratic leaders have resisted holding a vote unless it was assured of victory.

I really want all of these clowns voted out of office.


Syracuse’s Post-Standard Newspaper Calls For Marriage Equality

April 23, 2009

More good news on the NY marriage equality front:

First: Paterson introduces a gay-marriage bill.
: Word that Republicans will be allowed to “vote their conscience.”
My home-city newspaper has come out in support of marriage equality!

syracuse_nyThe editorial, from the heart of the state, calls marriage equality “a civil right” and draws considerable strength from  the lies and fear-mongering of the recently launched National Organization for Marriage.

The National Organization for Marriage says the best argument against gay marriage is that “gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

That reasoning has many happily married heterosexuals scratching their heads. How, exactly, would granting gays the right to marry adversely affect heterosexual couples? How would it weaken families?

Arguments against gay marriage tend to be based on religious beliefs that marriage is a sacred rite intended solely for a man and a woman. But the legislation proposed by Gov. David Paterson would legalize gay and lesbian participation in civil marriages, not religious ceremonies. The bill specifically states that “no member of the clergy may be compelled to perform any marriage ceremony.”


Likewise, the organization declares on its Web site that gay marriage would result in children being taught that “one-half of humanity — either mothers or fathers — are dispensable, unimportant. … Children are confused enough right now with sexual messages. Let’s not confuse them further.”

The argument is a shameless scare tactic. If anything, legalizing same-sex marriage would provide children with a clearer understanding of — and a greater tolerance for — the immutable fact that some people have different sexual orientations than others.

While New York State as a whole votes reliably Democrat in Presidential elections, many of Upstate’s counties lean Republican. Onondaga County, home to Syracuse, went 58.5% Obama and 39.8% McCain in the 2008 election but its more rural neighbor, Madison County, where I’m from, went to McCain by a hair: 49.4% McCain and 48.5% Obama. (Full map.)

In related news, Paterson recently reversed course and said that instead of supporting the bill for an immediate vote – regardless of its chance for passage – he will defer to State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith to introduce the bill only when its passage can be secured.

While this strategy has obvious advantages, I think I sit in the minority opinion when I say that any action is better than no action. Plus, I’m not sure I want to rely on the “most dysfunctional legislature in the nation” to choose when to provide me my marriage rights.

Related Play Happy posts on:
National Organization For Marriage

David Paterson
New York State

New York Republicans Allowed “Votes Of Conscience” On Gay Marriage Bill

April 22, 2009

pride-new-york-flagsThis is kinda huge. From The Advocate:

The Log Cabin Republicans announced Tuesday that the GOP’s New York leadership in both the state senate and assembly are going to allow Republican legislators to make “conscience votes” on Gov. David Paterson’s marriage-equality bill rather than pressuring party members to vote against it, giving the legislation a much stronger likelihood of picking up Republican votes in both chambers.

The development may be particularly important in the senate, where Democrats hold a slim 32-30 majority, four Democrats have already said they will vote against the marriage bill, and equality advocates will need to pick up several GOP votes in order to pass the legislation. Strategists expect the legislation to sail through the assembly, which already passed an identical bill in 2007 by a vote of 85 to 61.

That’s going to be one tight Senate vote.

The Advocate also reported on the first-ever poll to show majority support for gay marriage in New York State:

A Siena poll released yesterday found 53% of the state’s voters want Governor Paterson’s marriage-equality bill passed, while 39% are opposed to it.

No word on when the legislature will address the bill.

Fingers crossed!

Via Joe.My.God.

What He Said…

April 17, 2009

daniel-odonnellOpenly gay NYC Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell at Gov. Paterson’s press conference to announce his introduction of a gay marriage bill to the NY legislature:

“I do not want a pew in your church. I do not want a seat in your synagogue. What I want is a piece of paper that is issued by my government that many of you have had. Some of you have had it two or three times. And I’m only looking for it once.”


“Someday soon, after 28 years of being engaged, I’m going to actually be allowed to get married.”

More: Transcript via Joe.My.God.; Video at Towleroad.

Paterson To Introduce NY Gay Marriage Bill

April 14, 2009

pride-ny-flags…But don’t hold your breath:

It could take months – even longer – before the bill makes its way through the appropriate committees and onto the floor of the Senate and the Assembly.


The legislation is likely to have an especially long road in the Senate, where more lawmakers oppose same-sex marriage than support it. Gay rights advocates are now actively seeking more senators – both Democrats and Republicans – to vote for the bill.

On the upshot:

The same-sex bill Mr. Paterson plans to introduce is the same piece of legislation that former Gov. Eliot Spitzer introduced in 2007, said Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell. The Assembly passed it 85-61, a wider margin than expected.

Paterson believes – and not everyone agrees with him – that the legislation should be introduced regardless of whether it has the votes to pass because it will demonstrate New York’s commitment to equality.

Of the four states that allow gay marriage – Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Iowa – Iowa is the only one that achieved it through the legislature and not the courts. New Jersey, which offers civil unions, and New York, which recognizes same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, are being closely watched as the next states to offer full marriage equality on the state level.  Like NJ and NY, Maine also has same-sex marriage legislation currently pending in its legislature.