April 22, 2009
This 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.
April 14, 2009
…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.
March 23, 2009
Said Schumer (D-NY):
It’s time. Equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America and no group should be deprived of it. New York, which has always been at the forefront on issues of equality, is appropriately poised to take a lead on this issue.
The Daily News reports that “with the ascent of Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant US Senate seat, Schumer was the last remaining statewide elected official who backed civil unions over full marriage equality.”
Really? The last statewide official?! Well, gee, let’s get our gay marriage on!
Schumer also said he supports the full repeal of DOMA.
Source: Schumer Comes Out For Gay Marriage (NY Daily News)