Gay Marriage Moves One Step Closer in New York This Month!


Last week, New York Governor David Paterson told gay monthly The Advocate that he would add the gay marriage bill to the agenda of a special session expected to take place in late September.


“I am anticipating a special session and I am anticipating this is one of the issues that we will address,” Paterson said.


Paterson discussed his plan with the state’s most prominent gay marriage advocates Thursday, including the Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Gill Action Fund.


The bill passed the New York Assembly 89-52 in May and the Senate is now its final hurdle, as Paterson has strongly signalled he will sign it if it reaches his desk.


 



The move would make New York the sixth state to legalise same-sex marriage after Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. It was briefly allowed in California until a referendum stripped the right.


“Not to include marriage for same-sex couples … is an insult to millions of gay and lesbian people and their families,” Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, said in a statement.

At first, Paterson did not say gay marriage would be on the special agenda. But after an uproar Peterson says, ““It has always been my intention to see same-sex marriage come to the floor. I don’t want there to be any confusion.”

“I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it,” he added. “But I think, because of the activity that went on today, I am forced to reveal my true intentions, even though the advocates knew them already.”

Like all politics and lobbying, a  few hold all of the cards, for all of us. Democrats hold a slim two vote majority in the 62-member Senate. But only a few Democrats, about 20, have publicly endorsed the bill. And five Democratic senators say they are against the measure.

For the bill to win passage, backers need the help of at least four Republicans. But no Republican has publicly endorsed the bill. And the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation’s most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, has threatened Republicans who cross the aisle to vote in favor of the bill.


Openly gay senator Tom Duane, a Democrat from New York City, says the bill will pass if lawmakers are allowed to vote their conscience.


“I remain optimistic that it’ll pass this year and it’ll pass with bipartisan support,” Duane told gay weekly The Washington Blade.

It could be a HUGE windfall of money in the way of tourism for the city as well, if this were to pass. I think I will see it in my lifetime for sure. Weddings are big business!


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