Religious Leaders Voice Support for Same Sex Marriage in NY

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Advocates for same sex marriage kicked off the final push to convince enough state senators to legalize gay marriage this session.

Seven hundred and twenty seven priests, ministers, and rabbis signed a letter backing the legalization of same-sex marriage, and many came to the Capitol to make the case to lawmakers. Robb Smith of Interfaith Impact of New York says it’s important to show Senators that there is no one religious view of gay marriage. And he says attitudes about gay marriage have changed.

“This is a real sea change in the way we see human relations,” Smith said. “And we absolutely have a religious obligation to respond to it.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has made gay marriage one of just three or four top priorities he is seeking in the remaining two months of the session, says he’s hopeful that a law could be approved this year.

“I’m optimistic that marriage equality will pass, I think it’s long overdue,” said Cuomo. “I know it’s failed before, but this is a different day.”

A bill to legalize same sex marriage failed on the Senate floor in December 2009 by a vote of 38 to 24.

Cuomo, speaking in his ceremonial office at the State Capitol, says he’ll be taking the issue and the rest of his agenda to the people of the state in the coming days and weeks.

“If it’s left to the hallways in this building, I lose. My opinion is the people lose,” said Cuomo. “So I make my case for legislation by going to the people, which I will be doing.”

Polls show increasing support for same sex marriage.

Ross Levi is the executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay and lesbian rights group. He says his group is working in the districts of senators who voted no on gay marriage in 2009 to encourage supporters to convey their views to their representatives.

“We’re really using every technique we can think of in a democratic system,” said Levi, who says the effort includes leafleting, phone calls, and letters to senators.

And Pride Agenda is working in the halls of the Capitol as well. They plan to bring over 1,000 gay and lesbian couples to the Capitol on Monday to lobby Senators directly.

Both Governor Cuomo and the gay marriage advocates say they don’t have a timetable for passage of the measure, but hope it can be wrapped up by late June.


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Comments [11]

Dan from New jersey

Homosexuality is extremely natural and is found in just about every species we can to study. The beneficial mechanics for each may differ but the same-sex relationships are still there. I'm sorry but the bible has many more crazy things in its text that no one takes seriously (abominations) Leviticus 11:10, ever have clam chowder ? then according to the bible "thats an abomination" we don't make laws for that, do we ?

Jun. 14 2011 09:27 AM
Casey from Richmond, VA

"When people (like this) marry, they cannot possibly have any progeny. Such a fact sufficiently justifies those laws which forbid their marriages".
-Appeals judge in Missouri
"...natural instinct revolts at it as wrong".
-Senator from Wisconsin
"The next step will be a law allowing them, without restraint, to have free and unrestrained social intercourse with your unmarried sons and daughters. It is bound to come to that".
-Kentucky congressman
"(We must protect) traditional marriage from being contaminated by the recognition of relationships that are physically and mentally inferior".
-Lawyers for California
"...not only unnatural, but always productive of deplorable results. They are productive of evil, and evil only, without any corresponding good in accordance with the God of nature!".
-Georgia court system

All of these quotes refer to interracial marriage before it became legal due to Loving vs. Virginia in 1967.

Equality for all.
Peace, love, and education!

May. 08 2011 05:19 PM
Rev Rocky from Richmond, Va

While it may be true that most people's attitude toward same sex marriage may be changing, God's attitude hasn't. Homsexuality is a perversion of the laws of God, man, and nature. Homosexuality is a sin and a " disease' that will destroy everything it touches.

May. 08 2011 12:19 PM
Laser from Newton

It is unthinkable that a rabbi would come out in favor of homosexual relations. The Torah forbids such acts in a very strong and uncompromising manner. Perhaps such rabbis could get their tuition refunded.

May. 08 2011 05:01 AM
J. Shepard from Texas

This is just another step that will make God even angrier....he HATES homosexuality and america has suffered for it since its " coming out ..." You DO NOT mock God , or you will pay for the results.....Now , if you don't believe in God , then this writing has no effect on you.....but , in this biased promotion of homosexuality , God just might reveal himself to WON'T like the results.....

May. 07 2011 12:40 PM
John from Toronto

The link that commenter Adam from Brooklyn supplied...

...should have been included in the article to verify the signatories.


@Lee: "I agree. I think Necrophiliacs should have equal rights under the Constitution. And I would insist that polygamists and polyandrists have equality. Further, pedophilia practitioners and people who want to bed farm animals should have equality.

Equality all the way around."

Thank you for your contribution to the advancement of LGBT rights...

May. 07 2011 04:40 AM

I agree. I think Necrophiliacs should have equal rights under the Constitution. And I would insist that polygamists and polyandrists have equality. Further, pedophilia practitioners and people who want to bed farm animals should have equality.

Equality all the way around.

May. 05 2011 10:37 AM

It's difficult to be polite to people like Dolores, who are themselves so underhanded and manipulative that it is vomit-inducing. Dolores says: "By not identifying who these 'religious leaders' are (obviously from predictable groups who do not represent the entire populace)" -- and this is the constant, unending argument of the anti-gay. The pro-gay don't even use this argument; it is a well-worn ANTI-gay argument: "All the support is on our side, and anyone whose opinion matters is against this!" No, crybaby, you people are the ones who kept weeping like stuck pigs about a majority, and now marriage equality HAS a majority in New York, but you obsessive monsters will never, never stop. You endlessly insist that somehow, a "majority" or "rectitude" is on your side. Get over it, and stop wasting people's time with your manipulative nonsense. You are damaging families and little children with your unbelievably selfish closed-mindedness. But that's the anti-gay in a nutshell: They would destroy the country before they would honor its constitution and that document's promise of equality to all citizens. They sicken me.

May. 04 2011 12:58 PM
Adam from Brooklyn

Barbara: I take it you do not support marriage equality. If you are curious who signed the letter, you can find out here:

I would ask you why you think these religious leaders are any less representative than those who oppose gay rights. There are 720 of them after all, and 58% of New Yorkers support marriage equality.

May. 04 2011 11:35 AM
Agent Provacateur from NJ

Dolores - This news story was a about a letter that was signed by clergy and others who support gay marriage. What part of it was false? Is WNYC expected to publish the 727 names? And what on earth does "the worst kind of Cuomo pragmatism" mean? Let me take a guess - would that be in contrast to the intolerant zealotry of the so called "family values" constituency?

Their is nothing factually at issue in the report. You clearly are upset and in opposition to the goals of those who support gay marriage and are trying to disguise that anger as opposition to liberal media bias. Typical.

May. 04 2011 10:46 AM
Dolores D'Agostino from Manhattan

This is a perfect example of deliberately deceptive (biased) news reporting, and it is the reason intelligent people loathe the media for its manipulation of facts. By not identifying who these "religious leaders" are (obviously from predictable groups who do not represent the entire populace) and by quoting the worst kind of Cuomo pragmatism, clearly the story is
LOADED for propaganda. Do you really think the public is stupid? How insulting. After lawyers, the most despised group in this country is the media and this story is a perfect example of the reason. B.S. (and those are not my initials!)

May. 04 2011 09:07 AM

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