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Momentum Increases for Gay Marriage in Albany

Monday, June 13, 2011

Standing alongside Gov. Andrew Cuomo, three Democratic senators announced Monday that they would support gay marriage, reversing their position from two years earlier. Shortly thereafter, Republican Jim Alesi indicated that he is also prepared to vote "yes." That means the bill needs just two more supporters in the Republican-led state Senate to become law in New York.

Sen. Joseph Addabo and Sen. Shirley Huntley, both of Queens, said the decision to change their positions came down to the changing attitudes of their constituents. Addabo said, as of Friday, he had heard from 6,015 people, 4,839 of whom wanted him to vote in favor of the marriage bill.

"So in the end, that is my vote," Addabo said.

"The numbers have changed," echoed Huntley. "It was 60-40."

Sen. Carl Kruger was more philosophical as he described his turnaround. He's changing "not because he took a poll," but because he "kept an open mind, a pure heart and a keen ear" to the debate. He said he now believes it came down to "right and wrong."

"What we're about to do is redefine what the American family is. And that's a good thing," Kruger said. "The world around us evolves and changes, so do we have to change with it."

Cuomo called the support of 29 of 30 Democrats "a powerful, powerful statement, and it should be." 

"I think we have a lot of momentum," Cuomo said. "I think this is an optimum time to bring this vote. Next year is an election year, funny things happen in an election year."

Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz is the lone Democrat opposing the legislation.

Cuomo and gay marriage advocates met after the afternoon press conference. They unanimously decided that now was the time for the governor to release the bill to the Senate, according to Empire State Pride Agenda director Ross Levi.

Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos, who opposed gay marriage, said on Monday that he will not try to influence the Senate's GOP members. "If they favor it, I've always said, they can vote for it," he said.

Republican State Senator Jim Alesi, who appeared to agonize over his  "no" vote in 2009, met with Cuomo late Monday. He now says that if a bill comes to the floor the way he wants to see it, he will support it. His vote is particularly important because he is the first Republican to vote alphabetically, so how he decides may set the tone for other potential "yes" votes to come out of the woodwork, or stay quiet.

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Comments [12]

Mariehtp from New York City

The pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right, along with life and liberty. What is so hard to understand?

Jun. 14 2011 10:50 PM
Gary from Greenwich Village

The only true compromise is to take government totally out of the business of marriage. Leave it between a couple and their church.
As for the anti-gay marriage people, I would only say ... who is left that actually supports the institution of marriage?
Gays appear to be the last holdouts for marriage as an institution, where it's dying out for everyone else.
On this issue, gays are the true conservatives.

Jun. 14 2011 05:23 PM
Kikakiki26 from Harlem, NY

It was put to a popular vote, twice, it lost both times. If the numbers have changed it will be reflected at the polls.

Jun. 14 2011 10:54 AM
RXN from Queens

"May I assume you've taken your ethics from the Catholic Church? Very poor, very unkind decision."

Doesn't this statement demonstrate the anti-Catholic and anti-religious bigotry underlying the gay rights movement?

Jun. 14 2011 10:28 AM
jandro from Albany

"Marriage" doesn't only mean a matrimonial bond between a man and woman. In a generic sense, it can mean a mixture or combination of different elements resulting in a harmonious whole. The institution of marriage also didn't always mean what it means today- at one time, marriage referred to the exchange of property between two families, where the bride was included as property.

So, if the word marriage continues to bother some, they can focus on the fact the word has never exclusively referred to the matrimonial bond. In any case, this is happening. Get used to it.

Jun. 14 2011 08:21 AM
eva

I think we need to abolish marriage entirely - gay, straight, no matter. It's an inherently discriminatory institution.

Jun. 14 2011 04:34 AM
Jen

"I am not against any type of social and legal equality nor am I against same sex couples."

Yes you are, Edward O'Connor from New Jersey. May I assume you've taken your ethics from the Catholic Church? Very poor, very unkind decision.

Jun. 14 2011 12:56 AM
Sonia B from New York

gay marriage caused the out-of-wedlock birth rate to increase? how interesting... who decided these two events were connected? we could say gay marriage caused an increase in cancer, or a decrease in smoking, or bank failures or any other ridiculously unrelated issue. just because there is some "study" that finds ways to connect unrelated issues, that does not make them related! come on! with marriages falling apart at the rate of one out of two, there is no stability for the kids. Oh, maybe we should blame the gays for that, too.

Jun. 13 2011 11:49 PM
RXN from Queens

Marriage is linked to procreation. Only a male and a female can create a child. The same male and female are the "parents" who are obliged to raise the child. Stanley Kurtz aptly demonstrated how, in Scandanavia, gay marriage caused the out of wedlock birthrate to increase. This causes children to suffer because one parent can more easily leave the relationship, to the detriment of the child, when there is no bond of marriage to break.

Lo and behold, as gay marriage was introduced in the US, the out of wedlock birth rate increased, and the rate of marriage has decreased. And so children are more at risk.

It doesn't matter to those who are driven by ideology and agenda for what they perceive as their own "rights." They care not for our future, our children. They don't want marriage linked to procreation. They want marriage linked to their own same sex desires.

And then ask them about polygamous marriage, and they muster righteous indignation.

It's dangerous hypocrisy, which the Legislature must resist.

Jun. 13 2011 07:23 PM

How gay

Jun. 13 2011 06:41 PM
Edward O'Connor from NJ

There is no such thing as marriage between same sex couples and never can be. I am not against any type of social and legal equality nor am I against same sex couples. However the term marriage refers to a man and a women, not two of the same. Using the same term is like calling a motorcycle a car or a row boat a ship. They are similar but they are not the same. I think we all learned this on Sesame Street, you know "One of these things is not like the other".

Jun. 13 2011 05:45 PM
woody

Of course those in public office will change their views on this subject not because they believe in same sex marriage but because they feel they will lose their lucrative positions. America wants to redefine family, I wonder how Jesus Christ feels ? The holy family must be in tears.

Jun. 13 2011 05:26 PM

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