Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
A bill on gay marriage in New York is close to being introduced with one Republican senator pledging support and the minority leader saying he will not try to sway GOP voters, New York could become the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage, and prominent New Yorkers are weighing in on the contentious legislation.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan is concerned that politicians are attempting to “tamper with the definition” of marriage. “Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America—not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to 'redefine' rights, relationships, values, and natural law,” Dolan wrote on his blog The Gospel In the Digital Age.
Dolan pleaded for readers to not see the Catholic church as discriminating against gays, writing that it “affirms” the right for laws to be changed for gay men and women to be permitted hospital visitation rights, death and insurance benefits. But he added that changing the definition of marriage “defies logic and common sense.”
Other prominent New Yorkers in favor of the legislation, New York Rangers star Sean Avery and Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon, traveled to Albany to lobby for gay marriage.
Nixon has been engaged to her girlfriend for two years and said she’s tired of waiting to be married in her home state. “It’s OK to change your mind,” she said, directing her comments to GOP senators. “And I think that’s what we’re starting to see.”
The Reverend Jason McGuire, who lobbies for evangelical Christian churches, said if Senate Republicans allow a vote, they’re walking away from their core values.
“They, little by little, have been selling out their principles that the party is supposed to stand for,” McGuire said. “And this is the line in the sand.”
Tthe total number of dedicated votes is now 30, but the bill would still need 32 to pass the Senate.
This is the final week for legislation in Albany and if the bill is not voted on this year, it will have to wait for the next session, which starts in January 2012.