Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NY on the brink

Today I'm at one of my company's satellite offices for a couple of meetings. Its about 3 1/2 hours from home, so I left this morning, will spend a few hours at the office, and will drive back home this evening.

In the meantime, enjoy this exciting article about marriage equality in NY. Recently NY voted to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and Gov. Patterson is pushing for a vote to sign marriage equality into law for New Yorkers.

Showdown looms over NY gay marriage
The New York State Assembly is expected to pass a marriage equality bill this week, but one again the legislation will likely be bogged down in the Senate.

The bill was unveiled last month by New York Gov. David Paterson (D) and introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, a Manhattan Democrat.

The bill would amend the domestic relations law allowing civil marriages between same-sex couples and is similar to one that passed the Assembly in 2007 and was stonewalled by the then-GOP controlled Senate.

Democrats now control the Senate, but State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith (D) has said he does not have the votes to pass marriage equality legislation and will not bring the bill to a vote.

Both Smith and Paterson have been outspoken supporters of marriage equality, but while Smith wants a “go slowly” approach, the governor has said a vote should be held this session.

The Assembly is scheduled to take up the bill on Tuesday and supporters believe it will get more than the 85 votes it got when it was first adopted two years ago.

In the Senate where Democrats have a razor thin majority, several Democratic senators refused to back the bill, including Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx. Republicans are firmly opposed to the legislation.

In 2006, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ruled that same-sex couples do not have a constitutional right to marry. It said that the issue, however, could be taken up by the legislature.

Last May, while the legislature dithered over gay marriage, Paterson issued an executive order recognizing the marriages of all New York same-sex couples who were married in areas where they are legal.

Since then, a large number of New Yorkers have crossed the state line to marry. Same-sex marriage is legal in nearby states - Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine - and in Canada. Marriage equality legislation has passed in New Hampshire, but it is not yet known if it will be signed into law.

In April, a poll was released showing that nearly three-quarters of voters in New York State support recognition of same-sex couples, but are divided on whether that should be marriage or civil unions.

The Quinnipiac University found that 41 percent support gay marriage, while 33 percent favored civil unions. Only 19 percent said same-sex couples should have no legal recognition in the state.

Crush du Jour: Gustavo Marzolla


Anonymous said...

This is a snowball rolling down the hill. I'm going to testify this evening at the RI House in favor of marriage equality.

What we know is that of the 15 members of the judiciary committee 10 of them support marriage equality outright. They may just force a vote on it this evening.

Anonymous said...

Well, no vote on it yet. It's ridiculous in RI. But then since the House Speaker is on the church payroll could we expect any different?

cb said...

I don't recall what your post was about. I got distracted by Gustavo-- and wanting to lick every inch of his body

Sam said...

I was just about to write an intelligent response to this well-written post when I was bowled over by Gustavo Marzolla. Excuse me while I pick my tongue up off the floor.