New York State Marriage Equality Vote Friday

15 Jun

In the middle of yesterday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo submitted a bill to the legislature that would provide equal marriage rights to gay couples. The bill is expected to make its way through the Assembly, and then move on to the Senate, where a dramatic vote is likely on Friday.

The bill exempts religious institutions from being compelled by the state to recognize or solemnize same-sex marriages. The bill memo is here. The text is here:

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Cuomo had indicated that he wouldn’t submit the bill until he knew he had the votes for it to pass.  But that’s what they said in 2009 when the “Democratic”-led Senate tried it.  At that time, however, it was set up right before an election and was defeated because some senators of both parties saw it as a direct threat to their ability to obtain the Conservative Party endorsement.

As of right now, 31 Senators have expressed support for the bill – one shy of passage. Locally, Senator Mark Grisanti has gone from a “no” vote to “undecided”, indicating that he’s philosophically in favor of the law, but his Catholicism is making it difficult to vote for it.

If you have a moment, call or write your state Senator – especially if it’s Grisanti – and urge him or her to vote in favor of passage of this bill.  Here’s what I wrote on Grisanti’s Facebook wall:

Senator, I’m not a constituent, but I’m a pretty moderate Democrat, just like you’re a pretty moderate Republican. I know you think that civil unions is the same thing as marriage, but it’s not. The proposed statute specifically exempts religious institutions who oppose the concept, so there is no trampling whatsoever on religious freedoms. This is about the freedom of loving couples to legalize and, if they wish, solemnize their lifelong union and commitment. Making that happen would be a huge leap for liberty, freedom, and equal rights as promised at the founding of this country. I urge you to vote in favor of legalizing love.

11 Responses to “New York State Marriage Equality Vote Friday”

  1. Susan Dayton June 15, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I sent Grisanti, he is my Rep., an email yesterday. I use Congress.org. http://www.congress.org/ 

  2. Greg June 15, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Looking forward to the day where iron age myths are no longer oppressing people . . .

  3. Ward June 15, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    “At least three other Republican lawmakers – Mark Grisanti of Buffalo, Andrew Lanza of Staten Island and Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie — said they haven’t made up their minds.”

    It would be interesting if Repubs ended up putting this over the top.

  4. DJ June 15, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    According to Illoser, anyone who supports same-sex (or in his words Homo Sexual) marriage will “end up in hell”. Hmmmm….. I wonder if robbing banks will put you there as well?

  5. Mike June 15, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Illoser in his own words: “However, should the Homo Sexual Marriage Bill pass he will forever be remembered as the man who used the power that God gave him to bring this abomination & degeneracy to our State; include in that his pro abortion position.”

    The power God gave him? He apparently believes in the divine right of kings, or at least, governors.

  6. Fat Tony June 15, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    I don’t know why clergy can’t see a distinction between the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and the civil institution of marriage. The latter is nothing more than a contract that involves property rights, health care decisions, etc. I have very much evolved my position on this over the years and arrived that unless you are going to outlaw homosexuality (point of clarity: I’m not advocating this) the civil marriage part is irrelevant to society. Two people are living under the same roof regardless. The marriage piece is for their benefit and doesn’t impact anyone else. If anything, committed monogamous relationships are better in general for civil society so this should be encouraged.

    Politically, best for Republicans to pass this issue now so it’s a non-factor in next year’s elections.

  7. Leo Wilson June 15, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I don’t understand why anyone would wish marraige, an institution that fails more than half the time for its existing user base and causing years of pain, hostility and litigation, on any new group of users. Misery enjoys company?

  8. DJ June 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    @ Mike Funny, I never saw the deadbeat dad say anything about Jane Corlose’s stance on abortion. Not once.

  9. GarySmith June 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    It’s interesting that Brian Higgins, Tim Kennedy, Pigeon, Steve Casey, Maurice Garner, Bryon and friends are all coming together at this time of advocating for this passage. Thank God for Mark Grisanti…I like that guy, he’s thinking it through, despite his personal faith and views as an attorney. Like the guy, maybe someone like him can come back to the dems and really show us proud. The others can’t quite deliver like Mark can.Go Mark Grisanti!!

  10. jhorn June 16, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    gsmith- any “thinking it through” that mr. grisanti does will be strictly based on a vote count in his district and political quid pro quos coming from either direction. A quote: “I am INALTERABLY opposed to gay marriage…”- no thinking it through required. And to hide your personal bigotry behind the bigotry of Christianity is cowardly and inane.

  11. Paul June 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Why would someone want to get married? Currently in the United States, same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships pay higher taxes and are denied basic protections and rights granted to married straight couples. Among them:

    * Hospital visitation. Married couples have the automatic right to visit each other in the hospital and make medical decisions. Same-sex couples can be denied the right to visit a sick or injured loved one in the hospital.

    * Social Security benefits. Married people receive Social Security payments upon the death of a spouse. Despite paying payroll taxes, gay and lesbian partners receive no Social Security survivor benefits — resulting in an average annual income loss of $5,528 upon the death of a partner.

    * Immigration. Americans in bi-national relationships are not permitted to petition for their same-sex partners to immigrate. As a result, they are often forced to separate or move to another country.

    * Health insurance. Many public and private employers provide medical coverage to the spouses of their employees, but most employers do not provide coverage to the life partners of gay and lesbian employees. Gay and lesbian employees who do receive health coverage for their partners must pay federal income taxes on the value of the insurance.

    * Estate taxes. A married person automatically inherits all the property of his or her deceased spouse without paying estate taxes. A gay or lesbian taxpayer is forced to pay estate taxes on property inherited from a deceased partner.

    * Family leave. Married workers are legally entitled to unpaid leave from their jobs to care for an ill spouse. Gay and lesbian workers are not entitled to family leave to care for their partners.

    * Nursing homes. Married couples have a legal right to live together in nursing homes. The rights of elderly gay or lesbian couples are an uneven patchwork of state laws. Home protection. Laws protect married seniors from being forced to sell their homes to pay high nursing home bills; gay and lesbian seniors have no such protection.

    * Home protection. Laws protect married seniors from being forced to sell their homes to pay high nursing home bills; gay and lesbian seniors have no such protection.

    * Pensions. After the death of a worker, most pension plans pay survivor benefits only to a legal spouse of the participant. Gay and lesbian partners are excluded from such pension benefits.

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