Tag Archives: Senate

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:


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.