Thursday, April 23, 2009

UPDATE: NY Gov. David Paterson Backpedals on Same-Sex Marriage Bill

UPDATE: New York newspaper, the Post-Standard, has issued an editorial, "A Civil Right: Legislature has no reason to delay on same-sex marriage", a MUST READ.
After unveiling same-sex marriage legislation last week in a widely watched press conference, New York Gov. David A. Paterson seems to be backpedaling on his strong hand approach.

Wednesday he announced that he would follow State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith plan not to put the bill to a vote without knowing it would pass.

"I'm very concerned about putting a bill on the floor that's going to be symbolism and not pass. . . . I'm going to count until I know that I have 32, if not 34, votes," he said last week.

Smith has been a strong supporter of same-sex marriage legislation and was working on introducing a bill until the governor came along demanding immediate action. The governor's action starkly contrasted New York tradition of not introducing controversial legislation without knowing the outcome of the vote. The bill is expected to pass the House.

Currently, the Democrats hold the majority 32-30 in the state's Senate, but four Democrats said they would vote against the bill. Smith was working on getting more votes from across the aisle.

"On this particular bill, there are a lot of other issues related to it," Paterson told reporters Wednesday. "Senator Smith knows the inertia of the Senate better than anyone else . . . I'll stick with his final judgment."

After Paterson's comments Wednesday, Smith was asked for a response. Before he could reach the microphone, the governor quipped, "Senator Smith agrees with me completely." Smith replied, "Absolutely."

Looks like were back to square one.

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