Wednesday, June 10, 2009

UPDATE: Your New York Marriage Equality Update: Good Polls, Crazy Senate, Protests and New Allies

UPDATE: Thanks to NG Blog, I was made aware that Sen. Monserrate, who was one of the senators who caused the coup, may flip back to the original side. WABC calls this drama, the "theatre of the absurd." Couldn't have said it better.

OK, there's so much happening in New York, I can't keep up. It's giving me carpal tunnel. Just shut up and vote already!

But I digress . . .

I'll start with some good news. From the makers of the NY1 senate poll that made us a bit depressed (it wasn't looking good for marriage equality), a new poll was released today showing that a majority of New Yorkers support marriage equality, siding with Gov. Paterson despite the fact that his approval rating keeps sliding.

Question: Which comes closest to your view: gay couples should be allowed to legally marry, or gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry, or there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship?

In other words, New Yorkers are telling their senate to just DO IT (the bill already passed the Assembly). But with the recent coup that took place, everything is in major upheaval, causing all legislation to be in question, not just the marriage equality bill.

However, reports are coming in that openly gay Sen. Duane, sponsor of the bill, may soon be siding with the new leadership.

The New York Times reports:
One of the senators who is believed to be considering breaking ranks with the Senate Democratic conference, Thomas K. Duane of Manhattan, would not say where he planned to cast his political allegiance.

“I am not considering anything but trying to get passed all the legislation I’ve spent my whole life fighting for,” he said. Mr. Duane, who did not attend meetings with his Democratic colleagues on Tuesday, said he had spent all day in discussions with senators from both parties.
The chances that the [same-sex marriage] legislation could be acted on soon appeared to grow on Tuesday after Mr. Espada, who would share power with Dean G. Skelos, a Republican from Long Island, said he would like to see the bill come to a vote.

“I am for same-sex marriage,” Mr. Espada said, adding that he had not yet discussed the matter with Mr. Skelos, who opposes allowing gay couples to marry, but has said that he would let Republican lawmakers vote as they chose. “I think there will be a vote of conscience of the senators.”

Like all other legislation currently before the Senate, the same-sex marriage bill is on hold until the leadership confusion is resolved.
Oh, don't go away, there's more.

Former GOP NY Senate Majority Leader, Joe Bruno, who once referred to homosexuality as an "abnormal lifestyle," has reconsidered his position saying, "It's time. Now. For the government to back off, let people make their own life decisions, and about how they care about and who they don't care about...."

Take a deep breath. There's more.

Yesterday, anti-equality protesters rallied at the New York capital of Albany. It's been estimated that about a 1,000 people showed up but were probably bused in by their churches. I gather it must've been tough to find people to protest marriage equality given that a majority of New Yorkers support it.

Good As You shares some pictures from the rally depicting the protesters' signs expressing religious frustration. Good As You does a good job of expressing our own frustration over these people's refusal (or ignorance) to recognize the separation of religious and civil marriage.

Having grown up in a Christian missionary household, I know how annoying a debate this can be. You simply cannot engage them since they cannot comprehend the separation of church and state.

So there you have it. That's it in a big nutshell. When will the senate decide whether or not to vote on the marriage equality bill and when? Your guess is as good as mine (and everyone else's).

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