Saturday, July 11, 2009

Good News! Chance Remains for a Vote on NY Marriage Equality Bill

The New York Times reports that a chance remains that Gov. David Paterson will reintroduce his marriage equality bill for a Senate vote in yet another special legislative session in September. This is good news compared to it dying completely, but due to the sophomoric antics of the state senate this passed month, there's no chance they'll be taking it up any sooner.

The Times reports, "Senate Democrats are unlikely to take up the marriage bill on their own. They remain deeply divided and, in many cases, estranged from one another, after the infighting and personal attacks of the nearly five-week leadership battle."

However, the ridiculous pentecostal pastor and senator Ruben Diaz is still a thorn in the side of the bill. The extremely homophobic democratic senator for some reason has a hold on numerous senators who fear pissing him off lest they vote on the bill, or even worse, vote in its favor.

"On same-sex marriage, several senators said privately that the caucus was reluctant to take it up because of the strident opposition of Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., a Bronx Democrat and Pentecostal minister. With the caucus holding a tenuous single-seat majority, there is a focus on keeping members happy," the Times says.

"'We just got unity,' Mr. Díaz said in an interview when asked about the marriage issue. 'Don’t start to un-unify us. Let us have some kind of honeymoon.'"

Can't these guys grow a backbone? Are they seriously going to let one senator compromise the rights of thousands of New Yorkers?

Blabbeando calls Sen. Diaz a "homophobic asshole" and a "racist" and refers to the Senator's statement in this report to back his statement.

Thankfully, Senators exist in the Senate that do stand up to Diaz, or at least ignore his tantrums, such as marriage equality bill sponsor Sen. Duane. Though he earlier sounded resigned to the fate of the bill, Marriage Equality New York has written a very informative piece that contains further explanation from Duane.

"In a telephone interview with Gay City News the same evening, Duane said he expected action not only on marriage equality, already approved by the Assembly and supported by Governor David Paterson, but also on the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and the Dignity for All Students Act. The marriage bill, he said confidently, 'will get to the floor this year and it will pass.'”

And as for Diaz:
Duane cautioned against reading anything into who did and did not attend the victory lap at the Capitol. Asked whether the possibility that Diaz may have played a role in forging the new Democratic conference agreement caused him concern, Duane emphasized that he was looking to Governor Paterson’s leadership in making certain that marriage equality, transgender rights, and anti-bullying get votes this year. His most recent meeting with the governor on those matters, he said, may have been going on as Smith, Espada, Diaz, and nine other of his colleagues stood before the press.

“I have spoken to the governor several times in the past week, and he has re-emphasized his interest in moving marriage this year,” Duane told Gay City News. “We are going to strategize on how to move marriage this year, and we will get that done.”
This is good news indeed.

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