Friday, July 10, 2009

New York State Marriage Equality Bill Dies Because Idiotic Senate Fails To Pull It Together

UPDATE: Empire State Pride Agenda, who has done amazing work trying to get the marriage bill passed, issued a more positive statement than the resigned tone of Sen. Duane: "Now that the stalemate is over and the State Senate has resumed its business, we expect that our equality will remain at the top of the chamber’s agenda." I sure hope they're right and prove me wrong because if that's the case, I wouldn't be happier to eat my words.
Yesterday, I expressed concerns about whether or not the dysfunctional New York State Senate would ever get around to voting on the marriage equality bill that had already passed the Assembly. With the governor ready to sign, the rights for the LGBT New Yorkers to marry seemed within reach.

Not anymore. With the asinine antics this passed month brought on by the June 8 coup, the self-centered Senate put their egos before the rights of their constituents.

The bill's main sponsor, Sen. Thomas Duane, issued this email:
“The month long stalemate in the Senate has ended. I am pleased that the Democratic Conference remains, as they were elected to be, in the majority. It is now time for the Senate to get back to work. The June 8th coup was a painful and disturbing moment in the history of the Senate. Members’ emotions are raw, feelings are hurt and trust is lost. It will take time for these wounds to heal. As a result, I expect that the Senate this week will pass only time-sensitive, non-controversial legislation.”

“As disappointing as it is to admit, it is clear that this week is not the right moment for same-sex marriage legislation. Senators need some time and distance to regroup after this month’s partisan-charged and explosive atmosphere. Before June 8th, Senators from both sides of the aisle committed to me that they would vote for marriage equality. I still believe this to be the case. However, as I have said many times this session, I will not gamble when civil rights are at stake. If this means a short delay in order for marriage to become law it is well worth the wait.”

“I will not be put off for long. I am 100% committed to passing legislation crucial to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. Our safety and civil rights must be enshrined into law. During the weeks and months ahead the Senate will be called back to Albany to deal with a range of issues that are extremely important to me and that impact the lives of all New Yorkers. I will fight for and demand, with bipartisan support, that bills important to the LGBT community come to the floor for a vote – and pass. The June 8th coup may have delayed equality, but it will not stop it.”
And yes, we'll have to start all over. Again. Getting it passed through the Assembly. Again. As Joe.My.God eloquently puts it, "My first thought upon receipt of the [email] was for Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who will once again have to stand at that podium in Albany and defend his own marriage equality bill."

Guess we're far from a priority because NG Blog writes, "...that very same senate held a late night session and passed a number of bills, including one that eliminated citizen requirements for horse doctors."

So all the work by the amazing sponsors and the LGBT New York population into getting this bill (and other important legislation) passed got us here - aka nowhere. Yet again another failure in the long line of failures of the Senate to get this bill passed.

Maybe next time around there will be a whole new Senate. Fresh minds. Renewed energy. Because this Senate and their historic idiocy will hopefully be voted out completely.


  1. As a very disappointed NY'er, I totally agree, but for ANY of this legislation to really MEAN anything, IT HAS TO BE PASSED AND RECOGNIZED ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL, so that IMMIGRATION LAWS are reformed, and FEDERAL RIGHTS & BENEFITS such as FEDERAL TAX BREAKS are brought into the scope of the bills. Until that happens, we are still far from being EQUAL. Bi-National couples who must separate due to their relationships not being recognized suffer more than anyone else.

  2. Sen. Duane hardly has a resigned tone... I believe he has been incredibly pro-active in the past and has continued to be in these hard times with all the other difficult senators he has to work with. He is being realistic at the moment and that does not mean he is giving up AT ALL. He is one of the few working endlessly for LGBT rights and has been for years. AND all the work that has been done by the LGBT community has most certainly not been for nothing (way to put everyone down???)- let's get a little more positive here, being negative and criticizing those who are making an effort in these hard times won't get us anywhere so get it together please

  3. I actually praised Sen. Duane as an amazing sponsor. But overall, the circus that is the senate has created what I read as a resigned tone in his email, and again, thanks to the craziness that is his colleagues.

    I know he's done amazing work in the past and will continue to in the future. However, I place the blame for their failure to even vote, as I mentioned before, squarely on the Senate and their antics. And I reserve the right to criticize them for not doing their jobs. Indeed that is a downer because it's sad but true. And I will express that.

    But I am positive that Sen. Duane and Assemblyman O'Donnell and our many other allies will succeed. Hopefully sooner than expected.