Governor Cuomo, Leader Of Nation Concerning Gay Marriage
There is a way to be a proud Democrat when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, and tonight that model for the nation can be found in New York.
Too often politicians take the easy path, the one of less resistance. Governor Cuomo saw injustice and decided to slay it. The wrong that needed to be eliminated was the lack of marriage rights for gay men and lesbian women. With skill and total determination Governor Cuomo stepped up and made a vow to right a wrong. Then he put actions behind his words.
Tonight the same-sex marriage bill in New York was approved on a 33 to 29 vote, as four Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for the bill.
President Obama should look to Albany and see how a Democrat can lead on gay marriage. It is not too late to start anew on the path for gay marriage rights from this White House. The American public have shown in poll after poll that this is the time to act and make fairness and equality not just something for straight couples, but gay and lesbian ones as well.
But the unexpected victory had an unlikely champion: Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who pledged last year to support same-sex marriage but whose early months in office were dominated by intense battles with lawmakers and some labor unions over spending cuts.
Mr. Cuomo made same-sex marriage one of his top priorities for the year and deployed his top aide to coordinate the efforts of a half-dozen local gay-rights organizations whose feuding and disorganization had in part been blamed for the 2009 defeat. The new coalition of same-sex marriage supporters also brought in one of Mr. Cuomo’s trusted campaign operatives to supervise a $3 million television and radio campaign aimed at persuading a handful of Republican and Democratic senators to drop their opposition and support same-sex marriage.For Senate Republicans, even bringing the measure to the floor was a freighted decision. Most of the Republicans firmly oppose same-sex marriage on moral grounds, and many of them also had political concerns, fearing that allowing same-sex marriage to pass on their watch would embitter conservative voters and cost the Republican Party its one-seat majority in the Senate. Leaders of the state’s Conservative Party — the support of which many Republican lawmakers depend on to win election — warned that they would oppose in legislative elections next year any Republican senator who voted for same-sex marriage.
But after days of agonized discussion capped by a marathon nine-hour, closed-door debate on Friday, Republicans came to a fateful decision. The full Senate would be allowed to vote on same-sex marriage, the majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, said Friday afternoon, and each member would be left to vote according to his conscience.
“The days of just bottling up things, and using these as excuses not to have votes — as far as I’m concerned as leader, its over with,” said Mr. Skelos, a Long Island Republican