New York State Senate Decisively Rejects Homosexual ‘Marriage’

The New York Times reports:

ALBANY — The New York State Senate decisively rejected a bill on Wednesday that would have allowed gay couples to wed, providing a major victory for those who oppose same-sex marriage and underscoring the deep and passionate divisions surrounding the issue.

The 38-to-24 vote startled proponents of the bill and signaled that political momentum, at least right now, had shifted against same-sex marriage, even in heavily Democratic New York. It followed more than a year of lobbying by gay rights organizations, who steered close to $1 million into New York legislative races to boost support for the measure….

The defeat, which followed a stirring, tearful and at times very personal debate, all but ensures that the issue is dead in New York until at least 2011, when a new Legislature will be installed.

Since 2003, seven states, including three that border New York, have legalized same-sex marriage. But in two of the seven — California last year and Maine last month — statewide referendums have restricted marriage to straight couples, prohibiting gay nuptials. Pollsters say that while support generally is building for same-sex marriage, especially as the electorate ages, voters resist when they fear the issue is being pushed too fast….

In Albany on Wednesday, proponents had believed going into the vote that they could attract as many as 35 supporters to the measure; at their most pessimistic, they said they would draw at least 26. They had the support of Gov. David A. Paterson, who had publicly championed the bill, along with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate Democratic leadership….

Several supporters said they felt they had been betrayed by senators who promised to vote yes but then, reluctant to support an issue as politically freighted as same-sex marriage if they could avoid it, switched their votes on the floor when it became evident the bill would lose. …

Republican advocates who supported the bill insisted that the agreement they struck with Democrats called for Democrats, who have 32 seats in the 62-member Senate, to deliver enough support so only a handful of Republicans were needed to take such a politically risky vote.

“Several Republicans wanted to vote for this,” said Jeff Cook, a legislative adviser for the Log Cabin Republicans. “But those Republicans aren’t willing to take a tough political vote when the bill has no chance of passage. And that’s the political reality.”

It is rare for legislation to reach the floor in Albany when passage is not all but assured. And initially, gay rights advocates resisted bringing this bill to a vote, fearing the consequences of a defeat. But they shifted that strategy over time, becoming convinced that an up or down vote was necessary so they could finally know which senators supported the bill.  … [article continues HERE]

See the full New York Times article HERE.

This article was posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", New York State, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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