Cuomo: The freedom to marry will be a ‘priority’ in 2011

Posted by Jacob Gershman on

"Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said that, if elected governor this fall, he would push to legalize marriage equality in New York during his first year in office.

"Asked by a reporter if he would make the passage of a freedom to marry bill a priority in his first year on the job, Cuomo told reporters in New York City: 'It’s a priority.'

"State lawmakers, he said, 'have their hands full with their current legislative agenda, most notably the budget, but my opinion, my policy point of view, it is a priority.' Asked if he thinks a marriage equality bill could pass the Legislature in 2011, an off-election year, Cuomo replied: 'Do I think it can? Yes.'

... "Cuomo’s position on the issue has evolved over the years. When he ran for governor in 2002, the Democratic politician said he favored civil unions but did not support the freedom to marry. He declared his support for marriage equality when he ran for attorney general in 2006.

"Since the last year’s defeat, gay rights groups, led by Fight Back New York, a newly formed political action committee affiliated with Denver-based Gill Action Fund, have raised money from wealthy gay donors around the nation to try to defeat state Senate Democrats and Republicans who opposed the bill.

"The PAC backed the Senate candidacy of Jose Peralta, who trounced Hiram Monserrate, a former senator who opposed marriage equality, in a special election in Queens held in March. Monserrate, who was convicted last year of misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend at the time, had lost his seat in February after he was expelled from the Senate."

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