Governor Adds to Building Pressure for Marriage in New York
Feb 10, 2011 at 03:36 pm
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is pledging to make good on his campaign promise to bring the freedom to marry to New York.
"We’ll be working very hard to pass it," he said. The New York Times praised his leadership on the issue in an editorial.
Bills to end marriage discrimination in the state have passed the Assembly in the past, but have been defeated in the Senate – the last time in 2009.
New Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) has said that he will not block a vote on a bill, and that Republican members should vote their conscience.
One of those GOP members is Sen. Andrew Lanza, who told the Staten Island Advance that he is torn on the issue. "I am searching for the right thing to do," he said, noting that he has had more meetings with constituents on the marriage issue than any other.
A recent poll found the biggest-ever support for marriage among New Yorkers, with 56% in favor.
On Tuesday 300 marriage supporters converged on Albany for a lobby day sponsored by Freedom to Marry partner Marriage Equality New York. The number of participants was twice as many as last year.
Along with that event, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) sent a letter to state legislators urging them to act.
"Equal protection under the law has been a hallmark of the American legal, social and political system since the founding of the republic," she wrote. "In this instance, I believe that this principle must be extended to all of those in our state who seek the civil contract of marriage and the numerous legal rights, protections and benefits that only the status of marriage confers."
New York's other U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer (D), has also voiced similar support.