NY State Senator Saland explains his vote for the freedom to marry

Today, Time Magazine’s Washington correspondent Alex Altman reported why New York State Senator Stephen Saland voted for the freedom to marry in New York. Senator Saland was the Republican senator who made the decisive 32nd vote to pass the historic marriage bill in New York, more doubling the number of same-sex couples that can legally be wed in the United States. 

In his interview with Altman, Saland how his view of marriage evolved over the years. “At one time I though civil unions afforded the opportunity to provide the ability for same-sex couples to attain the status they wanted,” says Saland. “When I came to the conclusion that civil unions wouldn’t do, and if you really believed in fairness and equality and doing the right thing…for me there was only one answer.”

Senator Saland had originally voted against marriage when the bill was brought to a vote in 2009. However, in the past year, after research and discussions with several people, in particular his constituents and his family, Senator Saland had decided vote his conscience once the bill came to the floor. Saland states, “It was purely a vote of conscience. I did what I thought was the right thing.”

Freedom to Marry applauds the actions of Senator Saland and his fellow Republican colleagues in the state senate that voted with their conscience. Because of these brave representatives, the nation’s third largest state has the freedom to marry. Senator Saland and his 32 other colleagues in the New York State Senate will be remembered as standing on the right side of history.  

To read the full Times article on Senator Saland’s vote for the freedom to marry, click here.