Valesky Votes Aye

valesky floor Valesky Votes AyeALBANY—State Senator David Valesky just said he would vote in support of a bill allowing same-sex marriage.

Valesky, a Syracuse Democrat, had been on the fence. He faces a tough re-election campaign next year.

“That question for me, after a long period of contemplation, that period gets to me to what many have indicated, and what Senator Schneiderman said, that this is not a matter of religion. I think colleagues, more importantly than that, can be a matter of religion,” Valesky said. “This bill does not, could not, as long as our constitution remains the law of the land, affect in any way shape or form or compel any house of worship in this country to do anything against their belief system. This is about civil, legal commitment that provides benefits to same-sex couples.”

UPDATE: Andrew Russo, one of the Republicans who has said he is running against Valesky, put out this statement attacking him.

“Today, Albany incumbent David Valesky joined his New York City Democrat colleagues to cast a vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage in New York State.  Regardless of whether or not he actually believes that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry, this vote highlights Senator Valesky’s disturbing pattern of putting the interests of his New York City leadership ahead of the interests of the constituents he’s supposed to represent.  His downstate leadership wanted the bill put on the floor and passed, so he simply did what he was told.

“Once upon a time, Senator Valesky told his constituents he opposed gay marriage, but today he voted ‘yes.’  I can’t say that I am surprised.

“After all, Senator Valesky, said he’d work to achieve real reform of the Senate but Albany is now more dysfunctional than ever.  He said he’d protect taxpayers but cast the deciding vote on a State Budget that raised taxes by $8.5 billion, raised spending by $12 billion and declared war on Upstate taxpayers.   “After three terms in Albany, David Valesky no longer knows what he believes, and worse yet neither do the hardworking residents of Cayuga, Madison, Oneida and Onondaga counties.  It’s time for principled leadership in Albany so we can put the economic crisis behind us and Central New Yorkers can believe in their government once again.”