Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti is being criticized for referring to animals in explaining his objection to same-sex marriage.
During a radio interview yesterday, Grisanti – a freshman from Buffalo whom Lady Gaga is targeting – said he’d support civil unions, but was uncomfortable with applying the term “marriage” to the relationship formed between same-sex couples.
GRISANTI: “I’m not saying I’m against same-sex civil unions, on those lines. I have a problem with the term marriage. and being raised in a Catholic environment, being raised in a situation where I was an alter boy – I don’t want to see any sort of discriminatory type lawsuits then brought against the various churches. That if you call it same-sex marriage and it’s not recognized by the various churches, I don’t want to see lawsuits, then, commence for some sort of discrimination along those lines.”
ARBETTER: “You would then say yes, and vote for a civil union?”
GRISANTI: “Civil unions and all the proponents that go along with that, I have no problem with. I have a problem with the term marriage itself. To me, marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s been a term, a term of ours for years that has been around for thousands of years. It’s like calling a cat, a dog. I don’t think that that needs to be changed.”
State Senator Tom Duane, a Democrat from Manhattan who is openly gay, called Grisanti’s comments “sad and unfortunate” for comparing “my right to marry the person I love, with cats and dogs.”