Gay Marriage, Now

With a vote on gay marriage looming, a handful of state senators remain undecided about this fundamental civil rights issue. It’s time for them to do the right thing for hundreds of thousands of their fellow New Yorkers.

One upstate Republican state senator is showing the way. Undecided until just this week, Senator James Alesi, who represents a district near Rochester, announced on Monday that he will support the bill. Mr. Alesi’s announcement could be critical to passage: he is the first Republican state senator to support the bill. Passage in the Republican-controlled Senate will require several G.O.P. votes; otherwise, the measure will be pulled from the legislative calendar. Governor Cuomo, one of the bill’s most forceful supporters, has said he doesn’t want gay marriage to suffer defeat again in the Legislature.

For many of the uncommitted senators, the issue surely is emotionally charged. But in its essence, gay marriage is a matter of civil rights. That’s precisely the argument that persuaded Senator Alesi. “I believe that if you live in America and if you expect equality and freedom for yourself, that you have to extend it to other people,” he said.

The measure now has the support of 30 senators—29 Democrats and one Republican. Seven senators, including two from New York City (Republican Andrew Lanza of Staten Island and Democrat Joseph Addabbo Jr. of Queens), remain uncertain. Supporters need two more votes to ensure passage.

The time for uncertainty is over. It’s time for these politicians to act like leaders by embracing equality and civil rights for gay people.

Comments

  1. Annececiliad says:

    The issue is not just about civil rights. At the core, the debate for marriage is about what holds up our American society. Just as marriage is defined for people as invalid between a brother and sister, mother and son, grandfather and granddaughter, there is no union between two men or two women that deserves the recognition of the state. Our country would do much better to promote marriage as it is traditionally understood if it wants to pull itself out of the economic crisis it has found itself in.

  2. mamaditto says:

    New York has equality without same-sex “marriage.” Anyone can get
    married here as long as their intended is a member of the opposite gender, not
    currently married to another, is of legal age and the relationship is not
    consanguineous.

    1. Marco Luxe says:

      Equal protection is the legal principle of the golden rule found in all major religions.  It’s that basic.  EP means that like things are to be treated alike by the law.  The question is  – are various couples alike for the purposes that matter to the law? Some say the law is designed so its citizens become baby-making factories for future soldiers and drones.  That is just too short sighted.  Marriage matters to individuals, not the state, except where the law recognizes the joint status of the individuals in a couple — the meaning of an economic and emotional household for tax and spousal privilege;  trusted partner for implied legal agency/ next of kin etc.   None of those look to the genitals of the household members.  You shouldn’t either