Spano Urges Former Colleagues on Marriage

Nick Spano, a former Republican member of the State Senate, is urging his old colleagues to pass a bill for same-sex marriage, saying it’s in line with conservative principles of less government intrusion in people’s lives.

“I believe that the government’s role in marriage is to administer the civic contract between two individuals who choose a life with one another, and choose to take on a contract with the state detailing a variety of rights, privileges and responsibilities,” he said in a statement.

“It is not the place of the government to dictate the terms of what gender combination the couple consists of that are committed to each other. That’s a personal, individual decision.”

Spano was the first Republican senator to come out in support for same-sex marriage, way back in 2006, when he was trying to hold his seat against a challenge from Andrea Stewart-Cousins (who defeated him anyway).

In today’s statement, Spano made the claim that same-sex marriage would strengthen families, rather than undermine them, as the bill’s opponents argue.

“Committed gay couples don’t want anything different than what the rest of us have,” he wrote. “They just want in. I think it is only a net positive that so many people want to be a part of family units.”

While Spano is not exactly a conservative icon, he joins former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno in pressing for passage of the bill. So far, two Republicans have committed to vote for the bill, with advocates hoping to secure one more “yes” vote, should the bill come up for a vote.

Republican senators are currently meeting in yet another closed-door caucus to determine whether to bring the measure to the floor.