Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been one of the nation’s foremost advocates of marriage equality, but today in an open press meeting of his Cabinet in Albany, he sounded forgiving of President Barack Obama’s hedging on the issue, and even said that the issue is better left to the states after a same sex marriage ban was added to the North Carolina Constitution yesterday.
Mr. Cuomo was with Mr. Obama yesterday as the president toured a nanotechnology campus in the Albany area, and he said the subject of marriage equality did not come up.
Asked then what he would counsel the president on his “evolving” views on same-sex marriage, and Mr. Cuomo said he would stay out of the way, even as Mr. Obama faces increasing pressure from some corners of his party to come out in support.
“If you are in the middle of the evolution I don’t know that you know that you are in the middle,” Mr. Cuomo said. “And I don’t know that you really can help someone or talk it through with someone. I think people get facts, people become informed, people’s opinions evolve, people’s opinions change sometimes. Sometimes they don’t, and I dont think its for me to counsel anyone on this issue.”
Mr. Cuomo went on to note that the question of marriage equality can be an “intensely personal” one, but that it can be a “governmental decision” as well, so it was best for him not to give counsel one way or the other.
Mr. Cuomo however did seem to suggest that marriage is an issue best left to the states, and not the federal government, an opinion that (for what it’s worth) puts him on the same side as conservative judicial activist Wendy Long, who is now running in a GOP primary to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I believe in states rights. I would like to see a place where this law is accepted all across the nation. I advocated as such,” he said. “I don’t know that the solution should be the federal government telling states what to do. I think the American people will get there and I think they are on the road to getting there. And I think it is about communication and understanding. I have evolved on this. I think people when they understand what we are talking about, they reflect on it, then I think you are going to see more and more of this country turning to a place where they support marriage equality.”