After Monday’s Republican coup, the chance of a vote being called for gay marriage in the State Senate was thrown to the four winds.
Or was it?
Political watchdogs say that LGBT advocates are trying to keep their cool in light of recent events and are still calling for a vote on gay marriage before the end of the legislative session.
The group leading the charge, the Empire State Pride Agenda, is calling for an immediate up or down vote, which they hope could end in thier favor.
“The Empire State Pride Agenda and our allies have fought hard to make sure that same−sex couples in New York are given access to marriage and the 1,324 rights and responsibilities that come with a state marriage license,” Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle said in a statement. “Our issues are not partisan issues. They are about equal rights for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are treated like second−class citizens.”
“Our hope and expectation is that yesterday’s events will not derail efforts by our community to win the equality we so desperately need,” he continued. “It is time to bring marriage equality and these other LGBT issues to the Senate floor for votes and have members vote their conscience as well as urge the Senate to schedule these votes as soon as possible before the end of the legislative session.”
Before Republicans took control of the Senate with the help of Democratic turncoats Pedro Espada, Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, Majority Leader Malcolm Smith −− now former Majority Leader, although he has refused to step down −− said that he wasn’t going to call a vote until he could assure that the measure would pass.
As of late last week, a Brooklyn State Senator with ties close to Smith’s office said that the bill “still didn’t have enough votes to pass.”
According to a poll done by this paper, at least one State Senator −− Bay Ridge Republican legislator Marty Golden −− has voiced his opposition to the bill.
“Our state is in economic free−fall and there are many issues facing our citizens,” Golden said. “Families are worried about putting bread on their table, and Governor Paterson decides now is the time to trot out a same sex marriage proposal.”
Golden said that the bill is “not just a slap in the face to Catholics, but to all New Yorkers who respect what the Catholic Church is and what it stands for.”
Also prepared to vote no is Sheepshead Bay−Mill Basin State Senator Carl Kruger, according to a recent poll conducted by NY1. Canarsie State Senator John Sampson said he is “undecided” on the issue.
But LGBT advocates have hope for Sampson and are scheduled to meet with him to discuss the issue further. Kruger’s people wouldn’t set up a similar meeting, they said. A source at Kruger’s office said that they were not going to debate the issue in the press.