NEW YORK: Marriage Activists Buoyed After Meeting With Governor Cuomo
New York marriage equality activists say they have renewed hope after yesterday's private meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Paul Schindler reports at Gay City News:
“I’ve been to lots of meetings where presidents or governors call people in to say that they’re with them, and this one was really extraordinary,” said Richard Socarides, the executive director of Equality Matters, a new LGBT-focused effort of the progressive watchdog Media Matters. During the Clinton administration, Socarides, an attorney, was the White House liaison to the LGBT community. “What was clear to me from the meeting is that the governor is very committed to this,” Socarides continued. “He is prepared to do what it takes to get it done. He’s going to work on it and his team is going to work on it as soon as they get the budget done.” Acknowledging that Cuomo did not put it in so many words, Socarides said if the budget is completed on or close to the April 1 deadline, with both Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats reasonably content about that process, “I think he will turn to this, and it will be his top priority.” Socarides was not alone in his glowing assessment. Another participant, who did not wish to be identified, said, “The governor is really, really focused on this. He is putting the smartest people in his office on it.”The New York Assembly has approved same-sex marriage three times and would doubtlessly do so again. The problem, as always, is in the state Senate, where even when Democrats held a slim majority, marriage failed. Today the GOP holds a 32-30 lead, meaning at least five or six GOP votes are needed to overcome the remaining traitorous Democrats. How the governor intends to achieve that is unclear.