Main | Monday, February 09, 2009

NY Sen. Malcolm Smith: No Gay Marriage For NY This Year

Speaking at a Human Rights Campaign function on Saturday, New York Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said there was not yet enough support for marriage equality in the Senate for a winning vote in 2009.
Mr. Smith said that while he and his fellow Democrats were committed to legalizing marriage between gay and lesbian couples, there were not yet enough votes in the State Senate to pass a bill. Although the State Assembly has passed such legislation, and Gov. David A. Paterson is a strong supporter of gay rights, the Senate has been an obstacle to allowing same-sex marriages in New York.

Speaking in Manhattan at a fund-raiser for the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group, Mr. Smith said there was still much work to be done on the issue. “I know one of your top priorities is the recognition of marriage between same-sex couples — something that I strongly support, something that I believe in and something that we will make happen together,” he told the crowd. Then, as he received a burst of applause and cheers, he added, “Hold up.” He went on: “Although we do not have the number of votes at this time needed to pass the marriage equality gender bill this legislative session, we are committed to pursuing its passage. And the question is not if; the question is when. So our work still needs to happen for it to happen this year. But I’m going to need your help, and I’m going to need your prayers.”
Marriage equality has already been approved in the NY Assembly and would likely be easily re-approved there once the Senate gets on board. Whenever that is.

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