View Full Version : The prospects for same-sex marriage here in New York State
03-03-2007, 02:05 PM
Here's how things are looking now, here in New York, regarding same-sex marriage:
In 2006, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled out an attempt to win same-sex marriage through the courts and said that it is the legislature's job to decide this question. Here are some relevant news stories:
Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Out in New York, Georgia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/06/AR2006070600544.html)
By Amy Goldstein
Friday, July 7, 2006; Page A04
New York Nixes Gay Marriage (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=99577)
by Richard Kim
The Nation, 07/06/2006
Meanwhile, in the legislature, NY State Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, a Democrat from Manhattan, plans soon to reintroduce a same-sex marriage bill which he had introduced in previous years but which had never come up for a vote, partly because of the pending court case.
As of March 1, Mr. Gottfried said he had 33 co-sponsors for his bill this session, 11 more than last year. In addition, our new governor, Eliot Spitzer, has promised to support same-sex marriage. Therefore, many activists believe we have a significant chance of getting a marriage equality bill passed in the New York State Assembly this year.
However, many observers are not quite so optimistic about the other house of the New York State legislature, the New York State Senate, which now has a Republican/Conservative majority plus a rather anti-gay Speaker of the Senate, Joe Bruno. Therefore, most observers believe that it will most likely take two or more years to win same-sex marriage.
Here are some news stories about the most recent developments:
Pols ambivalent about gay marriage - National controversy divides local elected officials in Brooklyn (http://www.canarsiedigest.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17887472&BRD=2384&PAG=461&dept_id=560113&rfi=6)
By Thomas Tracy
A Sandwich or Two, With a Row Over Gay Marriage on the Side (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/01/nyregion/01cosi.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin)
By ERIN DUGGAN
New York Times, NY
Published: March 1, 2007
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Feb. 28
Alas, there has also been some bickering amongst New York State Assembly members who are supportive of same-sex marriage:
Assembly Marriage Divide Persists (http://www.gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17856122&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=6)
By: PAUL SCHINDLER
Gay City News
03-10-2007, 11:19 AM
I just now found the following very interesting blog with a ton of information about the same-sex marriage fight here in New York:
The New York Observer Politicker - Same-Sex Marriage Archives (http://thepoliticker.observer.com/samesex_marriage/)
03-11-2007, 09:37 PM
Here's a very interesting page about the history of the same-sex marriage issue in New York State and elsewhere:
Marriage Equality: The Haves and Have Nots (http://irregulartimes.com/marriageequalityny.html)
This article is a June 2004 interview with Dave Thompson, Co-Chair of the New York chapter of Marriage Equality (http://www.marriageequalityny.org/).
03-15-2007, 10:34 PM
Americans Pick Civil Unions Over Gay Marriage (http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/15041)
Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
March 15, 2007
The above article also contains poll results indicating that the proportion of Americans who favor same-sex marriage is increasing and that the proportion of Americans who oppose any recognition of same-sex couples is decreasing.
04-08-2007, 12:51 PM
NY Lawmakers Likely to Focus on 3 Gay Bills
By KERRY ELEVELD
Friday, April 06, 2007
New York Blade (http://www.newyorkblade.com/2007/4-6/news/localnews/3bills.cfm)
The all-consuming state budget has passed, and LGBT activists are gearing up for legislative action on three bills: the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (GENDA), the anti-bullying Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity) and a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.
“Now that the budget is out of the way, the real legislative work can begin,” said Ross Levi, director of public policy and education for the Empire State Pride Agenda. “We expect movement on all of our legislative agenda.”
On Marriage, Levi hopes to see the governor introduce his version of the bill, known as a “program bill,” before this legislative session wraps up at the end of June.
“What he said earlier this year, after the State of the State, was by the end of this calendar year,” Levi said of the governor’s commitment to introducing his bill. “We’re of course working to make that earlier in the year rather than later and ideally during session.”
In the meantime, Sen. Thomas Duane and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried continue to build support for their version of the marriage bill—43 Assemblymembers have signed up as co-sponsors of the bill but more legislators have said they would support a marriage bill if one came to vote.
“We’re confident that when push comes to shove, if this were to come to vote in the Assembly, that the votes are there to pass it,” said Levi, adding that they share Assemblymember Gottfried’s assessment that the marriage bill will be voted on in the Assembly this year. “Right now, were sure of 55 [yes votes], but there are plenty of others who either have indicated or we have some sense that they would do the right thing if it got before them.” The bill needs 76 votes to pass.
The marriage bill’s path in the Senate is more uncertain—18 Senators are on the record in support of marriage, though the Republican majority is not likely to allow it to come to vote. But Levi noted that the future of which party will control the Senate is very much in question since Republicans hold only a two-seat majority (33-29) there.
“It’s our job to get the marriage bill in best position it can be to put pressure on whosever in charge to let that come to a vote,” he said. “Certainly, a big step down that journey is getting it passed in the Assembly—that will give this bill credibility with legislators, the press and with the general public that it hasn’t had up till now.”
04-15-2007, 12:43 PM
On the website of a "socially-conservative Christian organization" called the Family Policy Network is a blog entry titled New York Liberal Links “Gay Marriage,” Destruction of Family Unit (http://familypolicy.net/us/?p=581), about an article in the neo-conservative Weekly Standard (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/451noxve.asp?pg=2) by one David Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values and the author of The Future of Marriage (Encounter Books). The FPN blog entry claims that David Blankenhorn is a "self-described liberal Democrat from New York," but I found no such claim by Blankenhorn himself in the Weekly Standard article. I did find that claim in the following other articles which I found via Google:
Advocate for fathers, marriage
Single parents, gay partners bad for kids, he says
March 18, 2007
BY SHARON JAYSON
Detroit Free Press (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070318/FEATURES01/703180525/1026), reprinted from USA Today
Acquired Self-centered Syndrome
by Marsha West
March 16, 2007
Renew America (http://www.renewamerica.us/about.htm)
Be that as I may, I came across the FPN blog entry while Googling for news about "same-sex marriage New York," on which the FPN blog entry contains the following relevant sentence:
Pro-homosexual Governor Elliot Spitzer is expected to introduce a “gay marriage” bill for New York sometime in April 2007
This is the first I'd heard that Spitzer was expected to introduce a same-sex marriage bill this month. In various news articles I've read on the subject, it was said that Spitzer had made a campaign promise to draft and propose a same-sex marriage bill sometime this year, but not this month. It will be interesting to see whether he introduces his bill as promptly as the FPN folks have predicted.
04-15-2007, 06:46 PM
In the above-linked articles, David Blankenhorn makes a blatantly unsound argument against same-sex marriage. He outright admits there's no evidence that allowing same-sex marriage would cause a further breakdown of heterosexual marriage. He claims it's enough to note that the institution of marriage is relatively weak in those countries that either accept or are entertaining the idea of gay marriage (a claim I think is questionable in the first place) and that this alleged "correlation" - without showing causality - is sufficient grounds to oppose same-sex marriage.
This is unfortunate, because some of Blankenhorn's other ideas are good ones. For example, his National Fatherhood Initiative (https://www.fatherhood.org/checkup.asp) encourages corporations to make it easier for fathers, as well as mothers, to spend more time with their children.
04-16-2007, 12:33 PM
LGBT advocates should raise voices for rights
By Shane Seger
March 22nd, 2007
The Ithacan (http://theithacan.org/am/publish/opinioncommentary/200703_LGBT_advocates_should_raise_voices_for_righ ts.shtml) (Ithaca College)
Includes the following brief history of the same-sex marriage issue here in New York State:
In early 2004, civil unions were a way of life in Vermont, marriage licenses were briefly granted to same-sex couples in San Francisco, court-mandated marriage equality in Massachusetts was looming and the mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., presided over a mass same-sex wedding ceremony.
On March 1, 2004, Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson held a press conference to announce that the city of Ithaca would recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions performed legally elsewhere. Soon after, the LGBT and ally community hosted a town hall meeting to brainstorm ways to build momentum and move forward. Ally building and education, as well as political and legal action, were discussed.
Local couples began applying for licenses and raising funds to support what would become the largest of the New York state marriage equality lawsuits. And, in case the decision would eventually rest in the hands of elected officials, another group of Ithacans organized an LGBT Democratic Club to advocate for LGBT-inclusive politics and fair-minded candidates.
On July 6, 2006, New York state’s highest court rejected the call for same-sex marriage. The majority argued that a redefinition of marriage was up to the legislature.
The momentum is set to pick up again. Just a few weeks ago, aides to Governor Eliot Spitzer promised the introduction of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage by the end of this year, making good on his campaign promise. The fate of this bill will depend on the reception it gets in the state Assembly and Senate.
04-16-2007, 12:50 PM
Same-sex marriage advocates switch strategies
Associated Press, Mar 19, 2007
The Advocate (http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid43105.asp)
This article explains how, in some states, gay rights advocates are pushing for civil unions and/or "incremental rights," given that full marriage seems to be out of the question for now, in many states.
04-16-2007, 12:57 PM
Switch of tactics on marriage splits US activists
by Amy Bourke
PinkNews.co.uk (http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-3958.html), UK - Mar 20, 2007
British variant of the article linked in my previous post, about the same-sex marriage fight here in the U.S.A.
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